Oakland Raiders: Can Al Davis’ Confidence Turn the Raiders Into a Contender?

Confidence is the Patriots head coach Bill Belichick going for it on fourth-and-two on his own 40-yard line in the middle of the second quarter.

Or former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs starting backup quarterback Doug Williams in the Super Bowl against future Hall of Famer John Elway when the sports world laughed.

Confidence, too, is the boy David going up against the greatest of opponents when the world said he had no shot.

Confidence is another try, when you’d rather quit and cry.

Confidence is also the Raiders owner Al Davis, which he has showed throughout his career, giving castaways another shot, taking the throwaways and rejects and mending them into a formidable bunch.

Before Jimmy Jones was—Al Davis had already been.

When asked who had the greatest impact on their professional careers, Lance Alworth, Jim Otto, George Blanda, Willie Brown, Gene Upshaw, Fred Biletnikoff, Art Shell, Ted Hendricks and John Madden—all named Mr. Al Davis.

As every aforementioned NFL legend said, AL Davis always had an unwavering “confidence” in his players and coaches.

When asked about his reason for hiring Hue Jackson, Al Davis commented, “I’m confident in him.”

And Jackson testified that through his NFL coaching career, no owner but Al Davis had the confidence in him “to sit down and talk football with him,” not just during the interview but throughout the season.

Davis’ confidence rubbed off on Jackson, who despite the opposition of former coach Tom Cable, stuck with the quarterback, Jason Campbell, who then led the Raiders on a three game winning streak.

Even today, Jim Plunkett is the only eligible quarterback to win two Super Bowls who is not in the Hall of Fame, but no one has had the confidence in Plunkett to fight for his entrance into the Hall of Fame like Al Davis.


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