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The greatest Raiders of all time

Team

1976: Bullies in the best way. Champions of Super Bowl XI, these Raiders had eight players who would be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

1983: The defense was ridiculously good for a Raiders team that whooped the Redskins 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII. Marcus Allen was pretty good, too.

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1984, file photo, coach Tom Flores gestures to members of the Los Angel ...
FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1984, file photo, coach Tom Flores gestures to members of the Los Angeles Raiders as they carry him off the field after their 38-9 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII in Tampa, Fla. Flores has been selected as the Coach Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. (AP Photo/File)

1980: From a playoff wild card to Super Bowl champion, the Raiders featured an offense that ranked 16th in the NFL and a defense that ranked 11th.

Head Coach

1. John Madden: Hall of Famer with record of 103-32-7. Led franchise to first Super Bowl and was possibly two more rings away if not for “Immaculate Reception” and “Lytle fumble.”

65738_104 (2002) MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL__ John Madden (Photo Credit: ABC, Inc./Craig Sjodin)
65738_104 (2002) MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL__ John Madden (Photo Credit: ABC, Inc./Craig Sjodin)

2. Tom Flores: The first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl, he captured two (XV and XVIII) and one as an assistant (XI). Also has one as a player. A 2021 coaching finalist for the Hall of Fame.

3. Al Davis: Raiders were 1–13 season before his arrival. They then went 10-4 as Davis brought a pass-heavy AFL scheme to the then-physical nature of the NFL.

General Manager

1. Al Davis: A post he began in 1963 and then kept after becoming principal owner in 1972 until his death in 2011. Three Super Bowl rings.

Oakland Raiders head coach Al Davis smiles during an NFL football news conference at Raiders he ...
Oakland Raiders head coach Al Davis smiles during an NFL football news conference at Raiders headquarters in Alameda, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009. The Raiders retained head coach Tom Cable, officially removing the interim designation from his title more than five weeks after their season ended. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) Paul Sakuma Oakland Raiders head coach Al Davis smiles during an NFL football news conference at Raiders headquarters in Alameda, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009. The Raiders retained head coach Tom Cable, officially removing the interim designation from his title more than five weeks after their season ended. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

2. Reggie McKenzie: NFL Executive of the Year in 2016, he produced both good and bad drafts. The good ones gave Raiders names like Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper and Derek Carr.

3. Mike Mayock: Just his presence here reminds you how long Davis served in the role. Time will tell as Mayock attempts to build a winner.

Quarterback

1. Ken Stabler: Led team to first Super Bowl (post-merger) when defeating the Vikings in 1977. League MVP. Team’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns and wins.

2. Jim Plunkett: Two-time Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP, Comeback Player of the Year, 8-2 record in the playoffs. And still overlooked by most.

Former Oakland Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett mingles with attendees during the Raiders Found ...
Former Oakland Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett mingles with attendees during the Raiders Foundation "Celebrity Swing" event at Topgolf in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto

3. Rich Gannon: Four straight Pro Bowl appearances, Gannon was a league MVP who led Raiders to the Super Bowl in 1983. Yeah, yeah. We remember the five interceptions.

Running back

1. Marcus Allen: Arguably the best at any position in franchise history. Rookie of the Year. Super Bowl MVP. League MVP. Five Pro Bowls. Hall of Fame.

Marcus Allen displays a big smile at news conference Saturday, Jan. 25, 2003, in San Diego, whe ...
Marcus Allen displays a big smile at news conference Saturday, Jan. 25, 2003, in San Diego, where the new inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame were introduced. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy) RUSTY KENNEDY

2. Bo Jackson: In four years with the Los Angeles Raiders, he rushed for 2,782 yards and scored touchdowns of 80-plus yards three times. Hip injury. NFL career over.

3. Mark van Eeghen: Two-time Super Bowl champion. Second all-time to Allen with 5,907 rushing yards as a Raider. Not bad for a third-round draft pick.

Wide receiver

1. Tim Brown: Not close. Hall of Fame. Nine-time Pro Bowler. Only player ever to retire in the NFL’s top five for receiving and return yards. Holds most all franchise receiving records.

Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown gets ready to swing during the Raiders Foundatio ...
Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown gets ready to swing during the Raiders Foundation "Celebrity Swing" event at Topgolf in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto

2. Fred Biletnikoff: Hall of Fame. Super Bowl MVP. Four-time Pro Bowler. Raiders numbers: 589 catches for 8,974 yards and 76 scores.

3. Cliff Branch: One of the most beloved Raiders. Spent all 14 NFL seasons with the franchise. Won three Super Bowls. Numbers: 501-8,685-67.

Tight end

1. Dave Casper: In eight seasons with the Raiders, he had 255 receptions for 3,294 yards and 35 touchdowns. Hall of Fame. Super Bowl champion.

The Class of 2002 pose with their busts after enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame i ...
The Class of 2002 pose with their busts after enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio Saturday, Aug. 3, 2002. From left: Dave Casper, Sen. George Allen for his father, the late coach George Allen, John Stallworth, Dan Hampton and Jim Kelly. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan) MARK DUNCAN

2. Todd Christensen: Played in 136 games for the franchise, compiling 461 catches for 5,872 yards and 41 scores. Two-time Super Bowl champion. Passed away in 2013.

3. Raymond Chester: One of the best tight ends in the 1970s. Played behind Casper to begin career, but still had 2,891 yards and 37 scores with Raiders.

Offensive line

1. Art Shell: One of — if not the best — left tackles in NFL history. He played 15 seasons with the Raiders, making eight Pro Bowls and winning two Super Bowls.

2. Gene Upshaw: AFL champion, two-time Super Bowl champion, six-time Pro Bowler. Hall of Famer. Run blocker extraordinaire.

FILE - In this Aug. 15, 1970, file photo, Gene UpShaw poses when he was playing left guard for ...
FILE - In this Aug. 15, 1970, file photo, Gene UpShaw poses when he was playing left guard for the Oakland Raiders. Al Davis found one of the key building blocks for the Raiders at overlooked Texas A&I University when he drafted Upshaw 17th overall in 1967. Upshaw became a stalwart at left guard on Oakland's overpowering line, helping the franchise win two Super Bowl titles on the way to the Hall of Fame. (AP Photo/File)

3. Jim Otto: AFL champion. One of the toughest players in team history, having undergone 28 knee surgeries. Hall of Fame.

Defensive line

1. Howie Long: A Raiders legend. 179 career regular-season games, 84 sacks, including four in 12 playoff games. Eight Pro Bowls. Super Bowl champion. Hall of Fame.

2. Greg Townsend: The team’s all-time sacks leader with 107.5, he helped the franchise win a third Super Bowl. One of most underrated players in NFL history.

3. Chester McGlockton: He had 39.5 career sacks and 340 tackles in 90 games with franchise. Four-time All-Pro. Passed away at age 42 of a heart condition in 2011.

Linebacker

1. Ted Hendricks: Once a defensive end, The Mad Stork is a four-time Super Bowl champion, three with Raiders. Al Davis traded two first-round picks for the Hall of Famer.

Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Ted Hendricks, left, mingles with attendees during the Raider ...
Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Ted Hendricks, left, mingles with attendees during the Raiders Foundation "Celebrity Swing" event at Topgolf in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto

2. Khalil Mack: He would make the Top 3 as an edge rusher also. 64 games, 40.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles. NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2016.

3. Rod Martin: Remembered mostly for his three interceptions in Super Bowl XV. A 12th round draft pick, he started 147 of 165 regular-season games.

Cornerback

1. Charles Woodson: Will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2021. NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro team. Had even better accolades with Packers from 2006-12.

Former Raiders and Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson meets with fans before an NFL g ...
Former Raiders and Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson meets with fans before an NFL game between his former teams at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (Heidi Fang /Las Vegas Review-Journal) @HeidiFang

2. Willie Brown: Hall of Fame. Three-time Super Bowl champion. NFL 1970s All-Decade Team. In 12 seasons with Raiders, had 39 interceptions. Passed away last year.

3. Lester Hayes: The Judge has been a four-time Hall of Famer finalist. Two-time Super Bowl champion, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1980s All-Decade team.

Safety

1. Jack Tatum: Among the most feared tacklers of his era, a Super Bowl champion who ranks sixth all-time in interceptions (30) in franchise history. Passed away in 2010.

FILE*** This Jan. 9, 1977 file photo shows Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sammy White losing ...
FILE*** This Jan. 9, 1977 file photo shows Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sammy White losing his helmet as two Oakland Raiders hit him in the Super Bowl XI game at Pasadena, Calif. Raiders are, defensive backs Jack Tatum (32) and Skip Thomas. Tatum, the All-Pro safety for the Oakland Raiders best known for his hit that paralyzed Darryl Stingley in an NFL preseason game in 1978, has died. He was 61. Nicknamed "The Assassin," Tatum died of a heart attack Tuesday July 27, 2010 in Oakland, according to friend and former Ohio State teammate John Hicks. (AP Photo/Richard Drew,File) RICHARD DREW FILE-This Jan. 9, 1977 file photo shows Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sammy White losing his helmet as two Oakland Raiders hit him in the Super Bowl XI game at Pasadena, Calif. Raiders are, defensive backs Jack Tatum (32) and Skip Thomas. Tatum, the All-Pro safety for the Oakland Raiders best known for his hit that paralyzed Darryl Stingley in an NFL preseason game in 1978, has died. He was 61. Nicknamed "The Assassin," Tatum died of a heart attack Tuesday July 27, 2010 in Oakland, according to friend and former Ohio State teammate John Hicks. (AP Photo/Richard Drew,File)

2. George Atkinson: Hit Man of the Soul Patrol. Super Bowl champion. 30 interceptions, 12 forced fumbles, 13 recovered fumbles, two returned for touchdowns.

3. Dave Grayson: Played for Raiders from 1965-70. AFL champion. 84 games, 29 interceptions (sixth all-time for franchise), returned four for touchdowns.

Punter

1. Ray Guy: Best at his position in NFL history. Changed how game was played. Only punter elected to Hall of Fame. 207 consecutive games, 1,049 punts, 42.4 average, 33.8 net.

2. Shane Lechler: One of the best in league history, he made seven Pro Bowls and was a six-time All-Pro team selection. 1,444 punts, 47.6 average, 469 inside the 20-yard line.

3. Marquette King: In just six seasons with Raiders, he had 426 attempts for a robust average of 46.8 yards and a net of 40.8. Placed 156 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Oakland Raiders punter Marquette King (7) punts the football during the first half of a NFL gam ...
Oakland Raiders punter Marquette King (7) punts the football during the first half of a NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. Heidi Fang Las Vegas Review-Journal @HeidiFang

Placekicker

1. Sebastian Janikowski: All-time leading scorer for Raiders. One of three place-kickers in history taken in first round of NFL Draft. League record for most field goals of at least 50 yards.

Seattle Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski (11) kicks a point after following a touchdown aga ...
Seattle Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski (11) kicks a point after following a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of an NFL football preseason game, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

2. George Blanda: Played quarterback and kicker. Hall of Famer. AFL champion. 863 points are 2nd all-time in Raiders history. Made 156-of-249 field goals.

3. Chris Bahr: Also played in the North American Soccer League. Third all-time in scoring (817 points) with team and his 162 field goals were a Raiders record until 2007.

Kick returner

1. Tim Brown: Team’s all-time leader in punt returns with 3,272 yard (10.2 average, three touchdowns) while adding 1,235 yards and a score returning kickoffs. 53 more punt returns than any Raider.

2. Chris Carr: The best returner of kickoffs in team history, amassing 4,481 yards for a 24.1 average. Played for six NFL teams between 2005-13.

3. George Atkinson: He returned 148 punts for 1,247 yards and three touchdowns and 76 kickoffs for 1,893 yards. Played nine seasons with the Raiders.

Former Oakland Raiders players George Atkinson, left, and Lester Hayes are shown before an NFL ...
Former Oakland Raiders players George Atkinson, left, and Lester Hayes are shown before an NFL football game between the Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

Ed Graney is a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for sports column writing and can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

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