Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Feb 2007

Biletnikoff Retires from Raiders

Suspect there's a little bit more to this one than meets the eye. Well, the AP story's eye, at least.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 01 Feb 2007

12 comments, Last at 01 Feb 2007, 10:00pm by Jason Mulgrew


by Frankly Bored (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 5:24am

The guy is almost 64, his new boss is literally half his age and he didn't get a sniff at the head coach position for a team on which he had been an assistant for 18 years. I would have retired also. Hell, with his NFL pension he should never have to work again.

by emcee fleshy (sd/atl) (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 7:53am

They should have kept him for next season.

He would have been an upgrade at either guard position.

by eagletom (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 8:12am

Well, it makes sense that a guy his age would want to retire eventually. It would also make sense that knowing Randy Moss was coming back for another year of bitching and whining might precipitate that decision...

by MRH (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 10:59am

They should have kept him for next season.

He would have been an upgrade at either guard position.

Because it's very hard to rush the passer with a 64-year-old stuck to your back. I don't know how Biletnikof can actually set down anything he picks up. It's a good thing Stick-Um doesn't cause cancer...

by andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 11:33am

Fred Biletnikoff and Randy Moss actually have much in common.

Both were at Florida State (although Moss only briefly).

Both were instrumental in keeping the Minnesota Vikings from winning a Superbowl.

by J.D. (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 11:34am

#1: Do you think turning the talents of Randy Moss and Jerry Porter into a combined 43 catches, even with Brooks/Walter throwing the ball, is worthy of head coach consideration?

Biletnikoff seems like a cool guy and all, but you can't blame Al for not promoting anyone from that offensive coaching staff...

by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 12:12pm

Art Shell, Fred Biletnikoff, it seems as though Al Davies is clearing out the Raider legends. Now if he could just follow that process to it's logical conclusion and fire/retire himself, Oakland might rejoin the land of the living...

by Boots Day (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 1:22pm

I wonder where Willie Wells is these days. I bet he'd listen if the Raiders called.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 2:38pm

Biletnikoff might serve as a good example of the problems of using statistics to analyze players in the past. Nothing about his career stats suggests a HOFer: he led the league in receptions once, and only led his team in receiving yards three times. One 1,000 yard season, one season with 10+ TDs. Even his cumulative numbers aren't as good as some of his contemporaries (I believe). But he was widely respected, and widely understood to be an important part of the Raider team (and this well before he won Super Bowl MVP with pretty mediocre Super Bowl numbers).

by eagletom (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 3:35pm

Anyone else find Al Davis' constant reference to 'Excellence' in his press statement reminiscent of the wisdom of Bill and Ted?

Oh, that'll just be me, then.

by Frankly Bored (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 6:20pm


My point is that when your an assistant for 18 years with the same team and apparently never been considered as a head coach candidate, maybe your just not that great of a coach. Or maybe he just never had the desire to be a head coach and was OK just being an assistant.

by Jason Mulgrew (not verified) :: Thu, 02/01/2007 - 10:00pm

He sucked as the Raiders coach. Now they should be able to win.