Many people in the NFL have left their mark on the league. The things players, coaches, and owners have done that have left a mark and still influence the NFL betting odds to this day are countless. 

We may not even realize how some people influenced the league, because their mark runs so deep. Al Davis was one of these people. 

He was not just a legend, but he changed how the game was played, how the whole football league was run and influenced the way in which an owner took control over his club. 

He was a bit hard and bully-like, he did not have many admirers outside of the organization, but he did have respect, and that is worth the world in business, and he knew it. 

He was something of a pioneer, and the fact that he is still remembered so much now is really saying something. 

So, we will take a moment to look over the legacy that he left behind. 

His Commitment to Brilliance

He came into the league as an offensive assistant to Gillman of the Chargers back in 1960, and he learned about the ‘vertical’ pass that Gillman introduced. It was a concept of power runs and deep throws. 

When Davis went to Oakland 3 years later, he took this with him, as a coach and manager at only 33. He slew at this scheme, perfecting it and turning the Raider's faltering team around. 

3 years later, at only 36 years old, he was named to be the commissioner of the AFL, in which he began the crusade to begin a merger between the AFL and NFL. He was not long-lasting due to his forefront actions, but it did increase the speed at which people discussed a merge. 

The first Super Bowl was played thanks to his actions. In 1970, the league began as a merged unit. 

Of course, this was not all though. As you can see he was quite the domineering man, determined and ruthless. If he wanted something done, he got it. And, long before teams had an end zone dance of slogans, he demanded wins from his coaches and his players. 

No owner ever before had been so intense and involved with players and staff alike. His commitment to brilliance was intimidating, and he would often say that the other team's quarterback needed to "go down."

He brought a swagger and a confidence that rubbed off onto his players. But, what was even better was how he took the players who were often outcasts and gave them a place to call home at Oakland. 

The players who were seen as bad characters, or who didn’t blend in like normal, he brought them to him. For this consideration and care, many of his players would have happily powered through a brick wall for him. 

He may have been harsh and strict, but his teams loved him for it, and due to his keen eye and his compassion, while there was that ‘bossy dad’ character, he was also a gentleman too.

Hiring Minorities

However, his compassion and kindness were not hidden, he had absolutely no shyness when it came to hiring coaches of minority backgrounds to lead his teams. He was also the first ever owner to do this successfully. 

He named Tim Flores as head coach in 1979, who was absolutely vital in the Raiders' Super Bowl XV and XVIII victories. 

Then later in 1983, he made Shell the first ever African-American head coach in the modern age. The NFL was not always so friendly to all races, Davis rather forced them to be more accepting.

Taking Chances

Davis also took a lot of chances. He took a chance with a rather unknown 32-year-old linebacker coach known when Rauch left the team in 1969. If this didn’t happen we may never have experienced the legend of Madden. 

Madden made the Raiders into an insane powerhouse, while also being the youngest NFL coach. He helped the franchise to achieve an amazing .763 win percentage with a 103-32-7 record as head coach. He also snagged them the 1976 Super Bowl title. 

While many fans of the NFL know him best for his video games or his announcer work, he was one of the most legendary head coaches in the history of the game. 

Media and fans alike thought hiring Madden was crazy, but he proved them wrong. He was a rebel and maverick. His legacy is unlikely to be forgotten, and his incredible vision for the game has left a mark. 

He Looked in Places No One Else Would 

The most part of Davis’ legacy is how he saw talent in places no one else really looked. In a sense, he looked for the underdogs, the disregarded, and the unwanted gave them a home and turned them into legends. 

In a way, Davis almost proved that half of winning is about mindset, and having that kind of back-up. As a head coach, he was something like a strict dad. But he always got results. 

Will we ever see another like him? 



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