Al Davis’s Shout in The Wilderness: Just Win Baby!

So many things are said about Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders. A book by Steven Travers says, "Davis, the man who studied Hitler, the man who used military history and politics as his guideposts, certainly did just that in 1963."

On page 12 of Travers's book it reads, "Davis had the vision, implemented it, willed it to victory."

It also says, "Our philosophy was attack, attack, attack."

On page 16 an exciting quote says, "Despite the seemingly 'mad' approach, the Raider mindset was mathematical. The idea (in those days) was to create 24 points out of seven or eight plays, which would be difficult to beat."

Coupled with the fact that the Raiders had a strong front line, they could pull off a big play. On page 18, it mentions how Davis manned his team with players like Gene Upshaw who was 6'5", 255 pounds. It says that in those days many teams were using "short, squatty guards."

Davis said that he wanted "big men up front to protect the quarterback."

Protectors like Jim Otto and Upshaw helped give "Lamonica the extra split second to find an open man, but it was his own 'poise' in the pocket that allowed him to make maximum use of speed, in the case of Warren Wells, or moves, as in the case of Fred Biletnikoff."

So, it appears that the good dynamics in the games were a collective and cooperative response between quarterback and receivers. It supports my claim that a great quarterback can exist, if and only if there are great receivers to complete the passes and run the ball.  One can not exist without the other!

Another thing to be remembered about the guys in those days is that Lamonica was not a very big man, "but he was tough." Wells and Biletnikoff were not very big men, but strong, tough, and lean.

Speed was important. In addition to speed, players like Upshaw, Otto, Wells, Biletnikoff, and Lamonica had a steel-like, sharp mentalit...

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