Coach and general manager Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders poses today December 17, 1963 in Oakland, Calif. on practice field with six of his players who have been named to the Associated Press 1963 All-Star team of the American Football League. From left: defensive halfback Tommy Morrow and Fred Williamson, linebacker Archie Matsos, halfback Clem Daniels, center Jim Otto and end Art Powell. (AP Photo/Robert Klein)
Former Raiders WR Art Powell passed away this week. He is the 8th leading receiver in team history with 254 catches for 4,491 yards and 50 TD catches. Those 50 TD catches rank 4th in Raiders history.
The Raider family is sad to learn of the passing of Art Powell. Here are a few pictures from his time in Silver and Black.
Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown:**
"I played against Art when I was with Denver and he was a wide receiver. I had a chance to cover him quite a bit and one of his best routes he ever ran was the post-corner. All guys had problems with that because they didn't know him. The thing about it also was his size. He was one of the big guys and tough guys when he was with the Raiders. Mr. Davis went and got him out of Canada. Small corners had a problem with him because of his height and speed. He wasn't a blazing speed guy, but he had enough speed to beat you, get behind you, and his size helped him. When I came to the Raiders, I think we were here one year together before he retired. I enjoyed playing against him. He was a great ball player and he had been to some of the games these past few years and always good to see him. He'll be remembered as a Raider forever."
Former Raiders Head Coach and Quarterback Tom Flores:
"He had range and he was more like today's big wide receivers that could go deep. He was just a great athlete. He had great body control, trememndous abilities to go up and catch the ball or reach down and make all the necessary turns down the field and he was just a great player.
Art and I had a great '63, 4, 5 and 6 together, very productive. He caught a lot of my passes. The day I threw six touchdown passes, he caught four of them. That was quite a day for him.
He was the start of the big receiver. In those days, most receivers were small and when we drafted Biletnikoff, Art was there, and they complimented each other. Art was just unique in a time when receivers…there weren't a lot of guys like him."
During a press conference in 2006, Raiders Owner Al Davis said this of Powell:**
"I wish I could take you all back to 1963. I had one of the greatest players who has ever played this game and he was tough to handle. He was the T.O. of his time. And he was great. His first year for me he carried us. He caught 16 touchdowns. His name was Art Powell."
Pro Football Talk's Mike Wilkening:
"Powell is also known for his willingness to fight racial discrimination. In 1963, Powell and three Raiders teammates helped force an exhibition game to be moved from Mobile, Alabama, because of the players' objections against segregated seating at Ladd Stadium, according to a United Press International news account."
Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union Tribune:
"Powell, the former multi-sport star and Oakland Raiders great who passed away Monday night at the age of 78, was raised in quite possibly the most athletically talented family in San Diego history."
"Powell played 10 years in the NFL and AFL for the Eagles, Titans, Raiders, Bills and Vikings. He led the AFL with 1,130 yards receiving in 1962 for the Titans before joining the Raiders the following season. He had his best success in Oakland, leading the AFL with 1,301 yards and 16 touchdown catches in 1963 in Al Davis' first year as coach. Powell had 1,361 yards receiving the following season."