Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

12 Oct 2011

Al Davis' Strategic Legacy

Grantland's Chris Brown takes a look at the strategic foundation of Al Davis' offenses. Yes, there was more to it than chucking the ball deep.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 12 Oct 2011

20 comments, Last at 17 Oct 2011, 9:45am by RichC


by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 2:37pm

Apparently, a lot of Sierra Nevada was involved as well.

by Rivers McCown :: Thu, 10/13/2011 - 1:57am

I didn't say anything about Rex Grossman's offense.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 10/15/2011 - 12:29pm

You know that's RaiderJoe's favored booze, right?

by Sergio :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 3:26pm

Nice read, though nothing really new.

However it's important than newer fans (or simply fans that don't study the game's history) get to read this, because as the author says, many people forget just how important Davis was to the enhancement of pro football.

-- Go Phins!

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 8:59pm

It also doesn't mention his personnel decisions like first Hispanic head coach (Fuentes) and first black head coach (Shell) - long before the Rooney rule existed.

by ChargerJeff :: Fri, 10/14/2011 - 5:39pm

I assume, of course, that you meant Flores (or perhaps Fontes?).

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 10:45pm

Goijg to read this later. Maybe over weekend. Will come back thren and add more commentdif needed. In simple terms Al Davis beliebed in power running, speed and vertical passing. Power and speed = key

by justanothersteve :: Thu, 10/13/2011 - 12:18am

Welcome back, RJ.

by Sergio :: Thu, 10/13/2011 - 10:11am


-- Go Phins!

by dbostedo :: Thu, 10/13/2011 - 7:29pm


by Mr. Guest to you (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2011 - 7:28am


by Boots Day :: Thu, 10/13/2011 - 2:24pm

One thing that struck me, thinking about Al Davis' legacy, was how much he loved his veteran quarterbacks. Daryle Lamonica had sat on Buffalo's bench for several years before Davis got him, and of course his backup was the 73-year-old George Blanda. Jim Plunkett, Jay Schroeder, Jeff Hostetler, Rich Gannon - all these guys played for years on other teams before joining the Raiders. The one homegrown QB Davis had, Kenny Stabler, sat on the bench forever and didn't become the starter till he was 28.

I guess Jamarcus Russell should have been the first sign that Davis was no longer in firm control of the team. Or that he had completely lost his marbles.

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 10/13/2011 - 7:45pm

Davis didn't have loose marrbles when team drafg Russell. Russell gerat skills. Like black j. Elway. Problem was guy got fat and stupif when get money. No way Davis could prdfict rusell qould steal money amd be cpmplefe bum

by dmstorm22 :: Fri, 10/14/2011 - 1:15pm

Totally agree. THis wasn't Davis picking DHB (who ironically has given the Raiders much more value, and looks pretty good in year 3), when everyone thought he wasn't top-10 worthy. Russell was a top-10 consensus pick. THat wasn't outlandish at the time.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 10/15/2011 - 12:33pm

JaMarcus Russell is still a more likely outcome than Cam Newton.

by Boots Day :: Fri, 10/14/2011 - 1:16pm

Isn't that what all the pre-draft interviewing is for? To try to figure out which players are going to end up as a cpmlefe bum?

by Boots Day :: Fri, 10/14/2011 - 1:21pm

Anyway, my point wasn't the Davis should have known Russell would steal money; it was that this was very different from the way he normally preferred to develop quarterbacks (although I had forgotten about Todd Marinovich).

by ChicagoRaider :: Sat, 10/15/2011 - 9:29am

Context, please! It was perfectly obvious that the only other player for the Raiders to consider was Calvin Johnson. To me, quarterbacks are a complete crapshoot, though wide receivers are not much better. The NFL is littered with top 10 QBs that did not work out. I was far more convinced about Calvin Johnson than Jamarcus Russell. Al was not. That is why I was disappointed that he departed from finding veteran QBs that could win.

by tuluse :: Sun, 10/16/2011 - 4:36am

Or that one guy named something like Joe Thomas. I think he was a consensus top player.

by RichC (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2011 - 9:45am

The NFL isn't littered with top 10 WRs that didn't work out?