Raiders

Raiders legend Davidson dies

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Raiders legend Davidson dies

Legendary Raider Ben Davidson, whose handlebar mustache and gravelly voice were as distinctive as his pass-rushing skills, has died of prostate cancer. He was 72.

Former Raiders coach John Madden broke the news on KCBS radio Tuesday.

Davidson was considered a giant of the era at 6-foot-8, 275 pounds. He starred as a defensive end in Oakland (1964-1971) after playing his first three professional seasons with Green Bay (1961) and Washington (1962-63).

He was an American Football League All-Star in 1966, 1967, and 1968.

Davidson was a fierce player who intimidated opponents as a member of a defense known as "11 Angry Men." His 1970 spear of Chiefs QB Len Dawson sparked a classic brawl that cost Kansas City a win and ultimately the AFC West title.

That November day, Kansas City led the Raiders 1714 and a long run by Dawson apparently sealed victory in the final minute.

But Dawson was speared by Davidson after the whistle, prompting Chiefs receiver Otis Taylor to attack Davidson. The benches cleared and offsetting penalties were called, which under the rules at the time, nullified Dawson's first down.

The Chiefs were forced to punt and the Raiders tied the game on a George Blanda field goal with 8 seconds remaining.

The sequence not only cost the Chiefs a win, but Oakland went on to claim the AFC West at 842, while Kansas City finished 752 and out of the playoffs.

Davidson was born in Los Angeles but did not play football at Woodrow Wilson High School. Because of his height, his primary sport was basketball.

But while attending East Los Angeles Community College, he was spotted by the football coach and asked to join the team. He was subsequently recruited to play at the University of Washington where played on two Rose Bowl-winning teams

Following his football career, Davidson appeared in a number of films and TV shows as well as starring in a popular TV commercial for Lite Beer.

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders cornerback Sean Smith has been charged with assault, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.

The charge is for assault of his sister's boyfriend in Smith's hometown of Pasadena. Smith allegedly beat and stomped the boyfriend's head on the morning of July 4, 2017 in Old Town Pasadena, the district attorney said.

Smith faces formal felony counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury to the victim.

The 30-year old plans to fight the charges levied against him. 

"Sean maintains his innocence at this time," Smith's attorney, Daniel Rosenberg told NBC Sports Califorinia on Thursday evening. "We are going to be entering a plea of not guilty and fighting these charges."

A warrant was filed on Aug. 16. Smith's arriagnment is scheduled for Sept. 29. 

Smith was not present at Thursday's Raiders practice, the last session of training camp. He surrendered to Los Angeles County authorities, posted an $80,000 bond and has been released from custody.

If convicted as charged, Smith could face a maximum sentence of seven years in California prison. 

A Raiders spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The case is still under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department. 

This is another blow in a rough summer for Smith. He has struggled on the practice field during training camp and faces an off-field legal issue. Smith is guaranteed $9.5 million for the 2017 season. 

More to come...

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

NAPA – Marshawn Lynch spoke with the media Thursday for the second time as a Raider. He was quick-witted, disarming and, as always, not suitable for work.

It was five minutes of peak Marshawn, where he brought light to his charitable endeavors, called himself the “daddy” of his position group and cleverly sidestepped all things nation anthem.

He was asked four questions on other topics before elephant in the room was mentioned. It didn’t stick around long.

“I think the elephant left the room because a little mouse ran in here,” Lynch deadpanned. “Didn’t they say elephants are scared of mice or something? That [expletive] left the room, cousin.”

[RATTO: Lynch reminds media how much control he exerts over any interaction]

Two more related questions came down the pike. The first was about Del Rio letting players be themselves. He answered a different question instead.

“Yeah, because on ‘doctor-24,’ it’s a designed way that you’re supposed to run it but I have all freedom to go any way that I choose to run it,” Lynch said. “I would say, yes.”

The final anthem-esque query was deflected in a similar fashion.

“When we run ‘74’ or something like that, where I have to scan and read on both sides, that is pretty difficult. For the most part, I’m a veteran so I can make it work.”

Two things were crystal clear after speaking with Lynch.

He didn’t miss football one bit during his year in retirement. Lynch said this spring he decided to return after the Raiders were approved to relocate away from his native Oakland. He wants to represent his hometown well and give them something to cheer before the team leaves for Las Vegas.

That’s why he’s fired up even for Saturday’s exhibition against the Rams – he’s expected to make a cameo in that game – his first in Oakland wearing silver and black.

“It’s truly a blessing and just to have the opportunity to go and do that is a good [expletive] feeling,” Lynch said. “It’s a good [expletive] feeling.”

Lynch has always been active in the community, and hopes him playing here will bring more visibility to what’s being done to help kids in Oakland.

“I plan on continuing to do what I do in the community,” Lynch said. “It’ll probably be that now that I’m here, more people that are in the community might actually come out and support what it is that we’ve got going on.”