Bo Jackson Sticks Up for Al Davis

13 Jan 1991: Running back Bo Jackson of the Los Angeles Raiders runs down the field during a playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Raiders won the game 20-10.

Al Davis is a football legend. Even his most staunch critics wouldn’t argue that fact.

However, Davis has taken a lot of criticism lately for his decision making that has turned one of the proudest and most successful franchises in the NFL into a perennial loser.

As most of you reading this blog are painfully aware of, the Raiders haven’t had a winning season since 2002, when Oakland was beaten by Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.

Since then, it has been a string of bad decisions and bad draft picks by Davis, and he’s felt the wrath of both fans and media for it.

One Raider great refuses to pile on the Davis bashing and is defending his former owner. Bo Jackson told the Los Angeles Times that he still believes in Davis.

From Pro Football Talk:

Raiders owner Al Davis has become a figure of scorn in recent years, as many NFL observers think he’s no longer capable of running an NFL franchise and has driven the Raiders into the ground.

Davis is a Hall of Famer who has accomplished a great deal in his half century in pro football, and he’s beloved by many of his former players. One of those players is former Raiders running back Bo Jackson, who praised Davis in a Los Angeles Times interview.

“Everybody stands up and says, ‘Al Davis, that crazy SOB.’ That isn’t so,” Jackson said. “This is a man who would have fought a lion with a switch to defend his players.”

Jackson said he thinks Davis got a bum rap from many in Los Angeles over the circumstances that led the Raiders to move back to Oakland. And he said that in his experience, Davis is one of the most honest people he dealt with in pro sports.

“Mr. Davis tells you exactly what he thinks,” Jackson said. “That’s what I like about him.”

No one can argue Davis’ resume and accomplishments. But what I think bothers most Raider fans is the fact Davis still wants to run the team virtually alone. Davis is older now and the league is always changing. One man simply can’t do everything by himself.

Every Raider fan loves Al Davis to some extent but to be fair, if something isn’t working it’s time for a change. This offseason looks like a step in the right direction. Let’s just hope it continues in the future.

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Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Bo Jackson Oakland Raiders

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  • R. Christopher Meyer

    He has to be correct, Bo knows!

  • tse

    2002, not 2001. Davis’ fatal flaw has always been his tendency to get caught up in personal vendettas, losing sight of what is supposed to be his prime motivator — winning on the field.

  • http://yahoo Anthony

    I for one do not believe Al is totally responsible for all the off season moves,reason being WHY DID IT TAKE THE OLD COOT 7 years to wake up,he had help.

  • Thomas Casale

    I disagree Anthony. I worked in the NFL and know people who cover the Raiders and work for the team. They all say the same thing: Every personnel decision is made by Davis personally. The inner struggle with the Raiders is people want him to listen to others more but he just won’t do it. He may be old but every decision made primarily comes from Davis himself.

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  • John

    If you don’t like Al, you’re either a Raider hater or a fake fan. Get educated y’all. Don’t fall into the Bay Area media hacks’ jealousy-driven Al-bashing.

  • http://JBB Joe_padilla67

    Al Davis is the Raiders Organization! like it or don’t like but never the less support it. he rarely makes a bad pick or trade, he just chooses a player with hatred for him so they refuse to play for him mostly played up by the media, but lets face facts. Jamarcus was and is a good choice for overall pick he just didn’t want to play in oakland and like any good union apprentice knows that if you speak out or quit aginst the team that has choosen you prior to you making Journeyman you would be that much more pressed to be given a second chance as maybe just being cut from that said team getting paid as much as you can get a second chance to prove your actual worth elsewhere! This is and was his plan from the gate, let’s not forget he is a graduate from LSU and he was able to land his signing contract in which only a portion is in question and he still would be a millionare yet still be able to explain himself at another given opportunity (i.e. washington) todate and whom everelse is setting up practice tryouts for him. hmmm pretty smart guy wait and see. once again Al Davis saw the true Jamarcus and he refused to open him up and play.. players like him should be banned forever..

  • TheMokoda

    Dude, I hate to tell you, but if you really believe that hooey you just spat up about DaFarce-Is-Us Russell, then your ability to recognize NFL-level football talent is severely limited! Al Davis selected Russell for two reasons; his arm and his Heisman. Lane Kiffin TOLD Al the guy wasn’t ready for the NFL but as usual, Al wouldn’t listen. Russell is at home in Alabama, spending his money, getting fat(er), drinking cough syrup and watching reruns of old McDonald’s commercials, where he will be for the foreseeable future. Nobody can FAKE being that pitiful for three years!
    The Raiders’ problem now is that they need a coach who knows how to motivate; Tom Cable doesn’t have that ability. They have decent enough talent, they just need motivation. It’s time for Al Davis to hire a coach he can let do the job, but that probably won’t happen.