Sense of sadness envelopes Raiders

October 8, 2011, 8:28 pm
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HOUSTON -- A sense of sadness wrapped in remembrance enveloped the Raiders' team hotel as Oakland's traveling party got word of owner Al Davis passing away in California on Saturday morning.The team traveled to Houston on Friday and was told as a group of Davis' passing in a team meeting Saturday morning."It was hard," Raiders rookie coach Hue Jackson said of the mood of the team after telling the players. "Obviously, we want him to live forever. And I think our players never thought anything would ever happen to him because he's Coach. But I think they're sad, I think they're disappointed, but we'll channel it the right way. We're going to play a football game and we understand what his message would be to us -- Just win, baby. And that's what we're looking forward to doing."RELATED: Official Raiders statement
The Raiders face the Texans on Sunday, but Davis' legacy was first and foremost on their minds."It isn't 'Let's win one for the Gipper,'" defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. "I feel as if he would want us to go out and do what we do, and the end result would be winning. There will definitely be a moment of silence and definitely a lot of passion, for sure. We have to go out and emulate what he would want us to be."Seymour joined the Raiders in a trade with New England the week before the 2009 season began."In my short time of knowing him," Seymour added, "his passion, his will to win, will forever be with me."In my mind he's a legend. He'll always be remembered, not only in my heart or in the Raiders' heart, as a foundation in the NFL.Seymour said he last spoke with Davis "a few days after (the) Buffalo" game."He transcends black, white, it didn't matter," Seymour said. "To him it was about winning. It was about people. Even when you go to politics. It didn't matter, Republican, Democrat, he was about the end result. We all can learn a lot from him."Punter Shane Lechler was drafted by Davis and the Raiders in 2000 and Lechler said in a conversation with his wife earlier in the day he took stock of his own NFL life.RATTO: Raiders' future -- the pressing questions
"He's meant a lot, he's provided for me and my family a lot of great things," Lechler said. "You can look around at everything we have and we kind of owe him a lot. He gave me a shot here and it's worked out for me and I appreciate that from him and his family."Defensive end Jarvis Moss received a somewhat congratulatory phone call from Davis this week after his recent play."It was just a great experience," Moss said. "For him to be gone right now, it's tough for the whole Raider family. My heart just goes out to Coach Davis' immediate family and may he rest in peace."Running back and special teams standout Rock Cartwright echoed similar sentiments."Awesome man, awesome person, awesome individual," Cartwright said of Davis. "Someone whose door was always open. We're definitely going to miss him, but he's in a better place now."Quarterback Jason Campbell was compared to two-time Super Bowl champion Jim Plunkett by Davis when he first arrived in Oakland after a 2010 Draft Weekend trade with Washington."He's the one guy who would always call you to check on you to see how you're doing, how your family's doing," Campbell said. "We're definitely going to miss him. He's done a lot for the NFL."We're going to try to rally as a team."Lechler agreed."Not to say that we would play any different for him," Lechler said, "but this one's going to mean a little bit more to the organization, to the team, and (we're) looking forward to the challenge."Said Jackson: "I just know Coach would want us to go out and play like Raiders. What a tremendous person, a tremendous man, and I owe him so much. This league owes him so much. He's a legend, he's an icon and we will honor him by playing the way the Raiders should play."