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More from former Raiders teammates on Hall of Fame quarterback Ken Stabler

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Receiver Fred Biletnikoff celebrates with Ken Stabler at the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/File)

Receiver Fred Biletnikoff celebrates with Ken Stabler at the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/File)

NAPA _ Had lots of stuff left over from story earlier this week on former Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, who will be inducted Saturday into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The story went on-line Tuesday and was in print in Thursday’s editions of the Bay Area News Group papers . .

 

Raymond Chester

“When I got to the Raiders, Kenny as third string, behind Daryle Lamonica and George Blanda, but everybody knew the talent he had. The arm, the vision, it was just going to be a matter of time.”

George Atkinson

“We were drafted in the same year, 1968, and the Raiders brought in all their draft picks, and that was the first time I met him. Kenny and I became very good friends. He was from the south (Alabama), I was from the south (Georgia) and we hit it off. We both had an accent and everybody kind of razzed us about it.

 

“We used to drive cross country ever year, we’d follow each other, and we’d have a lot of fun. A lot of fun.”

Cliff Branch

“I met Kenny in 1970, my rookie year. He wasn’t the starter, but he was fighting for the job. I was competing with Mike Siani, our No. 1 draft pick. We both ended up starting a game in Pittsburgh, and things weren’t going well for Kenny. John Madden decided make a change at halftime and brought in Blanda.

“On the first play, Blanda threw me a post and it dropped through my arms. So John puts Lamonica back in. Lamonica throws two touchdown passes to Siani and I don’t play for a year and a half. Kenny lost his job on the same day I lost mine.”

Fred Biletnikoff

“I met him when he came out of school, a left-handed kid with a great reputation as a ballplayer. He was just impressive. You could see right from the start he had that good maturity level to him, and knowledge. He was just a leader. You could see it in him.”

Willie Brown

“A young guy, not too cocky, but you could see he had a lot of confidence in himself. He relied on his ability and for his teammates to do the rest. First couple of practices, you could see he was ready. He had to wait his turn, but he was ready on Day 1. If he’d have been named the starter right away, I’d have been all right with that.”

Ted Hendricks

“He was an outstanding athlete and a charming man, a Southern gentleman. I mean, you watch his highlight films, that’s all you should need to know about whether he should be in to the Hall of Fame.

Rod Martin

“When I got there in 1977, the Raiders had just won the Super Bowl. But he never gave rookies a hard time. He loved his team, his players, his teammates. It was a family and he brought us in with open arms.”

Ted Kwalick

“I told Kenny in 1977 that I was one of the luckiest guys in the world. I got to play in San Francisco with John Brodie and then I got to play with Kenny Stabler. He was just a down to earth guy. He didn’t have an air about him. He wasn’t aloof. He could talk with anybody. Just one of the guys.

Raymond Chester

“When I went to Baltimore (traded for Bubba Smith), Kenny was starting his ascent as a player. I had been talking to our defense and the Raiders approach to the passing game. They’d run 14 yard curls and come back to 10 and get the ball to you. I’d been prepping our guys all week. Then Kenny comes out and completes, I think it was 17 consecutive passes. The Colts lost.”

George Atkinson

“He called all his own plays _ people don’t understand that now _ and he picked people apart, set defenses up. He was in charge. From the first time he was on the field, the guy was a leader.”

Cliff Branch

“Nothing really fazed Kenny. Even if he didn’t get great pass protection and would get sacked, he’d get up, shake it off and rock and roll. I never saw him rattled. Never. He’d be on the sideline talking to John Madden and say, `Look these crazy fans, man. They’re getting their money’s worth today,’ and we’d be going to overtime.”

Fred Biletnikoff

“Kenny wanted to play but wasn’t getting a chance. Al (Davis) sent him to Spokane to play and that was a disaster. I think he came back halfway through the year because he was beat up. I think it really helped Kenny that George Blanda was there. Kenny learned a lot from George. Kenny just had to wait his time, and then when he jumped in, he picked up the beat right away.”

Ted Hendricks

“We had a game against New Orleans when we were down 35-7 at halftime and came back and won the game 42-35. Greatest comeback of all-time. I remember one year, I swear I think he completed every pass he threw to Dave Casper for an entire season except for one. He called his own plays, we’d score a touchdown, he’d come to the sideline and John Madden would tell him, `That’s a good one.’ ”

Raymond Chester

“Just a born leader. He would get everybody involved. In between plays, he would talk to the receivers and backs, get our feedback about what might work. But when we got in the huddle, it was his huddle. He’d say, `Everybody alert . . . break’ . . . Then we’d break and all the wide receivers, the two backs and the tight end _ everybody left thinking we were going to get the ball. So you never stopped working with Kenny.”

Cliff Branch

“He was a chess player. He could read defenses.”

Fred Biletnikoff

“A lot of players were one person on the field, and another person off the field. That’s the way it was with Kenny. He had one personality on the field, then off the field he was this engaging personality. Made everyone feel comfortable. And everybody loved both personalities.”

Ted Kwalick

“It was a different generation. We all partied, we all drank, people smoked cigarettes. They don’t go out and do the things we used to do as a team. It’s a business. John Madden had two rules _ do your job and don’t be late. We weren’t late for curfew at 11 o’clock, but after curfew, he didn’t say we couldn’t go out. He never made that a rule.  So you’d go out, and if you met up with the coaches, you’d have a beer, talk football, girls, life, whatever.”

Cliff Branch

“He could comprehend a game plan and then still have a great social life. He’d say, `How many hours of sleep do I need to play a three-hour football game?’ And he’d still be sharp.”

Fred Biletnikoff

“I would have loved to seen him in an offense like they have now, with four wide receivers. He’d be picking people apart. He could make plays. He could throw the ball, maybe not the strongest arm but he could get it out there.”

Willie Brown

“His arm was great. I don’t know why people say it wasn’t. He could throw any pass you’d want _ short, deep, intermediate. He got plenty of deep passes off to Cliff Branch.”

Raymond Chester

“I have a problem with the way the Hall of Fame is run, with some of the younger guys that get in while players like Kenny have to wait their turn. I mean, if you’re going with statistics it’s tough because of the way the game has changed. But to make a guy wait all that time _ and then die before he gets in _ that’s not right.”

George Atkinson

“The tragedy of the thing is he should have been here, enjoying it. It should have been done a long time ago. There’s no excuse for that.”

Fred Biletnikoff

“I never got a good explanation as to why it didn’t happen earlier. His play was as good or better than most quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame. And I believe a lot of guys that are in the Hall of Fame probably wonder why he wasn’t there earlier. Without any reservation.”

 

 

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Guest123

    those teams really didn’t have a lot of talent around him. should have been bottom feeders and would have been w/o Kenny.

  • BroJackson34

    It’s not easy! In my opinion, beach was hilarious. He’d have me dying on here some days. lol

  • 24

    That’s funny but I could tell…no rap skills 😉

  • DutchRaid

    Wonder how long before Autry is healthy?

  • MsoRaider343

    To young

  • inonewordraider
  • RaidingTexas

    The past ain’t what it used to be.

  • Raider 8

    i saw a show on nfl films about the 76 raiders and all the pittsburgh players said that that steeler team was the best out of ALL of them in the 70’s.

    raiders beat them TWICE that yr. week one 31-28 and the afc title game.

  • RaidingTexas

    69

  • Guest123

    Raiders-Steelers was a war every time.

  • Thec

    EXACTLY!!!! UPVOTE +1000,000

  • Raider 8

    yep.

  • Thec

    NOPE….1976 RAIDERS were the greatest team in NFL HISTORY….

  • DutchRaid

    That was the year if they purposely lost their last game, the Steelers would not have made the playoffs, but the Raiders won and then beat the Steelers…I think.

  • BroJackson34

    I grew up on it!

  • Thec

    Epic battles…

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Autry is a dang good player

  • Guest123

    they didn’t like each other much. and it extended out into the crowd and thru the airport.

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Yup, Yup

  • inonewordraider
  • Thec

    I still hate the stellars….

  • RaidingTexas

    Immaculate competition

  • Raider 8

    wow. couldn’t ask for better news on the injury front. karl joseph back…autry…walford….i hear about tons of injuries throughout the league.

  • Guest123

    my hate has softened some. they are no longer the smash mouth team they used to be.

  • willy91137

    I will never forget that game in New Orleans a linebacker h it Kenny’s so hard
    he could hardly stand up Madden sent them back out quarterback in Kenny waved him off and went ahead and one the game

  • Thec

    I would agree, I hate the disc more…

  • RaidingTexas

    I don’t even have to be old enough to have seen those games to hate them. Some of the recent games have been enough.

  • Thec

    hahahahahahaha…Yup

  • idahoraiderfan33

    New Post!!

  • Raider 8

    i wanna say it was a monday night game vs the bengals.

  • Thec

    70’s AFC west games between us and them always determined the super bowl winner….

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    THE MAN HAD A LOT OF MILEAGE ..

  • Raider 8

    what i meant to say is the steeler players said it was the best steeler team of that era.

  • R8erEduc8er

    Still recovering from Carr’s bullet pass

  • R8erEduc8er

    He’s back

  • Born With a Patch

    This day and age, Kenny would have been proclaimed a bust by the fans before he ever even started a game. Same with Branch

  • 24

    There aren’t many of those left today. The Ravens Defense in 2000 and The Broncos Defense this year are probably the closest thing to dominance. The Bengals Defense was nasty as well but overall team nasty? No…

  • 24

    The last smash mouth complete teams might be the Cowboys/Niners/Bills of the 90’s. The the late Broncos team of the 90’s was pretty good all around. The Raiders had the #1 offense in their Superbowl year but their defense wasn’t that great and the Buccaneers defense was great but their offense was ok.

  • Thec

    MY bad Bro, I was only disagreeing with the part where the stellars said they were better.