Former Raiders coach John Madden has plenty to say about Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy


49ers beat writer Cam Inman recently spoke to John Madden and asked him about punter Ray Guy, who will be inducted Saturday into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I used small portions of what Madden said in a story which ran in Friday’s Bay Area news Group papers and is currently posted on the insidebayarea.com Web site.

Madden will be the presenter for Guy prior to his induction. Here are Madden’s thoughts on Guy:

On if he has a favorite punt or best memory:

“Best memory I have was when I first saw him. The first time he punted in practice up at Santa Rosa, I didn’t want him to wear his leg out and kick too much. He kicked some and they were good. I said, ‘That’s enough, I don’t want you to tire your leg out.’ He said, ‘Coach I haven’t even started yet. I’m warming up.’ It wasn’t a smart ass thing. He was in warm-up and we were all watching. A couple kicks later, he said he was ready to go.

“I never heard anything like the sound and never seen anything like the height and distance. They say about Ray Guy’s responsibility for hang time, but you know what it was, he kicked so long no one had ever seen anything like that. All pundits would say he’s going to outkick coverage. I said, (B.S.), if he outkicks the coverage, we’re going to go out and get new cover guys.’ Then I started timing how long the ball was in the air, and if you cover guys can’t get down there in that time, you can’t play for us. I wasn’t trying to get hang time there; I was trying to get their speed down to see how fast you could get there. I was taking it off Ray Guy and putting it on them. He was so impressive that first day, like if get a guy that can hit a golf ball and it sounds different than yours does, his ball sounded different.

In the same practice he gets in there at strong safety. In those days we practiced in pads . There he is at safety. I told him to get the hell out of there. He walks off the field with his head down. After practice he walks up to me and said, ‘When Ron Wolf signed me, he told me I could play safety too.’ I said this guy is too good and I’m not going to have this be an ongoing thing. So I said Ron Wolf lied, and I kept walking. We never discussed it again. That’s what I wanted.”

Did Wolf really lie?

“No. Ron Wolf probably never told a lie in his life. There was no way I was going to let him play safety. I had Tatum, Atkinson, Phillips …

On using a first-round pick:

“That was our opportunity to get the best player at his position, and not only that, but the best player ever at his position. That was a no brainer. We didn’t have one person against that.

On if a punter could be accepted a first-round pick in today’s era:

“He was a once in a lifetime guy, and there weren’t as many pundits then. He was an all-American. He played in the college all-star game. It wasn’t like he was a guy from Southern Mississippi that no one knew about. He was something special from the day he walked in.”

On a punter being enshrined:

They were the last position to be a fulltime position … Now that that’s broken through (at the Hall of Fame), any position. There’s not a position that’s not represented.”


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • However I still stand by Manziel

  • r8ter4evr

    He was the best QB available

  • Astros and rangers are shutting the A’s down , explain

  • AlDavisJr

    Matty McGloin to Mike Davis! Hey—maybe some good depth? McGloin might be a great career back up QB for Carr.

  • Myopinion

    Not me. I don’t like that guy.

  • 2romes

    I’ve been steaming over Andre Reed making the Hall Of Fame while Tim Brown’s name was only mentioned to get in. It do feel much love for Andre Reed now that I heard him say that Tim Brown should be the next Wide Receiver to make it in the Hall Of Fame.

  • Howard Benner

    Tuck with a groin & Smith with a groin. . .hopefully not long term issues. . .

    Or a harbinger of things to come for the veteran laden FA group. . .

  • Myopinion


  • r8ter4evr

    This much is for sure
    This years Oakland Raiders have some of the best players that we have assembled on our roster in a a long time
    These vets have excelled at EVERY level they have played including the NFL
    To get to their status they performed above the avg players and are ready to help bring this storied franchise back to greatness

  • This is why I can’t wait for skulls to crack , the truth will be told

  • Howard Benner

    Reed isn’t renowned for his “PR’ statements, thus I believe he is sincere. . .

    Just ask Jon Bon Jovi when he mentioned Toronto as a possible landing spot for the Bills. . .

  • 2romes

    I know, I read that. He has been pretty outspoken lately

  • r8ter4evr

    I look at the whole season

  • Postseason success is the difference between the two.
    Brown will get in eventually.

  • Myopinion

    I won’t say he’s not gonna be good. Just think he’s a punk.

  • Howard Benner

    Cliff Branch needs some HOF love; best WR NOT in that class. . .one of the greatest playoff stat lines of all time. .

    When the Raiders last won the SB (yes, I was in my 20’s back then) he & Freddie B. were 1-2 all time in playoff catches & yards. . .

    The so called “sportswriters” seem to mysteriously forget such things. . .that was in their era & should be weighed in heavily when considering Branch as a HOFer. . .to me that is the greatest travesty of many Raider HOF slights. . .

    cliff has THREE RINGS, three more than Andre Reed & three SB TD’s. . .what else do they need?

    back in cliff’s day he could be mugged anywhere downfield before the pass is thrown. . .he still averaged over 17 yds. per catch for his career. . .

    Branch in the Playoffs

    When he retired in the mid-1980s Branch was the all-time playoff
    leader in both catches and yardage. In these “sudden-death” “money”
    games Branch was a true primetime player.

    In 19 playoff games he registered 73 catches for 1289 yards and 5
    touchdowns. He averaged nearly four receptions a game for nearly 70
    yards. Not to compare but Lynn Swann played in 18 playoff games and
    registered only 48 catches for 907 yards, averaging 3 receptions a game
    for barely 57 yards. Swann even lost to Branch in touchdowns scored.
    Branch has 10 and Swann has 9. PUT CLIFF BRANCH IN THE HALL OF FAME.

    In Super Bowl play Branch played in 3 Super Bowls, all wins and he caught 14 passes for 181 yards and 3 touchdowns.

    In the AFC Championship game Branch averaged 3.7 receptions in 6 games played. Wow the Raiders were so great back then! He avaraged nearly 75 yards a game on 22 career AFC Championship game receptions.

    Branch also appeared in 10 Divisional and Wild Card playoff games and logged 37 receptions for 641 yards and 1 touchdown.

    Overall in the postseason Branch averaged nearly 18 yards (17.66) per reception.

  • Howard Benner

    If they can stay healthy. . .

  • xraided

    um, how about, it’s baseball and it happens? 162 games there guy, and there hasn’t been a 100 win team in over a decade…loses tend to pile up for every team at some point

    other than those two series and getting swept by DET a while back(when they were in a huge hitting slump), they’ve been the best team on the planet all year round…


  • aig-raiders

    Yes, that’s a total of 5 picks the last 2 days with 3 pick 6s i believe. I dont think Jawalrus was this bad in throwing picks in a 2 day period in TC.

  • xraided


  • Howard Benner

    I don’t blame Reed for his loyalties to the city of Buffalo. . .have never been there. . .

    I have been to Toronto, though. . .that city rocks!

    They have a domed stadium. . .I first was there when the stadium was called, quite arrogantly, “Skydome. . .” before they tinted the windows so one couldn’t witness the escapades in the outfield aligned hotel suites. . .

    The stadium’s inward-looking hotel rooms have regular two-way windows, yielding instances of what some could consider indecent exposure. When SkyDome first opened, a couple engaging in sexual intercourse was televised on the scoreboard Jumbotron during a baseball game. Days later, a man was caught masturbating during a game in full view of the packed stands. The man, later tracked down by a Sports Illustrated
    reporter, calmly said, “I thought they were one-way windows.” Patrons
    now have to sign contracts stipulating that they will not perform any
    lewd acts within view of the stadium.

    Youtube (in0conveniently doesn’t have any accompanying links. . .wonder if the “Jumbotron” operators were summarily sacked. . .

  • r8ter4evr

    Rookies and youngsters are not immune to the injury bug
    All teams are on the SAME SHIP

  • r8ter4evr

    Guess Pee Wee Herman is banned for life

  • r8ter4evr

    I forgot about our former 1st round practice phenom
    My bad

  • 10 years???? You might want to look that one up again.
    There has been 8 100 win teams in the last 10 years.

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    new post turd farmers!!

  • r8ter4evr

    Cliffs Corner FIRST

  • r8ter4evr


  • 2romes

    Yes,I remember that.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Only three.

  • Howard Benner

    Older players usually take longer to heal (unless you are DJ Hayden) & Smith had sports hernia surgery recently; groin issue; Tuck had two injury marred seasons; 2011 & 2012. . .

    This has been my fear all along; my worst case scenario; injuries to the 2014 FA class diminishing the expectations of the 2014 version of the Raiders. . .

  • Howard Benner

    alarms go off upon his entrance. . .

  • Howard Benner
  • Howard Benner

    Speed kills!

  • DJ Johnny

    Yeah…we’ve got the starting corners of one of the NFC’s best teams…a multi yr pro bowl player headed to the HOF at FS, a good YOUNG lb corps with a player who could’ve easily been picked # 1 in the draft…3 former probowlers on the d line with 2 of them possessing SB rings.

    On offense a pro bowl QB as recent as 2012, a former league rushing champ at rb…a former pro bowler at LT, a possible stud in Gabe Jackson, a young up and comer at TE in Rivera, the 2012 NFL leader in TD catches at WR…

    On paper, that’s a HUGE upgrade of a team.

  • That’s an odd # , better have one more

  • ????

  • They’re doing their damage against the chumps, they can’t hit the dominate pitchers, that’s why, BTW I’m all A’s , but they better figure out how to get hot when they need to or it’s going to be another exit before the big dance

  • Mike_Trail

    Ha! Its great aint it! There’s hope!