Tag:John Madden
Posted on: October 16, 2011 2:43 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Report: Raiders seek Madden's counsel

(AP)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Longtime Raiders owner Al Davis died last Saturday and now the team is in the control of his wife, Carol, and his son, Mark. And it's Mark who is seeking the counsel of others outside the organization as he searches for a general manager.  Specifically, he has spoken with John Madden, Ron Wolf and Ken Herock, three NFL veterans who all worked at various points for the Raiders, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

Al Davis had spoken with Madden about returning to the franchise he once coached to help Mark run the team, but Madden told the New York Times last week that Al Davis never actually asked Madden to come back.

"You knew he was having problems but he was better that week than he was the week before," Madden told the Times. "He had trouble speaking and drinking. But it's Al Davis and he'd fight it. His mother lived to be more than 100 and I thought he'd fight and live to be 100."

Madden also told the paper that he spoke with Davis the night before he died and considered the face of the Raiders -- for good and bad -- "family."

"He was my best friend," Madden said, via the Times. "If I had one call to make, if I needed anything, the call would be to Al Davis. I lost the one-call guy, the mentor, the father, the best friend."

Wolf was the Packers' general manager in the 1990s, and Herock worked as a personnel director for three NFL teams, including seven seasons he spent in Oakland.

The day after Davis died, Oakland beat the Texans in Houston in a game that came down to the final play. Sunday is the first Raiders home game since Davis passed away.

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Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:17 am
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Living Legends

Bum Phillips is a living legend (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With the death last Saturday of Raiders owner Al Davis, we got to see a side of him that most people under 35 never got to experience. When Davis was an innovator, a kick-ass coach and owner, a fighter against The Man and one of the most important figures in NFL history. It was nice to be reminded of that with tributes all over the Internet, newspapers and in NFL stadiums on Sunday.

Maybe we didn’t think about it in terms like this, but Davis, though largely reclusive to the public, was a living legend, and in the final years of his life, we probably didn’t appreciate him as much as we should have.

That said, here are 10 other living legends who hold (or who should hold)  a special place in the league’s heart. No matter what they’ve become today -- those who are outspoken for and against their old teams, those who spend their time behind the scenes, and those who have disappeared for now -- it’s not too late to show them our appreciation for all the good they’ve done and the lives they’ve led.

10. Ron Wolf: Another of Davis’ protégés, Davis gave Wolf a job as a scout for the Raiders in the early 1960s, and after helping the Raiders to a plethora of wins, he helped set up a 1979 division title in Tampa Bay before moving on to Green Bay as the general manager. He hired Mike Holmgren as the head coach, traded for a backup quarterback named Brett Favre, revitalized that franchise that led to Super Bowl riches and restored the name of a storied organization that had fallen into disrepair.

9. Mike Westhoff: The only man on this list who’s still active in the game, you might remember Westhoff from his turn on Hard Knocks where he played the Jets awesome special teams coach. It wasn’t much of a stretch, because Westhoff has been an awesome special teams coach. Aside from that, he’s a bone cancer survivor (he had to have nearly a dozen surgeries to get rid of it), and he’s one of the most respected working coaches today. But he won’t be around much longer. After 30 years of coaching, he’s said this season will be his last.

Kramer8. Ray Guy: Last year, I made him my No. 1 former player who deserves be in the Hall of Fame, but since he probably won’t ever get to Canton, that list and this one will have to suffice. Once Shane Lechler’s career is over, he’ll be considered the No. 1 punter of all time (maybe he’ll have a chance at the HOF!), but Guy was the one who showed the NFL how important a punter could be to his team.

7. Jerry Kramer (seen at right): He was a better football player than Jim Bouton was a pitcher, but both opened up the world of sports that fans had never seen before. Bouton’s tome, “Ball Four,” is a masterpiece that shocked those who had watched baseball and thought of players like Mickey Mantle as pure of heart. Kramer’s 1968 book, "Instant Replay," was a diary he kept of the 1967 season in which he gave glimpses of what life was like inside the Packers locker room under coach Vince Lombardi while chronicling some of the most famous moments in Green Bay history.

6. James “Shack” Harris: He was the first black player in the NFL to start at quarterback for the entire season in 1969, and in 1975, he led the Los Angeles Rams to an 11-2 record and an NFC West division title. He wasn’t a dominant quarterback in his day, but he was a trailblazer. And after retirement from playing, he was the head of pro player personnel when the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2001. He’s currently a personnel executive with the Lions.

5. Chuck Noll: We don’t see much of Noll -- who’s rumored to be in declining health -- these days, but his impact is unmistakable. He won four Super Bowls as head coach of the Steelers in the 1970s, and Al Davis thought so much of him that he once tried to sue him (the two were on the same staff in San Diego in the early 1960s). And he was the first coach to allow his team to take baseline concussion tests -- which, as we know today, was a pretty important development.

4. Joe Namath: The legendary Jets quarterback has become a thorn in coach Rex Ryan’s side. Namath is constantly on Twitter, exhorting or back-handing his former team, and because he’s Joe Freakin’ Namath, the media has to pay attention. With that -- and his on-air exchange a few years back with Suzy Kolber -- it’s not difficult to forget just how good Namath was as a signal-caller. He was the first to throw for 4,000 yards (in a 14-game season no less), and he boldly guaranteed victory for the underdog Jets in Super Bowl III and then went out and delivered.

3. Joe Gibbs: One of my colleagues recently called him the greatest coach of the last 40 years, and considering Gibbs won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks (Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien), he’s one of the legends. His return to the Redskins from 2004-07 didn’t go so well (a combined 30-34 record), but before that, his complete career winning percentage was better than all coaches not named John Madden or Vince Lombardi.

2. John Madden: We don’t get to hear much from John Madden these days, and that’s too bad. I liked him on Monday Night Football -- his football knowledge and his enthusiasm -- and though he was before my time, you have to admire his coaching record. He took over the Raiders job in 1969 at the tender age of 33, and when he retired after the 1978 season, he had a coaching record of 103-32-7. That is a winning percentage of .763, and to go with it, he won a Super Bowl and seven division titles in 10 years.

1. Bum Phillips: The old Oilers coach -- and 3-4 defense innovator -- is still kicking around in Texas, attending Texans games, wearing his big cowboy hat and writing books about his life (OK, it’s one book, but you should check it out). He’s a fun guy to speak with, and he’s fully into philanthropy. But aside from his defensive prowess, the dude is a great storyteller. Quickly, one of my favorites: when he was an assistant coach to Sid Gillman, one of the earliest believers in breaking down film, Phillips barely could keep his eyes open one night as Gillman continued studying game tape. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Gillman excitedly claimed that watching film made him feel so awesome that it was better than having sex. Responded Phillips: "Either I don't know how to watch film, Sid, or you don't know how to make love."

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Posted on: January 28, 2011 11:11 am
 

John Madden sounds off on Cutler critics

Posted by Andy Benoit

John Madden is as passionate about football as anyone alive. Still, it’s not often that he gets riled up. J. Madden (US Presswire)

Appearing Thursday on Sirius radio, the legendary commentator sounded off on the Jay Cutler criticism. Here’s what Madden said (via Pro Football Talk):

“I’ve been in football for over 50 years. I’ve never questioned a player’s toughness. I never have.  Whether it was in coaching, broadcasting, whatever.

“There’s no one in the NFL that has a tougher job to do than Jay Cutler. I think playing quarterback in the NFL is the toughest thing you can do. I think throwing a forward pass and having guys rushing you and hitting you when you’re looking downfield and throwing the ball is the toughest act you have to do.”

After talking about how Cutler plays with Type 1 diabetes, Madden picked up the intensity.

“And then people are looking at him, they put a camera on him, and they say they don’t like his demeanor,” he said. “Demeanor hell!
“Live a day in his shoes. Type I diabetes is not a daytime thing.  It’s not a week thing.  It’s not a month thing.  It’s a life thing.  And it’s every day, and it’s every day for 24 hours.”

Madden’s grandson suffers from Type 1 diabetes.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: November 14, 2010 12:41 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2010 3:08 pm
 

NFL wants big names for Player Safety Committee

Posted by Will Brinson

Player safety has dominated the headlines in 2010, and more changes are coming -- CBS Sports' own Charley Casserly reported Sunday on Inside the NFL that Commissioner Roger Goodell is going to form a Player Safety Committee which will make recommendations to Goodell and the Competition Committee in order to improve the game.

Casserly reports that Goodell is considering John Madden, Willie Lanier, Ronnie Lott, Derrick Brooks, Anthony Munoz and perhaps a game official to comprise this committee.



What will the committee discuss? Items that Casserly listed include: better consistency with the game officials calling the rules, how to educate players on applying rules as they play, making pads -- hip pads, thigh pads, knee pads -- mandatory.

And, maybe the most interesting thing Casserly mentioned was "widening the field -- widening the hash marks, opening up the middle of the field." Casserly noted that there's some belief that widening the field would make the game safer.

There will also be a meeting of helmet manufacturers in the future, where those manufacturers will discuss innovations to keep improving the quality of their product, including adding padding on the outside of the helmet and making the helmets lighter.

In other words, player safety is the type of storyline that won't be fading from the spotlight any time soon, and with good reason.

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Posted on: October 1, 2010 1:59 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2010 2:02 pm
 

Hot Routes 10.01.10 (cool looking date, huh?)

Hot Routes
Posted by Andy Benoit


C. Ochocinco (US Presswire)
Chad Ochocinco is sorry for the sex-line flap (even though he has nothing to apologize for since he wasn’t at fault). This is at least the second time we’ve mentioned this story about Ocho’s cereal, and it’s probably the fifth or sixth time you’ve heard about it. This begs the question…could the mistake have been a clever publicity stunt? (Think about it: would we be talking about the cereal without the sex-line controversy?)

The Redskins couldn’t practice Thursday because it was raining. Seriously.

Football wasn’t the only thing Braylon Edwards was thinking about last Sunday.

Eagles second-year running back LeSean McCoy is getting some well-deserved props for his improvements in pass-blocking. (By the way, that was three hyphens in one sentence!)

John Madden remembering George Blanda.

Our own Will Brinson continues to sit by the window, staring off blankly as he thinks about the bum ankle of his beloved Sean Weatherspoon. The Falcons linebacker missed practice again on Thursday.

Titans running back Javon Ringer wouldn’t mind getting more action behind Chris Johnson. Jeff Fisher has hinted a few times this week that the second-year man will get a heavier load. (Ringer has 13 carries on the season.)

Normally, homemade music videos don’t make it anywhere on CBSSports.com (except maybe the message boards). But this Redskins hip-hop video is an exception. (Notice the notice editing on the superhero bit about 30 seconds or so in.) Oh, also, my editor pointed out that, thanks to a quick few seconds of iffy content, we need to add a NSFW warning. Or, maybe it is suitable…depends on your view of animal behavior. We'll say nsfw (lowercase)."

Sean Payton thinks John Fox would be the top free agent available next year if the head coach doesn’t stay in Carolina.

Is this the most unforeseen NFC Offensive Player of the Month recipient of all-time?

Packers rookie linebacker Frank Zombo (what a name, by the way), was fined $7,500 for his hit Monday night on Jay Cutler. (Going by Shaun Smith’s fine…for just $2,500 more, Zombo could have nailed Cutler where it really counts.)

For some reason, Dwayne Jarrett thought now would be a good time to reveal that his agent approached the Panthers about trading the receiver during the offseason.

Ray Rice is a go for Sunday.


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Posted on: August 9, 2010 10:28 pm
 

John Madden has made $50 million+ on video game

Posted by Andy Benoit

With so much buzz about Madden ’11 today, we’ll share a snippet of an interview EA Sports co-founder, Jack Hiestand, had on KTAR in Phoenix today (courtesy of SportsRadioInterviews.com).

His thoughts on how much money John Madden has made EA Sports from the Madden games:

“John, without talking out of school, from the time he signed the contract up until now I would say that it is an 8-figure number and it starts with a ‘$5x,xxx,xxx.xx’, north of that.”

His thoughts on what the next step in the evolution of video games will be:

“Eventually it will be 3-D but increasingly all of the play is online.  When games were created it was a conduit to socialize and video gaming in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, that was the lone time playing games where you played by yourself.  So now finally the technology is there to where you can compete t0 the point where you don’t see kids outside playing as much because they are staying inside and playing on the video games, which I don’t know how healthy that is all the time, but it is definitely going to be greater speed greater graphics, and greater competition.”

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 17, 2010 11:27 am
Edited on: July 17, 2010 11:28 am
 

Goodell, Madden training camp tour schedule

Via Twitter from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, Roger Goodell and John Madden are scheduled to hit the road in the Madden Cruiser on August 2 for a quick training camp tour.

Their first stop will be Saints camp. They’ll drive up to Philadelphia for Eagles camp August 3, then hit the beltway for Ravens and Redskins August 4. The Steelers and Browns will be August 5. On August 6, it’s Canton for the Saturday night Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Then, Colts camp August 7.

Goodell's schedule is tentative. The intent of the trip is to meet with players, coaches and fans to "hear what's up".

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.
Category: NFL
Posted on: July 13, 2010 10:16 am
 

Should Coryell be in the HOF?

John Madden thinks that Don Coryell should have a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And he made that perfectly clear during his eulogy of Coryell on Monday at the memorial service to honor the former Chargers coach.

"You know, I'm sitting down there in front, and next to me is Joe Gibbs, and next to him is Dan Fouts, and the three of us are in the Hall of Fame because of Don Coryell," Madden said in quotes captured by the AP . "There's something missing."

Coryell was one of 15 finalists for the HOF this year, but he wasn’t selected. That’s a wrong that needs to be righted, said Fouts.

"I would not be standing here today if not for Don,” Fouts said. “But don't worry, he'll get in. The voters will get it right. Wouldn't it be great if we could have this type of celebration, this type of feeling, and move it to Canton, Ohio, one day?”

So, why isn’t Coryell in the HOF?

I talked last night to a HOF voter who told me that of all the finalists, the most letters of support came in Coryell’s name. But once the debate between the voters began, the road for Coryell to enshrinement grew more rocky. The reason: there’s still a big backlog of deserving players who are trying to get in, and the fact Coryell never won a Super Bowl is still a big sticking point.

“I think when you take a look at last year’s list, all 15 had a strong case to get in and no one would have asked why,” the voter said.


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.



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