Reaction pours in on Davis' passing
Here is a sampling of the reaction from around the NFL regarding the death of Oakland Raiders Hall of Fame owner Al Davis, who died Saturday morning at age 82.
"While I am saddened by the news of Mr. Davis' passing, I will forever be heartened and enriched by the many personal interactions I had with him over the years. His winning, his football knowledge, his passion for his team and contributions to the league made him one of the all-time greats. By striving for the highest level of excellence with our respective teams and the game itself, we will be honoring the memory of Al Davis." – New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick
"We are very sorry to hear about the loss of Al Davis. Al Davis was a great leader who helped develop the game we enjoy today. His vision and leadership helped merge the AFL-NFL into the greatest sport in North America. He was a fearless fighter and tireless worker toward making the game of football better for all to enjoy. To all of Raider Nation, the Oakland Raider organization and to his family, we mourn your loss." – NFL players association executive director DeMaurice Smith
“Our condolences go out to the Davis family. Al Davis has long been a pillar of professional football and a leader of one of our most legendary franchises. His contributions, dedication and foresight changed the game for the better. The league has lost one of its all-time greats.” -. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay
"Al was a football man - his entire life revolved around the game he loved. He worked his way up through the ranks and had a knowledge of all phases of the game. That experience aided him as an owner. He was quite different from every other owner in that way. As an AFL guy, he was in that group of people who pushed our league forward. I didn't get to see him over the last few years and I know many, including myself, will miss him." -
“Al was a fiery individualist, an important part of pro football -- the AFL and NFL --for almost 50 years. His teams had times of great success, and he was heavily involved both on and off the field. I admired the achievements the Raiders attained under Al.” - Bengals owner Mike Brown.
“This is a sad day for Raider Nation and the NFL. But it’s a day to think about all Mr. Davis did for football. He was truly one of a kind. I respect him for the way he approached the game, for how much he loved it. I’m fortunate to have worked with Mr. Davis for a short period, and I thank him for giving me the opportunity. Playing in Oakland was a great experience for me, something I’ll always remember.” - Bengals QB Bruce Gradkowski, who played for the Raiders last season.
"Thoughts & prayers go out to the family & friends of #RaiderNation. Al Davis was a man who's impact on the #NFL will never be forgotten." – Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, who spent a portion of his career as a Raider, via Twitter.
"In 1983 the Pats traded my dad to Raiders. Super Bowl XVIII in Tampa became my favorite childhood memory. #JustWinBaby – Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck via Twitter.