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Tag:Bud Adams
Posted on: October 8, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 2:22 pm
 

In 1966, Al Davis wanted to destroy the NFL

Davis

Posted by Josh Katzowitz


Forty-five years ago, Al Davis wanted blood. He wanted revenge. He wanted to take the NFL for all its worth and engulf it, like the NFL had done to so many other start-up leagues before. But unlike those other leagues, the American Football League -- which had been established in 1960 and which had been looked down upon by NFL owners -- was about to make a real problem.

The AFL had gone through troubles in the early part of its life. The owners had lost millions of dollars, the teams played in terribly unprofessional stadiums and the NFL looked at the AFL as short-term, inferior competition. But the AFL also was building a fan base, mostly due to its high-powered offenses that excited TV audiences -- which contrasted nicely with the NFL’s power-run game that put fans to sleep.

Al Davis started as an assistant coach with the Chargers, signing Lance Alworth and helping Sid Gillman build the most exciting offense in pro football, and then moved on to become the coach -- and eventually one of the owners -- of the Raiders.

By the mid-1960s, the AFL was becoming a real problem for the NFL. Not only was the new league’s football a more exciting brand, the AFL could offer competitive contracts to the best graduating college players. When Joe Namath left Alabama, he was courted by the AFL’s New York Jets and the NFL’s St. Louis’ Cardinals.

The Cardinals offered him $200,000 to sign. The Jets got him for $427,000. That was the power of the AFL in those days.

Which led the NFL to quickly decide to merge with the AFL -- which, by then, employed Davis as its commissioner. At that point, there was a strong belief by some AFL owners that the NFL could be beaten in a head-to-head matchup, and at least one person wanted to try to send the NFL out of business.

“We could have beaten them,” Davis said via Ken Rappoport’s 2010 book The Little League That Could. “I didn’t necessarily want a merger, but they wanted it.” In fact, the AFL owners were so confident in their place in the pecking order that, assuming they didn’t receive a legit offer from the NFL, one owner said, “If they’re lying to us, we’ll have to drop the bomb on them.”

But when the New York Giants signed away AFL kicker Pete Gogolek, who had played out his contract in Buffalo, that’s when the AFL went on the attack. Though a gentleman’s agreement between the two leagues stated that the opposing league wouldn’t sign players in Gogolek’s position, the Giants went ahead with it anyway, inkng Gogolek to a three-year deal worth $96,000.

That’s when Davis knew what he wanted. He wanted to be the one to drop the bomb on the NFL. He wanted blood.

Said Davis: “Now, we can go after their guys. We are going after the quarterbacks, after places they feel it.”

The AFL had been saving money for a scenario like, and the owners went to work going after the top NFL quarterbacks -- Roman Gabriel, Fran Tarkenton and Sonny Jurgensen. Then, a bombshell. Bud Adams in Houston signed tight end Mike Ditka, one of the biggest stars in the NFL. Ditka had never made more than $25,000 in Chicago, but Adams gave him $50,000 just to sign (the contract would have paid him $183,000 during the next three years).

While Davis wanted to go after the NFL -- or, at the very least, get the best possible deal from the opposing league in the merger -- the AFL owners met with their NFL counterparts  and negotiated in secret meetings without his knowledge and then signed a deal without his input.

According to Jeff Miller in his 2003 book Going Long, Davis emerged from his commissioner’s office in New York early one afternoon, and Val Pinchbeck -- who went on to become a close advisor to NFL commissioners -- said, “Are you going to the press conference?”

Said Davis: “What press conference?”

“It seems that there’s an announcement being made by the AFL and the NFL over at the Warwick (Hotel) in a couple of hours.

Said Davis: “Do you remember Yalta?”

Later remarked AFL co-founder Lamar Hunt: “He was a general without a war. “

Davis soon recovered and went on to big success as the Raiders owner. But he had to wonder what could have happened if the AFL had put the NFL out of business, if he had dropped the bomb and taken its blood. Davis’ impact on the NFL was great, but if the AFL had survived and taken down the NFL, Davis could have been the most important figure in pro football.

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 9:00 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 10:13 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.19.11: One way to end Jags blackouts



Posted by Ryan Wilson
  • Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is giving 225 kids the chance to attend football camp -- for free. There's no truth to the rumors that the Bengals will be in attendance, even though owner Mike Brown says "the price is right." (He didn't really say that, but it wouldn't be much of a stretch if he did.)
  • Add it to the list (via the StarTribune.com): "After months of getting rained on, pounded with packed snow and flattened by heavy equipment used to fix the roof, the Metrodome's artificial turf may have to be replaced before the Vikings resume play there in August, Dome officials said Friday." We're blaming Brett Favre.
  • Good news: Aqib Talib's attorney doesn't expect there to be a quick resolution to his client's felony firearm case. In fact, it could drag on beyond the 2011 season. Bad news: Talib will likely still face disciplinary action from the NFL, and you know Roger Goodell can't wait for the lockout to end so he can't get back to randomly handing out punishments.
  • It will probably take three or four years before we know if the Falcons were right to bet the metaphorical farm on Julio Jones, but early returns are encouraging. According to reports, Jones is "way ahead of his game" at informal workouts. It's not much, but it's something.
  • Titans owner Bud Adams parted ways with Jeff Fisher in January, but Fisher says he won't think about returning to the sidelines until after the 2011 season. Hopefully, he can make that $4 million buyout he received from Tennessee stretch for another six months.
  • More former Titans news: One-time Tennessee tight end Erron Kinney is a captain with the St. Andrews Fire Department in Charleston, S.C.
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Posted on: April 22, 2011 11:44 am
 

Munchak says Vince Young won't be back

Young Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In the battle between Titans coach Jeff Fisher and QB Vince Young, owner Bud Adams declared Fisher the winner and decided to move on without a player who Adams still believed was valuable to his team.

Then, when Fisher resigned, there seemed to be a chance – a very small chance – Young could return to resume his career with Tennessee.

And even though Young has declared he wants to stay in Nashville, that, according to coach Mike Munchak, is not going to happen. 

No matter what happens in next week’s draft, Munchak said, via the Tennessean , Young won’t be back.

“That was a decision made months ago and nothing that is going to happen personnel-wise, or how the draft goes, is going to change that,” Munchak said. “It wasn’t just a Jeff Fisher decision – I think people kind of have that feeling because it happened back then, we could change our decision.”

Hell, other players, like RB Chris Johnson, have said as much, because they, like us, assumed that with Fisher out of the picture, Young could return. But no, that’s incorrect.

“It was a company decision, so obviously we aren’t going to change that decision,” he said. “We are standing by that decision. What’s been done is best for everybody.”

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Posted on: April 17, 2011 12:07 pm
 

Report: Titans give GM Reinfeldt extension

Posted by Will Brinson

Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt's had some nice first-round draft picks in his time with Tennessee -- Chris Johnson, who you may have heard of, was a bit of a reach at the time, but has panned out pretty well for Nashville football. Michael Griffin's been superb, Kenny Britt is obviously talented (but troubled) and it's still early for Derrick Morgan.

But Reinfeldt's set to have, potentially, the biggest of his career coming on Thursday, April 28, when the Titans will select eighth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. But he'll make that pick with plenty of security because, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, the Titans gave him a "multiyear extension."

Wyatt points out that the extension was likely "in the works" during the 2010 season and that it's "believed to last through 2014," though the team wouldn't discuss the precise nature of the reported deal.

Tennessee clearly struggled in 2010, going 6-10, but it's hard not to respect Reinfeldt for keeping the Titans competitive over his tenure despite a nightmarish quarterback situation (Vince Young was drafted the year before he took over) and for navigating an even more awkward coaching change when the rift between Jeff Fisher and Bud Adams grew to an irreconcilable gap.

Adams clearly respects the work Reinfeldt's done, though, because he extended the time with which he'll be working in Tennessee -- how that time pans out may very well be determined by the first decision that Reinfeldt makes under his new deal.

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:57 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Tennessee Titans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups.



The Titans are in need of an overhaul, which is exactly what they’ll be getting this year (whether they want it or not). Long-time coach Jeff Fisher is gone, replaced by his former OL coach, Mike Munchak. Defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil is gone, replaced by Jerry Gray.

So is offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, replaced by Chris Palmer. So is QB Vince Young, replaced by, um, who exactly?

You might have forgotten this, but at one point last season, Tennessee was 5-2. Then, the Titans lost eight of their final nine games of the season to finish the season on a disastrous note. A note that signified that the organization needs a makeover and fast.




New coaching staff

The end of Fisher’s tenure in Tennessee was awfully strange. Though it seemed like owner Bud Adams thought about picking Young over Fisher, he actually didn’t. He wanted Fisher to stay, and Fisher agreed to return. Until he didn’t, changing his mind and resigning his position. Which means that the Titans are going through a wholesale change, and considering the lockout is preventing the staff from meeting with the players, Tennessee will have a tough time catching up.

One of the biggest losses to the team, though, was when DL coach Jim Washburn left for Philadelphia. Jason Babin – who made his first Pro Bowl last season – was really upset with the transition, because he knows how much Washburn tutored him. Washburn also helped develop Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Antwan Odom, and his loss will be felt, especially if Babin leaves via free agency.




1. Quarterback
Young is gone, and though he compiled a 26-13 record and two Pro Bowl appearances in his five seasons with the Titans, a clean break from the organization clearly was needed. So, who to replace him? Kerry Collins, but he’s 38 years old. Rusty Smith, but he’ll be a second-year player with only one start of experience. So, where do you go next? Backup Brett Ratliff? I don’t think so.

2. Interior Offensive Line
LG Leroy Harris and C Eugene Amano struggled last season – one reason RB Chris Johnson’s numbers weren’t as good as he expected. Harris is still young, so the Titans might continue to use him, but Johnson might be appreciative if the Tennessee played somebody else at LG and C. RG Jake Scott, meanwhile, is solid and dependable.

3. Defensive Tackle
When the Titans talked about trading back for Albert Haynesworth last season, you know they were desperate for another DT. Thus, the Titans have to be loving the recent supposed drop in value of Auburn DT Nick Fairley. Although the undersized Jason Jones is quite a strong player at one DT spot, Fairley could add big talent to the defensive line if he’s still available for the Titans to draft at No. 8.




Is there optimism for the Titans next season? I don’t see how. Not after they lost their quarterback and then hired a head coach who’s never even been a coordinator to lead the team. Munchak, a pro football Hall of Famer because of his playing skills, is well-respected inside the game, but it might take a year or two to turn around the organization that, let’s face it, was left in total disarray.

And while we can say the AFC South isn’t necessarily going to be dominated by the Colts next season, I’d put the Jaguars and Texans ahead of Tennessee in the race for the division crown. By far.

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Posted on: March 29, 2011 12:02 am
 

Bud Adams: 'I guarantee we'll be playing' in 2011

Posted by Will Brinson

The one guarantee about the 2011 NFL season is that there's no guarantee when it comes to whether or not football gets played. Unless you're Bud Adams, apparently.

The Titans owner, in Nashville Monday to accept some sort of lifetime achievement award, stated publicly that football in 2011 is a sure thing.

"It's going to be a few months here, but we'll be playing this year. I guarantee we'll be playing," Adams said, per Terry McCormick. "It's one of those things that they haven't been very (much) wanting to work out a deal with us, but we'll be playing football this year," Adams said. "I'll tell you that for sure."

Perhaps I'm in an optimistic mood, but I agree with Adams here -- there's a really good chance that we get football, it's just going to have to happen after everyone gets really, really sick of discussing how there might not be football.

Having said that, there are three interesting things about Bud's statements. First of all, he said them with Roger Goodell present (Goodell was there for the award too), which seems odd. Not that the Commish doesn't have his back, but just that you'd think they might have discussed how he would answer an inevitable question.

And secondly, Adams doesn't have to say that, but if he wants to keep getting the people of Tennessee to buy season tickets to Titans games, it certainly behooves him to do so. And thusly, it's not a huge shock to hear him being so confidently optimistic.

Finally, what the hell has changed for Adams in the last two weeks? Because it was just March 14 when Adams confidently stated that there could be games missed in 2011. Perhaps -- and I'm just spitballing here -- it's a combination of the first two things (Goodell, plus a need to sell tickets) that caused his about-face.

If that's the case, consider my optimism cancelled for at least a few weeks.

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Posted on: March 14, 2011 7:17 pm
 

Titans to fans: 'Yes, games could be cancelled'

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL's labor situation continues to become more and more potentially tumultuous -- a draft boycott everyone! -- in preparation of the April 6 hearing on the players' motion for preliminary injunction.

Still, the idea that there might not be NFL games in 2010 seems far-fetched. Or at least far off. Which makes a portion of the letter the Titans sent from Bud Adams to fans on Monday a bit terrifying.

"Yes, games could be cancelled," the letter said, per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. "However, both sides want to play and continue our great games. It is only a question of when we reach an agreement."

Now, this section was in an eight-part question-and-answer section (presumably the question was "Will games for next year be cancelled?"), so it's not as if the Titans were necessarily preparing their fans for the likelihood of games being missed.

Instead, they were simply answering a question that any reasonable fan of football might ask. What is kind of troubling, however, is that the Q&A wasn't included on the Titans' website when they posted the letter from Adams.

It's still a reminder that though most projections for football in 2010 are optimistic, the season isn't that far away.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: March 8, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 2:10 pm
 

Vince Young: 'I would love to stay in Nashville'

Posted by Will Brinson

Things they are a'changin' in Nashville. There's a new head coach (Mike Munchak is in after the ousting of Jeff Fisher), a new coaching staff (Munchak's filling out his guys obviously) and, at some point, a new quarterback coming to town.

Unless Vince Young stays, which seems quite improbable. Well, to everyone except Vince Young anyway.

"I would love to stay in Nashville. I would love to stay in Tennessee," Young told Chaney Entertainment per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. "If it doesn't happen, wherever God blesses me to be at I'll give 100 percent."

It's probably not going to happen. I think. But this is Bud Adams we're talking about, and he's got a coach running his team that doesn't necessarily have the pull that Fisher had while in charge.

Which means if you see Vince buttering up Munchak, there's always a chance hanging out there that he could end up returning. So, um, uh-oh.

"I'm a big fan of Munchak," Young said. "I always call him Big Hall of Famer in the hallways and things like that. I have a lot of respect for him and he has a lot of respect for me so it's great. He deserves it ... like coach Fisher said ... he’s definitely the guy for the job."

More Titans Coverage

The only problems is Munchak has to be wondering whether Young's the guy for the other job. Based on the way things have gone for Young in Tennessee, it's almost impossible to think he believes that. However, it's generally believed that Adams still envisions Young as the guy who won a Rose Bowl, and not the mediocre NFL quarterback he's been for his career.

Then again, it's also worth noting that if the Titans want to trade Young (and he wants to be seen as tradeable and/or signable), he also has to say the right things publicly right now.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com