We need more Al Davis press conferences in our lives. For all the jokes made at his expense lately, he’s one of the 5-10 most important figures in American professional football history. He doesn’t speak often, but he’s absolutely fascinating when he does.
1. Davis on beating Lane Kiffin in arbitration: “I beat him because he lied. He’s a liar.” (Davis called him “Lance” Kiffin at one point. He also called Cam Newton “Kim” Newton.)
2. Davis said Cable would have been fired after the season even if the team made he playoffs because of his off-field problems. The Raiders owner crushed Cable for saying “We’re not losers anymore.” It was pretty obvious Davis saw Jackson as a potential head coach the moment they hired him.
3. A reporter asked Davis about the efficacy of the team’s background checks considering Kiffin and Cable’s history: “We’re very bad at it,” Davis said. Awesome.
4. In an upset, the line of the day went to Jackson: “What Tom Cable is as a football coach is an exceptional line coach.” (Ouch.)
5. Davis on JaMarcus Russell: “JaMarcus is gone. I decided we no longer as an organization to fight the battle of personal problems with certain players. . . . JaMarcus hurt. Any time you lose a first-round draft choice it hurts. But it’s over.”
6. Tom Cable’s old zone blocking scheme is gone. Davis hinted that Jackson faced “resistance” on some offensive changes in 2010.
7. Jackson cited Jon Gruden as one of his biggest influences: “He was like, what’s his name? Gruden,” Davis said. “Gruden was like that — feisty, he could lead the defense. But they are different, definitely, Hue Jackson and Jon Gruden.”
8. Davis wasn’t too worried about the support for Tom Cable in the locker room and found punter Shane Lechler’s comments amusing. He noted Lechler once said he was leaving town just before signing a huge deal to stay in Oakland.
9. On Nnamdi Asomugha: Davis wants to keep him, but indicated he wouldn’t have picked up the option in the cornerback’s contract: “That 17 million dollars can bring you two or three players that can help you win.’’
10. Davis said he hired a front office member to help him more than a year ago that has already left. “One worked here about eight months and you people didn’t even know he was working here,” Davis said.