Here’s an intriguing nugget from Al Davis’ remarks at Saturday night’s press conference introducing defensive lineman Richard Seymour as a member of the team.
Davis nearly hired Bill Belichick to coach the Raiders a decade ago.
Per David White of the San Francisco Chronicle, Davis said that Raiders CEO Amy Trask wanted to hire Belichick, but that Davis wanted to hire Jon Gruden.
And so Gruden was hired.
The following year, Belichick landed with the Patriots, and won a Super Bowl the next year, knocking the Raiders out of the playoffs via the infamous snow globe tuck rule game.
The next year, Gruden was essentially traded to the Buccaneers. He took to Bucs to the Super Bowl, where they beat the Raiders.
[UPDATE: The original title of this post mentioned that Belichick was nearly hired in 1999. We used that year because that was the one mentioned by Al Davis during his press conference, as reported by David White of the San Francisco Chronicle. Actually, Gruden was hired in 1998.]