Jackson: 'We're going to honor him'

October 8, 2011, 8:07 pm
Share This Post

HOUSTON -- A somber and emotional Hue Jackson met with the media in the aftermath of Al Davis' passing, sharing his unique perspective on the man who defined Raiders football.

Reflections on Al Davis
"He was a tremendous person, a tremendous man, I owe him so much, this league owes him so much. He's a legend, he's an icon, and we're going to honor him by playing the way the Raiders should play."

As an icon, his legacy, he should be on the Mt. Rushmore of the NFL.
"He should. He is, he is to everybody in Raider Nation, he is to our organization, he is to our staff, to our players, and we look to honor him the right way -- the right way to honor him is commitment to excellence, pride and poise, and go be what we know we can be."

When you addressed the team, what was the mood?
"It was hard, obviously we want him to live forever. And I think our players never thought anything would happen to him because he's Coach. I think they're sad, I think they're disappointed, but we're channeling it the right way. We're here to play a football game, we understand what his message would be to us -- just win, baby. And that's what we're looking forward to doing."

GUTIERREZ: Video Q&A with Jim Plunkett

Beyond what he meant to the NFL and to you personally, what about the opportunities he presented. He opened up the game, not only as a scheme thing, but to minorities and women?
"I can't begin to tell you what he's done for this league. Just himself, personally, like you said, for everybody. Coach has never seen color. That was never important to him. It was "could you do the job?" The Amy Trasks, the Hue Jacksons, the Art Shells, the Tom Flores, I mean I could go on and on to the people that he reached and touched in so many different ways to give them opportunities that everybody probably said that maybe they didn't deserve. But that's not how he ever looked at it. And that's the Raider way. And that's the way we do business and we will continue to do business that way."