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Joe Paterno says Al Davis wanted to hire him


The college coach most closely linked — and not in a good way — to late Raiders owner Al Davis is USC coach Lane Kiffin, who took the high road when reflecting on his former boss in Oakland.

Another college coach disclosed that Al Davis once wanted to hire him.

Penn State coach Joe Paterno addressed the passing of Al Davis on Saturday.

“He was a good-old Brooklyn boy,” Paterno said, via the York (Pa.) Daily Record.  “He was a tough guy.  I am sorry to see him go.

“When Al got the job [in Oakland], he called me to be his offensive coordinator.  I told Al, ‘You and I would have trouble getting along, because I am smarter than you are.'”

Al surely would have disagreed, in large part because Paterno never chose to coach football at its highest level.

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27 Responses to “Joe Paterno says Al Davis wanted to hire him”
  1. tomsd1 says: Oct 9, 2011 8:59 AM

    Great Story.

  2. mackie66 says: Oct 9, 2011 9:04 AM

    Sorry to bust the “highest level” remark but some of us believe that college is the highest level of football. Profootball is just for money and not the sport.

  3. jw731 says: Oct 9, 2011 9:06 AM

    I think he did all right for himself, without coaching at it’s “highest level”, perhaps when an internet hack gives millions back to the community, instead of acting as if he and his band of plaguizers are the know all end all of football, i can agree……

  4. Mike Florio says: Oct 9, 2011 9:06 AM

    @mackie66 . . .

    College football is about the sport and not the money?

    Do you work for the NCAA or something?

  5. balewsquare says: Oct 9, 2011 9:08 AM

    This analogy is a bit too strong, but hey, it’s an analogy: Watching college football is like watching the WNBA. Sure, it’s the same sport, but it’s played by slower, less talented athletes.

  6. peed1 says: Oct 9, 2011 9:25 AM

    Smart JoePa.
    Great life, career, etc. At Penn. State, who needs the pros.

  7. johnnyhose says: Oct 9, 2011 9:27 AM

    Aren’t they the same guy? I swear I saw Al yesterday in the coaches box of the game to start the second half of that game

  8. citiciti says: Oct 9, 2011 9:27 AM


    Yea there is NO money involved in College Football,just the love of the game and the STUDENT ATHLETE.
    Go back to sleep SANTA will be here in a couple months.

  9. stairwayto7 says: Oct 9, 2011 9:37 AM

    JoePa as a Raider? I could not seen him in a Darth Vader mask with 20 tattoos!

  10. jonpeezy says: Oct 9, 2011 9:41 AM

    Couldn’t agree more about the NFL being all about the money. At least the NFL isnt delusional about the importance of money, unlike the NCAA which maintains a lame, thin veneer claiming the “student-athletes” are its primary concern, which any person with half a brain can see through like grandma’s underpants.

  11. tomdrum7 says: Oct 9, 2011 9:45 AM

    This isn’t anything new. JoePa revealed this in his 1989 book “Paterno, By the Book”. He talks in detail about his interview with Davis and a lunch they had in San Francisco.

  12. Chairman Al says: Oct 9, 2011 10:10 AM

    I’m from York, PA originally. Thanks for the hometown shout-out!

  13. tatum064 says: Oct 9, 2011 10:11 AM

    JoePa did alright. Its good to see him still active and having Wisniewski follow Leo and Steve’s footsteps in Football and the Raiders (although Leo was a Buffalo Bill)

  14. wickedpickle says: Oct 9, 2011 10:18 AM

    Paterno votes Republican. Hence the obligatory NBC-sponsored never-coached-at-the “highest level” cheap shot.

  15. epmckenna says: Oct 9, 2011 10:20 AM

    Saying the NFL is the “highest level of football” is not a knock against college football. It’s just a fact. Whether you enjoy college football more or not, the NFL is a higher level; it consists of only the best players in the world, they’re professionals who’ve been weeded out by the college system.

    You may enjoy AAA baseball more than MLB baseball, but it doesn’t mean the MLB isn’t the highest level of baseball. The AAA players are aspiring to play in the MLB.

  16. jamezz23 says: Oct 9, 2011 10:30 AM

    College coaches are just as smart as NFL coaches. And who ever compared the wnba to college football is just stupid. You obviously never lived the college experience. It’s truly amazing and a way better atmosphere than NFL.

  17. macker1283 says: Oct 9, 2011 10:35 AM

    “A good old Brooklyn boy”

    Didn’t he grow up in Massachusetts?

  18. 1captain1 says: Oct 9, 2011 10:44 AM

    Paterno and Al Davis had a great relationship. Glad to see this tidbit from his 1989 book repeated.
    In other news… Al Davis just fired God for just cause and will withold the remainder of HIS contract.

  19. hatedatbirth says: Oct 9, 2011 10:51 AM

    Thank God PFT is there so I know stuff like this and I don’t have to read……. books.

  20. wardrivekeith says: Oct 9, 2011 11:09 AM

    Hmmmmmmm … bet Jamarcus Russell would have made a better linebacker!

  21. Jeff Thomas says: Oct 9, 2011 11:20 AM

    Why would Paterno want to leave PSU to coach at the “highest level?” He’s a god there. He’s got a lifetime appointment. He’d never have that in the NFL.

  22. Jeff Thomas says: Oct 9, 2011 11:22 AM

    Macker1283 – He was born in Mass, but he grew up in Brooklyn.

  23. racerx1225 says: Oct 9, 2011 12:12 PM

    Davis wasnt just an NFL coach, he was one of the greatest icons in professional sports. Sorry Joe, he far outdid you on every level of accomplishment. Just check the stats. Denial aint a river in Egypt.

  24. pacash80 says: Oct 9, 2011 12:27 PM

    Sorry to bust the “highest level” remark but some of us believe that college is the highest level of football. Profootball is just for money and not the sport.


    Um, what? College football isn’t about money? What about the endless amount of bowls with sponsored names (Meineke Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Little Caesars Bowl, ect.). That’s why they’ll never be a legit playoff system. Look at the coaches with multi-million dollar contracts. These reasons are just scratching the surface. There is just as much money involved in college football as in the NFL, especially if players start getting paid like so many people seem to want, since a scholarship apparently isn’t enough.

  25. joetoronto says: Oct 9, 2011 12:48 PM

    The big boys are in the NFL, not in kiddie ball.

  26. hatesycophants says: Oct 9, 2011 1:30 PM

    Guys like this, who want to “die on the job” sicken me. Has he ever considered the effects this might have on his coworkers and student athletes? Retire and die at home or in a home with dignity! Sorry, it is a truth which must be aired.

    Go Lions! Go Badgers! Go Tigers!

  27. vader3234 says: Oct 9, 2011 3:29 PM

    College football is all about the money as already stated. Only the money goes to the colleges and their paid staffs. The players, they just get exploited.

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