John Madden talks about Al Davis

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John Madden talks about Al Davis

On Monday morning, former Raiders coach John Madden commentedfor the first time about the death of his best friend, Raiders owner AlDavis, who passed away in Oakland on Saturday morning at the age of 82. Madden made the comments on his KCBS radio program. You can listento the full interview here.Here are a few of Maddens comments about the legendary Raidersowner:Early times:
I met Al Davisin the early 60s, came to work for the Raiders in 1967, and, directly orindirectly, I was with him the whole time
On hearing about Davispassing:
I was in shock when I heard it, and Im still a little thatway, I justAl Davis was the type of guy that you just didnt believe is gonnadieAnd, its AL DAVIS. When you hear it, it just doesnt seep inI mean, eventhough theres part of you that says that you know that hes gonna die, but theres another part that says Al Daviswill never die. And then, you know you think hes sick and not doing well, buthes a fighter and hell fight this and hes gonna win. And then, you hear thecall and you say well, you shouldnt be shocked, butIt was very, very shockingand I still am.On the differencebetween his public image and the person that so many Raiders, and former Raiders,knew:If you really knew him and were a part of him, he was themost loyal friend or person you could have...And like I said, I introduced Al into the into the Hall of Fame, and Al isnt for everyone. Everyones not going to Al was this or that, youknow that hes perfect, you know and all these things. But, if hes your friend,if you played for him, if you coached for him, if you were part of the NFL youknow, he was that guy. And there was no one that could be better at being thatguy than Al Davis.On the legendarily combativeAl Davis:
He stood up for what he believed. And he stood up for whathe thought was right, not only for him, but for other people. Now, that doesntmean that he was always right. But, he did enjoy that, I mean he enjoyed you know,standing up. No one was going to, he wasnt going to be a pushover for anyone.And, he did like a battle, and he did enjoy arguing. When I was coaching andall the way up until last week we had a phone call, and had an argument, but itwas a friendly one, I mean, he would always throw something out youd thinkwould be ridiculous and then hed want to hear what you said about it. So, a lotof that was manufactured. He wanted to know how strong you were on something sohe would say something contrarian, to have you defend it. And sometimes, he wasjust a contrarian, too.

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”