NFL Network remembers Al Davis

As the NFL mourns the passing of Raiders owner Al Davis on Saturday, here’s a look at the reaction of some of the guests who joined NFL Network to express their thoughts and feelings on the iconic football pioneer.

Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys owner:
“Uniquely, he didn’t conform. Consequently, he was a leader. He did do things that were unconventional. There is a real place for that, and certainly there was a place for that in the NFL. He did impact the game as it evolved and was a major part of what it is today.” (Full video)

Michael Lombardi, NFL Network analyst and former Raiders executive:
“His spirit will always be with the Raiders. There is no question he is always part of this team. Unfortunately, he’s not with us today on Earth. But his spirit will reside on that field in Oakland and in those uniforms. Nothing will change. They will always be Al Davis’ Raiders, no matter who is in charge of the team. What they believe in is what they’re always going to believe in. The trademarks are there. The blueprint has always been there.” (Full video)

Steve Mariucci, NFL Network analyst and former NFL head coach:
“He had so much intelligence and know-how in football at every level. We’ll never see anyone like him again.” (Full video)

Warren Sapp, NFL Network analyst and former Raider:
“It’s very simple: The Raiders are Al Davis. And Al Davis embodied what the Raiders were. It was ‘Just Win Baby’, and it was the ‘Commitment to Excellence.’ Al had a way of being brash about how great the Raiders were, and there was nothing wrong with being a Raider.” (Full video)

Michael Irvin, NFL Network analyst and Hall of Famer:
“He did things his way. And, if he didn’t do things his way, we wouldn’t all be here right now. So we can appreciate him doing things the way he did. He was an incredible man. An icon. A legend. Forever.” (Full video)

Lane Kiffin, USC coach and former Raiders head coach:
“Mr. Davis was football. He changed the NFL, (with) the merger, and the way football was run back then more than anyone ever has. He gave so many people, including myself at a young age, or minorities, great opportunities. He was very loyal to his players, and he’ll be missed. He should be remembered as probably the single person who changed the NFL more than anyone else ever has or ever will.” (Full video)

Peter King, Sports Illustrated:
“When you think about Al Davis, you think about one of the four or five guys on Mount Rushmore in pro football history. There have been very few guys — and I can only think of one, George Halas — who have been involved in as many aspects of the game as Al Davis has been.” (Full video)

Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports:
“I think the word I would throw out there right now is ‘progressive.’ Not only in terms of football insight, which of course is unrivaled, but (he hired) the first African-American coach of the modern era, first Hispanic-American coach of the modern era, first woman CEO. He wasn’t doing this as a crusade. He just identified talent and hired the best people in his mind. I think people forget how unusual that was at the time he did that.” (Full video)

Ice Cube, Raiders fan, rapper and actor:
“It’s a sad day for anybody wearing Silver and Black. To lose Al Davis, the Frank Sinatra of football, it’s just sad. … Win lose or draw, he did it his way. His teams reflect that.” (Full video)

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