ALAMEDA, Calif.– Former Raiders QBKen Stabler** was elected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2016, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Saturday at the Fifth Annual NFL Honors from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Calif.
Stabler, who was nominated by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Senior Committee, joins Owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Coach Tony Dungy, QB Brett Favre, LB/DE Kevin Greene, WR Marvin Harrison, T Orlando Pace and G Dick Stanfel to make up the Class of 2016 that will be officially enshrined into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 6, 2016. With Stabler entering the Hall of Fame, an illustrious 25 Raiders have now been selected for induction into the Hall of Fame.
A look back at quarterback Ken Stabler's career.
Ken Stabler played 15 NFL seasons from 1970-84 for the Oakland Raiders, Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints. Over his career, Stabler played in 184 games with 146 starts, throwing for 27,938 yards on 2,270-of-3,793 passing (59.8 percent), 194 touchdown passes and 222 interceptions. In 13 career postseason games (12 starts), he threw for 2,641 yards on 203-of-351 passing (57.8 percent), 19 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions, including a 7-5 record as a starter.
Originally selected by the Raiders in the second round (52nd overall) of the 1968 NFL/AFL Draft, Stabler played 10 seasons for the team from 1970-79. Stabler is the franchise's all-time leader in passing yards (19,078), attempts (2,481) and touchdown passes (150). A member of the 1970s All-Decade Team, Stabler was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player and First-Team All-Pro in 1974. A four-time Pro Bowler (1973, 1974, 1976, 1977), Stabler also led the Raiders to five straight AFC Championship Games from 1973-77, culminating with a 32-14 victory in Super Bowl XI over the Minnesota Vikings.
Stabler passed away on July 8, 2015.
Reaction to Stabler's Election
Former Raiders S George Atkinson
On Stabler being elected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall Fame: "He should have been inducted a long time ago. It is too bad that it took long enough for him to have passed away to be inducted, especially when you consider that the same stats existed when he was alive. So yes, I think it's a tragedy that he was not inducted when he was still alive, but at the end of the day, being accepted into the Hall of Fame is being accepted into the Hall of Fame. We viewed Kenny as a Hall of Famer in our eyes long before he got inducted, and I think that players who played against him feel the same way."
On what made Stabler unique: "His ability to recognize defenses and know when to pull the trigger. He had an uncanny way of seeing the field and being able to know what was going on in a play before it happened. Kenny had a great recognition for things on the field, whether it was practice or the game. I remember in practice our defense used to give him a bunch of looks trying to confuse him but he could always recognize it. Going to practice every day and practicing against a guy who took his job very seriously and was always trying to improve definitely kept us on the defense sharp. Any day going against Kenny was serious business because he was a perfectionist trying to complete every pass, which in turn made us a much better secondary."
Former Raiders WR Morris Bradshaw
On Stabler being elected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall Fame: "I think Kenny's induction is fantastic. He had many attributes, but one thing that made him unique was his cool and collected demeanor during critical times. He helped everyone to calm down."
Former Raiders WR Cliff Branch
On Stabler being elected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall Fame: "I think it is long overdue. He was a finalist in the early 2000's twice and should have gone in then, but it is never too late. It is nice to know that he now completes the 70's quarterbacks who won a Super Bowl to make the Hall of Fame."
On what made Stabler unique: "His play calling, he was a chess player. He used to call his own plays because back in those days we didn't have an offensive coordinator, so I think that is what made him so successful. When Kenny got drafted by the Oakland Raiders, he was also drafted in Major League Baseball as a pitcher. He could locate his throws so well that it didn't matter if you were covered, just like a pitcher painting the corners on the plate."
Former Raiders CB and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Brown
On Stabler being elected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall Fame: "Everybody knows that "Snake" should have been in 15 years ago, but it does not matter how long it takes once you get in the Hall of Fame. He was one of the biggest leaders on the football team, always looking out for everyone, and always ready to play."
On what made Stabler unique: "His toughness, his will to win and his confidence in himself and his teammates. That set him apart from everyone else because we could just look at him and know he is getting the ball in the end zone. He used to say, 'Hey can you guys stop them? Doesn't matter where, we will score from anywhere. Just give us the ball.'"
Former Raiders TE Raymond Chester
On Stabler being elected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall Fame: "It is certainly well-deserved, and I am pleased that they have finally given him his just due. I regret that he was not alive to be able to experience this honor personally. Nevertheless, I am happy for his family, his legacy and his teammates because no one gets to the Hall of Fame on their own. I am sure Kenny has that big smile on up there beaming."
On what made Stabler unique: "His calm and cool demeanor. He was unflappable and reminded me of my dad's personality. He never got too high when things went good on the field, and he never got too low when bad things happened on the field. He was just that kind of person and when you were in a game with him that calm permutated throughout the entire team. They always talk about how great quarterbacks can have the game slow down for them and Kenny really demonstrated that with his cool and calm demeanor in tough situations. You felt like you were never out of a game and felt like you never lost a game with Kenny – you just ran out of time."
Former Raiders Head Coach Tom Flores
On Stabler being elected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall Fame: "I think it will be a wonderful time. It's a sad state of affairs that he isn't already in. Can you imagine the party he would have thrown if he was still around with us?"
Former San Francisco 49ers and Raiders DE Cedrick Hardman
On Stabler being elected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall Fame: "He is very deserving of the honor. A lot of things seem to take time to get done and this was something that obviously needed to get done."
On what it was like playing against Stabler as a member of the San Francisco 49ers: "I knew that you had to get to him and harass him or else he was going to tear your butt up. He was very accurate with his group of great receivers, Clifford (Branch), Freddy (Biletnikoff) and Raymond (Chester), so there was definitely an urgency to put pressure on him."
Former Raiders LB Rod Martin
On Stabler being elected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall Fame: "I think it is long overdue considering the career he had with the Raiders and the amount of games he won. He was a leader and everyone always wanted to support him to be successful on the field. He was one of the best of all-time and I think he should be in the Hall of Fame."
On what made Stabler unique: "The way he used to carry himself on the field and the fact he was a left-handed passer when most of the league was right-handed quarterbacked teams. If you were going to go to war, you would want to go to war with a guy like Kenny Stabler. You knew the game was never over until it was over and the clock hit zero because he could always come back and win."