Jim Plunkett reflects on Al Davis


Jim Plunkett reflects on Al Davis

Is there a way to put into words not only what Al Davis meant to the NFL but to you on a personal level?
"We've been friends for a long time, he's meant a lot to me and my family -- he's been very good to us in a lot of different ways -- both on the field for me and off the field for me and my family. I can't say enough about that. People don't look at that side of Mr. Davis. He's the guy who gave me another opportunity when I was almost out of football -- well, actually I was, when I signed with the Raiders, put me in a position to help him win two Super Bowls, have some exciting, winning seasons Mr. Davis and his family has meant a lot to us. "

From the personal perspective, was there ever anybody like him, in terms of pro football and as a person in general?

"Not that I've met personally. I sit with him each and every week, either at home, at the Coliseum or on the road. And I learn something every time I sit down with him, either about personnel or about tactics, about philosophy, about who can do what out there on the football field. When either team started to line up on the line of scrimmage, before the offense was set he could almost tell you the next play because he studies it so vigorously and he knows what was coming from each and every formation. It was a lot of fun. The past few games, you missed him sorely, not being in the box, being able to talk to him and gleaning that kind of information from the man who literally knew it all. People disagreed with him on many occasions but that's to be expected. He liked to do things his way and he usually did."
From a player's perspective, in terms of the opportunities he gave to women and minorities in the NFL, is that even measurable, the effect he had on the social side of the game?
"That's another impact that he had on the National Football League, bringing in minorities and women into a men-only football environment. That's not to be overlooked by any means. Even me, when I came back to the Raiders, he encouraged me, he said I liked you ever since you were at Stanford, and we're glad you're with us. If you have any questions, day or night, don't hesitate to give me a call. And believe me, he would call me late at night at home to see what I was thinking about for a particular game. He was 24-7 football and nobody, I don't think, can appreciate that as much if you didn't know a person like that. He loved football."

You're always going to be linked with him, you won two Super Bowls with him.
"He gave me the opportunity and once you get the opportunity you have to take advantage with it. Fortunately, I did. I'm just sorry in '82 and '85 when I got hurt not (to be able) to possibly try for another Super Bowl. I didn't play as well as I think I could have. In certain situations I felt I let him down a little bit. But to help him win two more Super Bowls, it was good for him and the Raiders and it was certainly good for me."

Your lasting impression of him?
"He's a man who will be sorely missed, not only by his former players and coaches, but by the entire league and by football fans as well."

Week after signing with Vikings, ex-Raiders RB Murray undergoes surgery

Week after signing with Vikings, ex-Raiders RB Murray undergoes surgery

A week after signing a deal with the Vikings, former Raiders running back Latavius Murray has undergone ankle surgery.

The Vikings made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

Minnesota issued the following statement regarding the surgery:

"Vikings RB Latavius Murray had successful ankle surgery today. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bob Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina. We were aware of the required surgery prior to signing Latavius on March 16. Latavius is expected to fully recover and be available for training camp."

Murray's deal with the Vikings is reported worth $15 million over three years, but can reportedly be voied after the first year.

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Murray became the Raiders' primary running back midway through the 2015 season. In his three years in Oakland, Murray carried the ball 543 times for 2,278 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015.

Ex-Raiders tight end signs deal with Jaguars

Ex-Raiders tight end signs deal with Jaguars

After four seasons with the Raiders, tight end Mychal Rivera is on the move.

The 2013 sixth-round pick has signed a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team announced.

News of an agreement between the two sides was first reported by ESPN. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.

After playing a prominent role in Oakland his first two seasons, Rivera saw his numbers decrease in 2015 and 2016. This past season, he caught just 18 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown.

In his time with the Raiders, the Tennessee alum caught a total of 146 passes for 1,413 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Raiders signed free agent tight end Jared Cook last week to go with incumbents Clive Walford and Lee Smith.

Shortly after the deal was announced, Rivera took to Instagram to thank Raiders fans.

"Thank You #RaiderNation. It was an honor to wear silver and black for the first 4 years of my NFL career. A kid from LA was drafted to the Bay...and God made a way! Wins, Losses, Blood, Sweat, & Tears made me the player I am today. Better than ever. The values that embody what it is to be a Raider will stick with me for life," Rivera wrote.