Hall of Fame Coach John Madden and QB Daryle Lamonica.
Hall of Fame Coach John Madden has seen the NFL change drastically since he was roaming the sidelines for the Silver and Black over 30 years ago.
Still one of the most respected voices in football, Madden recently spoke with Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Timesand gave his opinion on the state of the game, emerging trends, and the Oakland Raiders.
On the Raiders and Head Coach Jack Del Rio:
Madden:"Jack Del Rio is the right coach for them. He understands you can help a quarterback as much by building a defense as you can by getting him a receiver. He's going to make them legitimate. They lived on the myth that the Raiders are tough and all that for a long time, when they weren't. Jack sees through that myth."
A look at some photos of Coach John Madden through the years.
On emerging trends in the NFL:
Madden:"They took the tight end/blocker damned near out of the game, and with him they took the fullback out. So you don't have that power anymore. Now they move the tight end all over, and those hybrids don't necessarily block. Like when I had Dave Casper. When I needed a blocker, Casper was an offensive lineman. When I needed somebody to catch a pass, he was a receiver. They don't make many guys like that anymore."
On which positions are hindered by restrictions on full-contact practice:
Madden:"The No. 1 position it affects is the quarterback. In high school football, you can make up a little of that with these seven-on-seven leagues. And then the next one is offensive linemen. There's no way to develop them. You can't develop them as run blockers, or as anything but two-point-stance guys."
On Peyton Manning playing at age 39:
Madden:"There was one time during the season there was talk that Peyton Manning was the MVP. He's going to work his tail off to be good, and he has so much pride. I would never bet against Peyton Manning. You know about the age and the neck and the strength. But I had George Blanda, and as he got older, he got smarter, and he just got rid of the ball quicker. I watch Peyton and I see George Blanda."