89

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

Share
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.”

 

 

Share

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Sans Testicles , otherwise known as Ben Her

  • Auda

    Kenny Stabler was a great QB. Some say his time at the top wasn’t long enough? Hell, he had to wait until 1973 to start. His selection was long over due. His statistics were better than Griese, Namath and others. His last few years with Houston and New Orleans hurts his career statistical percentages, but he played to win not about the numbers. He was absolutely the best.

  • RaiderCODE

    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.”

    when drinking and driving was legal…

  • RaiderCODE

    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.”

    if you watch his highlights his arm looked awesome- threw very accurate, tight spirals on a rope all over the field… I liked how smooth he was, especially in the clutch.. One of the all-time greats…

  • Guest123

    “It was just kids having fun and life being good,” says Stabler. “We couldn’t wait to get to training camp, to get away from wives and girlfriends, play some football, have a few drinks at night. An do that for eight weeks.”

    http://deadspin.com/5646039/the-1970s-oakland-raiders-boozin-and-coozin-through-el-rancho

  • BroJackson34

    Yo!

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Yo Bro! Lakers suck..

  • Guest123

    eyes in the back of his type pocket awareness. he knew just how much space he could shuffle in the pocket and make the throw knowing he’d get laid out. and it was amazing how he could deliver the ball on target to the correct shoulder and angle for the ball to be highly catchable. his deep bombs to Cliff B were like precision arc missiles catching the air about a yard out in front of that 21 jersey. it was a thing of beauty.

  • Guest123

    aye they do

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Those are some great comments from some great players saying complimentary things about a truly great quarterback.

    Thanks Jerry.

  • R8erEduc8er

    “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.”

    +++

    BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY EVERYWHERE!!!

  • RaidingTexas

    All these comments are nice and all, but I want to know what Kenny Stapler has to say.

    FREE KENNY STAPLER

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    you got caught trolling with your pants down? HAHA!

  • R8RCatDave

    My first banning years ago was for a imitation beech rant

  • inonewordraider

    That was u? Pretty good bro, u had us fooled, guys big banana baby al and gdog were right that no way was that snbg

  • Fugazi

    FREE KENNY STAPLER

  • Thec

    He was just a leader. You could see it in him.”

    GOAT…..

  • Guest123

    Vic Tafur ‏@VicTafur 1m1 minute ago

    Exhale. Karl Joseph back on practice field. #Raiders

  • inonewordraider

    Nice!

  • inonewordraider
  • 24

    What was I saying all day yesterday?

    Jerry McDonald ‏@Jerrymcd 4m4 minutes ago
    Karl Joseph back on field for Raiders. Kept him out yesterday.

  • Fugazi

    So I guess the rumors of a broken leg and multiple injuries speculated on the blog yesterday was incorrect

  • RaidingTexas

    Panic level reduced to 2

  • Thec

    “I have a problem with the way the Hall of Fame is run,

    ++++++++++++++++++

    The Hall of Shame, or the Hall of Sham…..Take your pick.

  • RaidingTexas

    Fast healer.

  • Guest123

    the hall of shameless

  • Guest123

    it was just a nick

  • inonewordraider

    Ding ding ding, i was wrong, thats very non jdr like. What i love about jdr? He adapts, same way we went 3-4 because the personell fit it, he re hired a guy he previously fired in musk and was cool signing nelson who he butt heads with, loving me some jdr

  • Thec

    “The tragedy of the thing is he should have been here,

    ++++++++++++++++

    IN frakin DEED

  • R8erEduc8er

    MTV Raps

  • Fugazi

    Its a miracle

  • BroJackson34

    lmao my pants were up!

  • Thec

    No 12 was/is a football god…..

  • 24

    Winning comes before ego

  • Guest123

    Vic Tafur ‏@VicTafur 3m3 minutes ago

    Walford practicing as well

  • MsoRaider343

    Somewhere in the universe Kenney is having a beer shot of whiskey and smoking a cigarette.

  • Thec

    MUP is going to play a big part in the return to glory….Our rightful place.

  • R8erEduc8er

    That quote alone shows why every one of the guys loved him.

  • inonewordraider
  • RaidingTexas

    And thinking how grateful he is to be away from that psycho ex-wife.

  • Thec

    If you did not see no 12 play in realtime, you have no idea what the experience was like.

    With No 12 on the field, I allways felt we could win any game.

  • R8erEduc8er

    With a little more practice, you might have been a fine writer/author.

  • R8RCatDave

    ESPN bozo says broncazz quarterback problem will sort itself out

  • MsoRaider343

    Right, lol

  • inonewordraider
  • 24

    Sure I did…loved Gannon 😉

  • Guest123

    it went beyond that. I expected it, even when we would be down in the 4th quarter. no fear, no panic, no fretting.

  • R8erEduc8er

    How old was he when he died?

  • Raider 8

    back in the day the houston oilers were like raiders south. always liked em cuz they were always trying to knock off pittsburgh. kenny even led that team to a really good season in 1980.

    it’s true that those years in houston and new orleans following bum phillips really messed up his stats. he threw alot of picks…but he was a winner.

    so many of the greatest nfl games back in the nfl films glory days feature stabler.

    worst stabler season was saints going 7-9 in 1982…but he led them to 8-8 record the next year..back when the saints NEVER won.

  • inonewordraider