Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

June 30, 2008
Taking their shots at Davis

Recent press hasn't been kind to Raiders owner Al Davis.

He sounds like a bully that can't make up his mind.

There was the Yahoo Sports report that he's second-guessing all the money spent in free agency.

Then retired defensive tackle Warren Sapp chimed in from Florida in the St. Petersburg Times on his time in Oakland, which didn't put Davis in a positive light.

Here's what Sapp said:

"As dark as a black hole. Stuff went on in that organization that shouldn't go on in sports. I don't think there's one person who knows who or what is making the call. Let's just say the Oakland experience is unique. The phone rings quite a bit on that sideline. Insubordination is grounds for termination in any company."

You can guess who's making those calls. If you're clueless, here's former Raider employee Mike Lombardi writing for

"Having worked in that "black hole" for eight years, I know exactly what Warren is talking about. And those calls to the sideline are from one man and one man only. At times I have been the reluctant messenger on a few of them myself. They are never pleasant."

There are plenty of folks that would tell you Davis is very involved with the gameplan.

As I was once told, there's a reason why the Raiders rarely blitz on defense.

Best case: Davis' calls provide insight that help. But with all that goes on during a game, no coach wants to worry about taking a message from the owner during a game

The practice only reminds players their coach really has no say. And there are players that view Raiders coaches as puppets.

"Al Davis will never hire a coach with (guts)," a player told me at the end of the season.

Even with criticism, it's hard to believe Davis doubts himself. Davis will fire someone he believes is to blame for poor performance, before he doubts his football acumen.

Note the dismissal of Lombardi and the head coaching changes. After all, Davis did say Art Shell made him draft Michael Huff.

But Davis doubt himself before the team has played a game? That's a tough one to believe.

If that's true, there would definitely be reason to ask if Davis OK.

The recent arrest news about Denver receiver Brandon Marshall could help the Raiders a lot.

Marshall was arrested in March and arrested twice last year. If he's suspended for repeated issues with the police, the Broncos would be in Oakland for the season opener without their top receiver.

--Jason Jones

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

Raiders stories on

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31