Reflections on the Passing of Al Davis

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Head Coach Hue Jackson

"It is with my deepest and most sincere regret that Mr. Al Davis, Coach Davis to me, has passed away.  My thoughts and prayers, first and foremost, go out to his wife and family, then the Raider family and organization.  It is because of this accomplished man and his forever love of  Silver and Black, the fire that burned in him I will honor and will always and forever burn in me."

Commissioner Roger Goodell

"Al Davis' passion for football and his influence on the game were extraordinary. He defined the Raiders and contributed to pro football at every level. The respect he commanded was evident in the way that people listened carefully every time he spoke. He is a true legend of the game whose impact and legacy will forever be part of the NFL."

Tom Flores

"May he rest in peace.  Forty eight years ago, I met Al, and every once in a while in your life, someone comes along that changes the direction of your life.  He did that to me and changed the direction with his passion for the Raiders and professional football.  He was a dear man, my mentor and most of all, my friend. I will miss him."

Willie Brown

"I came to the Raiders in 1967 with the trade with Denver.  It was the best thing that happened in my career to come and play for Mr. Davis. I've surely enjoyed every year and I've been here over 41 years.  Our relationship has grown and it's hard to believe, as strong a man as he was.  I've enjoyed every year of being here with him and it's a loss not only to the Raider organization, but to all of America.  People love the Raiders and every time they think of the Raiders, they think of Mr. Davis. He was a great leader on and off the field and he took care of a lot of people in his lifetime.  He helped guys off the field, not only guys that played for him but also guys that played for other teams.  It's a sad day in the Raider Nation, but we must go on."

Jim Plunkett

"The passing of Al Davis saddens us all.  He's been a big part of my life, my family's life since 1978 when he gave me a second chance and another opportunity to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, which I appreciate very much.  He was always encouraging and helpful both on the field and off the field. He got me get ready to play as much as any coach out there including coach Tom Flores.  He'll be sorely missed. His contributions to the game of football go on and on.  Not only will his fans and his former players and coaches miss him greatly, but the entire league will."

Clem Daniels

"Mr. Davis was definitely a father figure to me.  It's a great loss not just for the Raiders, but for sports in general.  We'll miss him a lot.  The Raider organization and tradition will continue and he's left a legacy that we can all be proud of and that's important to us all."

Kansas City Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt  

"From the earliest days of the AFL, Al's love for the game and fierce loyalty to his franchise contributed to the success and popularity of pro football. His competitive spirit helped develop the great rivalry our team and fans enjoy today with the Oakland Raiders. His contributions to the game played an important role in building the strong foundation the NFL enjoys today."

Denver Broncos Owner and Chief Executive Officer Pat Bowlen

"During my 28 years with the Broncos, I came to know Al Davis as one of the most influential and innovative people in the history of the National Football League. His competitive spirit and intensity grew our rivalry with the Raiders into one of the fiercest in all of sports.

"I respected Al for what he meant to the NFL. He was a visionary who defined the Raiders and had an enormous responsibility for the prosperity of this league.

San Diego Chargers Chairman of the Board - President Dean Spanos

"Al Davis is one of the main reasons our family is in the NFL today. Al approached my dad (Alex Spanos) about getting involved in the NFL and was very helpful to us through the process. He had great insight into the league, both the product on the field and the business off the field. He saw the potential for growth. He was very much a visionary. Our family will always be grateful to Al for his friendship. 

"Al is also a big reason for the strong rivalry between the Raiders and the Chargers and its popularity among both teams' fans. He personified the image and mystique of the Raiders, and that image has helped build the strength of our rivalries and the popularity of our game. There has been no one in the NFL like Al Davis. 

"The NFL and NFL fans everywhere – not just Raiders fans – owe Al Davis for helping to build the game we all love so much. He will be missed."

"I join Al's family, the Oakland Raiders and the rest of the NFL in mourning the loss of a man who gave so much to the game we love."

San Francisco 49ers Owner and Co-Chairman Denise DeBartolo York 

"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Al Davis. One of my fondest memories of Al is a dinner we shared many years ago. During that meal, he presented my father with a very special opportunity to purchase the San Francisco 49ers. In recent years, we were pleased to spend time with Al as our guest in the Owners' Suite at Candlestick Park while our two teams met on the field. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends." 

San Francisco 49ers Owner and Co-Chairman John York 

"The Bay Area and NFL communities have lost a true pioneer in Al Davis. The significant contributions that he made to the game of football at every level spoke volumes about his commitment to excellence. We enjoyed working with Al at the league level on the development and growth of our game, and at the team level we appreciated the competition between the 49ers and his Raiders. Al Davis commanded great respect from those he worked alongside and all he competed against. 

San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke 

"Anybody who enjoys the game of football owes a tip of the cap to Al Davis. The numerous contributions that Mr. Davis made to the development and growth of the NFL played an integral role in making the game as great as it is today. Although this is a very sad day in the NFL and the Bay Area, it is a great time to reflect on what Mr. Davis has meant to this sport as well as our community." 

San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh

"Mr. Davis is a titan and pillar of the game. I had the pleasure and honor to know him and to work for him. And to me, he is the greatest. The autumn wind will always be a Raider."

Magic Johnson via Twitter

"A leader, an innovator & a friend. Al Davis marched to his own drum & will be missed. RIP AL Davis 1929-2011.

"What a thrill it was when I played to have Al Davis sitting courtside at the Forum."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick

"While I am saddened by the news of Mr. Davis' passing, I will forever be heartened and enriched by the many personal interactions I had with him over the years. His winning, his football knowledge, his passion for his team and contributions to the league made him one of the all-time greats. By striving for the highest level of excellence with our respective teams and the game itself, we will be honoring the memory of Al Davis."

Bengals president Mike Brown

"Al was a fiery individualist, an important part of pro football — the AFL and NFL –for almost 50 years. His teams had times of great success, and he was heavily involved both on and off the field. I admired the achievements the Raiders attained under Al.

"Personally, I was fond of him. He battled with the NFL, and a lot of us wished that had not been where things went, but under all that was a person I respected. It saddens me to hear that he is gone."

Linebacker Thomas Howard

"He was an icon, a legend, a pioneer. I'm honored that he chose to draft me. It was a great pleasure being a part of Raider Nation, part of all the great teams and players that put on that Silver and Black. You don't know what it means to be a Raider until you are a Raider, and that was his team. He spoke to you not just as an owner but as a coach. He was very hands-on. You felt his presence, and he really cared for you and your family."

Broncos coach John Fox

"I want to offer my sincere condolences to the Davis family. I will always be grateful for the opportunity Mr. Davis gave me to become a coordinator in the NFL. There is no doubt that I learned a lot of football from him during my time with the Raiders. Al Davis was great for the game, and he will be missed."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

"In my eyes, so much of his legacy will be defined by the loyalty he had for the men who played for the Raiders and the love that they had for him. That was a bond that extended beyond the playing years and lasted lifetimes.

"His contributions and expertise were inspiring at every level–coach, general manager, owner and commissioner. There was no element of the game of professional football for which Al did not enjoy a thorough and complete level of knowledge and passion.

"He welcomed me and my family to the NFL 23 years ago and was a trusted friend for all of our time in professional football. We will miss him deeply and we are thinking of Mark and Carol at this difficult time."

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