Raiders, NFL remember Al Davis
HOUSTON -- The Oakland Raiders wore decals on their helmets to honor Raiders' owner Al Davis during their game Sunday against the Texans and left Houston with a 25-20 win.
The stickers on the back of the helmets read "AL" in silver letters over the black Raiders shield.
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Davis died Saturday at his home in Oakland, Calif. He was 82.
"That's all he was ever interested in was winning, this organization, the Raiders," coach Hue Jackson said. "This man bleeds silver and black. He is what the Raiders are all about. I will still hear him every step of the way and we're going to miss him."
The Raiders and Texans also observed a moment of silence for Davis before the game.
The teams and fans paused for the moment while a short video of Davis was shown on the video board. Most Raiders players kept their heads down and a few clasped hands as the video was shown.
The Raiders won three Super Bowls for their Hall of Fame owner.
Quarterback Jason Campbell, who threw two touchdown passes in Sunday's win, said it was a difficult day for the team.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game," he said. "We were fighting against our emotions to hold them back, but at the same time go out and win a game for him."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said before the Bills game against the Eagles that a moment of silence would be held before every game this weekend.
"He really was a legend of the game," Goodell said. "There's not many people who had the kind of impact on the game. He was a commissioner, he was an owner, he was a coach, he was a general manager, and he was passionate about the game of football. He loved the NFL as much as anybody I know."
Former Oakland coach Tom Flores, in Houston as part of the Raiders' radio broadcast, reflected on his time working for Davis. Flores said Davis always embraced the renegade image that was cultivated in his long and storied career.
"He wanted to be that maverick," Flores said. "He was always that 'me against the world' type of guy. He was a tough guy to work for. I worked for him for a long time. But he also worked with you. When John (Madden) and I coached with him for 19 years, we won three Super Bowls for him. He demanded a lot, but he also demanded a lot from himself. It was his life, and his passion. He expected you to have the same kind of love and passion for the game, and for this team, that he did."
An image of Davis in his trademark white jumpsuit was shown on the video boards during the moment of silence at Seattle's game at the New York Giants, the Titans game at Pittsburgh and the Saints game at Carolina.
Jim Plunkett, who won two Super Bowls with the Raiders, remembered when Davis would be at almost every practice yelling encouragement and keeping players on their toes. As Davis got older, he wasn't able to be with the team as much, but that didn't change his feelings for the Raiders.
"He never lost his love and his fire for the game," Plunkett said. "Just sitting in the box with him, even though he couldn't speak loudly, this year, he'd get his point across, telling everyone that they shouldn't have done this or they should've done that. He wasn't yelling any more. But he was still into it."
While it's too early to predict what the Raiders will be like after Davis' death, some things are certain. The team will remain in the Davis family with Al's wife, Carol, being the majority owner and his son, Mark, expected to run the franchise.
We were fighting against our emotions to hold them back, but at the same time go out and win a game for him.” -- Raiders QB Jason Campbell
on playing day after Al Davis died
CEO Amy Trask will continue in her job and will play a big role in the upcoming transition.
While Mark Davis has been a more visible presence around the team in recent years often attending practice and going to games, he lacks the football acumen of his father. Mark Davis was at the game Sunday in Houston.
Mark Davis has spent much of his time working on getting the team a new stadium and that remains a high priority with the team having talked with the San Francisco 49ers about possibly sharing a stadium.
That means the Raiders will likely have to hire a general manager after decades of Davis making almost all of the important decisions for the franchise.
Al Davis had talked about bringing coach John Madden back to the franchise to help Mark, but a priority will be finding someone to run the day-to-day football operations.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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