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Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Chatty Al gives second interview in three days

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

DANA POINT, Calif. -- Al Davis was at it again Wednesday.

Who said this guy is difficult to deal with?

Shortly before he caught a flight to the Bay Area on Wednesday afternoon, the Oakland Raiders owner stopped and chatted freely with a group of reporters at the NFL owners' meeting. Davis doesn't talk to the media much, but this was his second impromptu interview in three days.

Davis was relaxed and friendly as he pursued a familiar topic: Getting former Raiders players into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. For starters, Davis openly questioned why receiver Cliff Branch has not been enshrined.

Branch played 14 seasons for the Raiders and was part of their three Super Bowl championship teams. The knock on Branch is his relatively low total of 501 career catches, about half what another shunned candidate -- Cris Carter - had in his career.

Davis, however, said he believes Branch was a catalyst to the Raiders' greatest teams and that he changed opposing coverage schemes. Still, the numbers suggest it will be difficult for Branch to get enshrined.

Davis also stumped again for quarterback Jim Plunkett, who led the Raiders to a pair of Super Bowl championships.

"He was greatness his whole life," Davis said. "I don't know how many Super Bowls we would have won if we had Plunkett his whole career."