John Madden

Mark Davis, John Madden, others remember Raiders legend Willie Brown


Mark Davis, John Madden, others remember Raiders legend Willie Brown

Willie Brown was beloved inside the Raiders organization, and out. The Hall of Fame cornerback and Silver and Black mainstay made a positive impression on most everyone, no matter how long they were with the franchise.

That has been clear on social media, with condolences and memories told from so many who met him after news broke Tuesday that Brown had died at 78 years old.

Raiders owner Mark Davis knew Brown as well as anyone. He was close with the entire Davis family, including late owner Al Davis and Mark’s mother Carol. That’s a main reason why Brown’s death hit Mark Davis hard.

“It’s a very sad day for the Raider Nation as a whole, and for my family in particular,” Davis said in a statement. "Willie Brown was one of the greatest to ever play the game. But it was off the field, and how he treated my mom for which I will forever be indebted to him.

"Every road trip, it was Willie who helped my mom up and down the stairs of the plane. It was Willie who joined her for all dinners on the road. It was Willie who came to her every birthday and Mother’s Day dinner. It was Willie who was her best friend. We loved and will miss you, Willie.”

Former Raiders head coach John Madden also expressed his sorrow for Brown’s loss.

“Willie Brown was a true Raider and one of the best cornerbacks that ever played the game,” Madden said in a statement. “It was a comfort to a coach to be able to have Willie Brown in the defensive backfield. Willie was a good guy, a team captain, and a true Raider from the day he joined our team in 1967, until he passed away today.

"He will be missed by me and the entire Raiders organization.”

Those not old enough to remember Brown’s playing days or his work as a coach certainly know about his tradition of wishing an early “Happy Mother’s Day,” before announcing the team’s second-round pick. He read Derek Carr’s name back in 2014, a moment the quarterback never will forget.

Even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement about Brown’s passing, remembering the dominant player and the Raiders ambassador.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Raiders' great Willie Brown,” Goodell’s statement read. “As a player, coach, and executive, Willie served as a tremendous ambassador for the Raiders and football for more than 50 years. He will forever be immortalized by NFL Films with his iconic 75-yard interception return in Super Bowl XI as he ran straight into the camera and our imaginations.

"After a remarkable 16-year Pro Football Hall of Fame career that he began as an undrafted free agent, Willie went on to become a Raiders coach and later a member of the team's front office. Willie lived the Raiders' motto "Commitment to Excellence" with integrity and touched the lives of hundreds of NFL players with his wisdom and wit. Willie was always a welcome guest at the NFL Draft and I enjoyed visiting with him each year. He was always enthusiastic and optimistic about the Raiders' picks and upcoming season.

"We extend our condolences to Willie's family, the Raiders organization, and fans around the world."

Raiders legend John Madden on panel to elect expanded Hall of Fame class


Raiders legend John Madden on panel to elect expanded Hall of Fame class

Legendary Raiders coach John Madden was announced Thursday as part of a 25-member panel that will select a special Centennial Class into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Twenty new members of the Hall of Fame will be inducted in 2020, which includes five modern-era players, 10 seniors (a player who has been retired for more than 25 seasons), two coaches and three contributors (an individual other than a player or coach).

The panel that will elect the seniors, coaches and contributors includes Hall of Famers Madden, Ron Wolf, Bill Polian, Ozzie Newsome and Dick LeBeau. Six-time Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots also is on the panel.

The blue-ribbon panel also includes 13 members of the overall selection committee, as well as former football executives and several leading historians.

A comprehensive list of nominated seniors, contributors and coaches will be compiled and presented to the panel by the end of this month, the Hall of Fame announced.

A reduction vote by the panel to 20 seniors, 10 contributors and 8 coaches will be announced in the fall. The special panel will then meet in person to vote for 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches.

Among the former Raiders considered strong candidates for the expanded class are three-time All-Pro wide receiver Cliff Branch and two Super Bowl-winning head coach Tom Flores. Former 49ers and Raiders running back Roger Craig is also among the potential seniors candidates. George Seifert is a two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach of the 49ers who could warrant consideration, too.

[RELATED: Patrick Willis, Justin Smith eligible nominees for Pro Football Hall of Fame]

The expanded class will join the five-member class that will be determined among the 122 nominees that recently was announced. The five-member class of modern-era Hall of Famers will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, in August 2020, with the additional 15 inductees being honored during the NFL Centennial Celebration in September 2020.

Hall of Fame Blue-Ribbon Panel

Ernie Accorsi – Longtime Pro Football Executive
Bill Belichick – New England Patriots Head Coach
Jarrett Bell – Hall of Fame Selector, USA Today
Joel Bussert – Former NFL Executive, Pro Football Historian
John Clayton – Hall of Fame Selector, The Washington Post
Frank Cooney – Hall of Fame Selector, Sports XChange
John Czarnecki – Hall of Fame Selector, FOX Sports
Rick Gosselin – Hall of Fame Selector, Talk of Fame Network
Elliott Harrison – Pro Football Historian and Long-time TV Analyst
Joe Horrigan – Retired Pro Football Hall of Fame Executive, Football Historian
Ira Kaufman – Hall of Fame Selector,
Dick LeBeau – Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback, Longtime NFL coach
Jeff Legwold – Hall of Fame Selector, ESPN/
John Madden – Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach
John McClain – Hall of Fame Selector, Houston Chronicle
Gary Myers – Hall of Fame Selector, The Athletic
Ozzie Newsome – Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end, former EVP Baltimore Ravens
Sal Paolantonio – Hall of Fame Selector, Senior National Correspondent - ESPN
Carl Peterson – Longtime Pro Football Executive
Bill Polian – Pro Football Hall of Fame Contributor
Dan Pompei – Hall of Fame Selector, The Athletic
Charean Williams – Hall of Fame Selector, Pro Football Talk
Chris Willis – Producer- Head of Research Library - NFL Films, Football Historian
Barry Wilner – Hall of Fame Selector, Associated Press
Ron Wolf – Pro Football Hall of Fame Contributor

Raiders featured in eight of NFL's '100 Greatest Plays', including No. 1


Raiders featured in eight of NFL's '100 Greatest Plays', including No. 1

Who doesn’t love an anniversary?

As the NFL celebrates 100 years of existence, the league has released its list of the top 100 plays from its first century.

The Oakland Raiders are involved in eight of the plays on the list, including seven of them that made it into the top 30. 

Most of the Raiders’ appearances in the countdown are positive plays for the team, but several -- including the No. 1 play in NFL history -- might leave some nostalgic fans in a somber mood

You can see each clip below, with the exception of No. 61, featuring Hall of Fame defensive back Willie Brown.

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Maybe the 2019 version of the Raiders can be inspired by all of this past success, as they prepare to face off with the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3.