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

  • JV.

    Burris is a starting ILB in a 3-4 D. If we make the change it’s..

    Mack, roach, Burris, Moore.

  • Arkraider

    And don’t forget Bergstrom!…. Oh wait…

  • r8ter4evr

    Look it up maybe they will replay it
    Watched Guy punt for the Raiders his whole career, Shane was great, Ray was one of a kind

  • r8ter4evr

    Not in here
    Some guys need more

  • RediaR

    Why is Cork even in that twitter box over there? He only tweets about the 49ers and baseball.

  • mcfadden20.

    Yah not bad I would say his bad pick was Tyler Wilson

  • JV.

    It’s on youtube.. I’ll re watch it later tonight most likely.

  • TrevJo

    Steven Jackson, Willis McGahee, and Frank Gore are also top 5 in stats among active RBs, but guess what, they’re old. MJD is also old and it remains to be seen if he can come all the way back from lis franc surgery.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m a HUGE MJD fan. Loved his game at UCLA, grabbed him in my dynasty draft before the UCLA alum could, reaped the rewards of it for years. But having had the lis franc injury and being close to 30 are very bad signs for a running back. Rashad Jennings was far better than MJD last year… I hope MJD is twice as good this year as he was last year but it’s just that–hope.

  • Arkraider

    Practice? Man, we talkin bout Practice!

  • r8ter4evr

    Cork grew up wearing a Doug Plank jersey

  • Arkraider

    Shout out to RRS with his A.I. Love

  • r8ter4evr

    He could probably still
    out punt half of these NFL punters

  • TrevJo

    As for the CB starters I’ll take Brown over Porter or Jenkins, but I’ll take Porter or Jenkins over 33 year-old Rogers. Hayden seems to be in the same state as last year so we have the same problem at CBs3-5 as we did last year.

  • Myopinion

    I wouldn’t count out bergstrom yet. I think there’s a possibility he makes it as a backup center. And crawfords not out of it yet. Criner I think is fighting a uphill battle.

  • r8ter4evr

    As long as he is in the NFL
    We will see

  • Arkraider

    I think Bergstrom may be OK as well–
    Just trying to be funny

  • r8ter4evr

    If he is a fourth better than last year then he gets close to 1000 yards

  • A QB will lead the way

  • The key to this draft and the future is Carr.

  • r8ter4evr

    Schaub just may
    Wouldn’t suprise me at all

  • r8ter4evr

    How about those A’s

  • I’m not trying to honk my horn , but I pined and knew he was coming here, look at my archives

  • You can’t win the World Series in July.

  • Who got the better pitcher

  • Tough call but I give it to Lester.

  • Myopinion

    Tuck was out with a groin issue.
    That sucks definetly need him to stay healthy.

  • Tape

  • r8ter4evr

    Me too
    Guys wanted Sanchez, Vick etc
    I wanted Schsub also and was ecstatic when we traded for him

  • Lol, wasted 3rd

  • Tigers evened it up

  • Myopinion

    May make it, also easily could be a oh wait. Nevermind.

  • r8ter4evr

    Think they rotate his LF spot and get the same production??

  • Price has had postseason issues, Lester is one of the best postseason pitchers in the last 25 years.

  • Which means early exit unless someone knocks them off before

  • Maybe not runs produced but it isn’t as big a dropoff as people think.

  • Have you ever been to Cliffs Corner tailgate back in the 90’s?

  • r8ter4evr

    Less HR and equal RBI’s??

  • However , I remember you saying the A’s can’t hit , that’s our achillies

  • r8ter4evr

    Just remember the banner in the end one

  • Myopinion

    I one up you. Look at my archives, I predicted we get Shaub and draft carr all in one post. And was called stupid by a few people for it.

  • r8ter4evr

    As in groin tired of all the negativity in here??

  • Ocho changed his name , how bout corvette

  • r8ter4evr

    Props to you

  • rifflicks

    ahhhh because he works for that news organization too

  • rifflicks


  • aig-raiders

    sounds like Schauby is in midseason pick 6 form the last 2 days. Woohoo.

  • r8ter4evr

    Are MLB leaders in lots of offensive categories

  • Great minds

  • Myopinion

    Lol thx. I wasn’t saying they should do it, just they would. I think it was rifflicks that callede a dumazz for it.

  • r8ter4evr

    That’s all you GOT???