Classic Photos of the Oakland Raiders
George Blanda and Ben Davidson
As the Raiders enjoy a resurgence on the field, SI looks back at some classic photos of the NFL's most notorious franchise George Blanda (right) watches the action with Ben Davidson. Blanda spent nine seasons with the Raiders as a quarterback and placekicker while Davidson played defensive end for the franchise from 1964 to 1971.
Bob "Boomer" Brown joined the Raiders at the end of his career and spent three seasons with the silver and black (1971-73). The former Nebraska star made the Pro Bowl in 1971.
Jim Otto spent 15 seasons with the Raiders, where he established himself as one of the best centers in NFL history. He was a 10-time AFL All-Star selection (1960-69) and a three-time Pro Bowl pick (1970-72). He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and still works for the Raiders in the department of special projects.
After a standout college career at Notre Dame, Dave Casper was drafted in the second round of the 1974 NFL Draft. He was named to five Pro Bowl teams (1976-80) and won two Super Bowls (XI, XV) but is best remembered for scoring the game-winning touchdown on the "Holy Roller" play against the Chargers in 1978.
John Madden, Art Shell and John Vella
Longtime Raiders coach John Madden patrols the sideline as Art Shell (No. 78) and John Vella (No. 75) look on. In addition to being one of the best offensive linemen of his era, Shell also coached the Raiders twice. During the first stint (1989-94), Shell went 56-41 with three playoff appearances. The second stint (2006) was less successful (2-14) and he was let go after the season.
John Madden and Ken Stabler
Ken Stabler joined the Raiders in 1968 after a standout college career at Alabama. He would go on to become one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history, earning four Pro Bowl selections (1973, 1974, 1976, 1977), one NFL MVP Award (1974) and one Super Bowl title (1976).
Jack "The Assassin" Tatum was every bit as intimidating as his nickname suggests. Known as one of the hardest hitters of his era, Tatum spent eight seasons with the Raiders and collected 37 interceptions. He is best known for his hit on New England's Darryl Stingley during a 1978 preseason game, which left the Patriots wideout paralyzed from the chest down.
Cliff Branch and Fred Biletnikoff
Cliff Branch and Fred Biletnikoff were two of the top receivers in Raiders history. Branch spent 14 seasons in the black and silver, winning three Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII) and making four Pro Bowl teams (1974-77). Biletnikoff spent 19 seasons in Oakland, earning a spot of six Pro Bowl teams (1967, 1969-71, 1973, 1974) and winning one Super Bowl MVP award (XI). He then spent 18 seasons on the Raiders' coaching staff, beginning in 1989.
Art Shell and Gene Upshaw
Art Shell and Gene Upshaw walk off the field during Super Bowl XV against Philadelphia. Upshaw, who spent his entire 15-year career with the Raiders, would become head of the NFL Players Association after his retirement.
Dick Vermeil and Jim Plunkett
Philadelphia coach Dick Vermeil congratulates QB Jim Plunkett after the Raiders beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XV. Plunkett was named MVP after throwing for 261 yards and three touchdowns.
Lyle Alzado was one of the most menacing defensive ends of his era and was a key cog in the Raiders' Super Bowl-winning squad in 1983. He racked up 112.5 sacks in 196 career games, but may best be remembered for coming clean about his steroid use in Sports Illustrated shortly before his death at 43.
Most consider Marcus Allen to be the greatest running back in Raiders history and his numbers -- 8,545 yards and 97 touchdowns in 11 seasons - help solidify that argument. He was also named MVP of Super Bowl XVIII after running for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes
Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes combined to create one of the best defensive backfields in the NFL, combining for 14 Pro Bowl selections. Hayes won two Super Bowls (XV, XVIII) in his 10 years with the Raiders.
While Marcus Allen may have been the Raiders' best overall running back, Bo Jackson their most exciting. The Auburn grad only played 38 games in four seasons, but rushed for nearly 2,800 yards and 16 touchdowns, many of which were worthy of the highlight reel. A bad hip forced him into early retirement, but he remains one of the most popular Raiders of all time.
Before he became a TV analyst, Howie Long was known as one of the best defensive ends in NFL history. He played 13 seasons for the Raiders, collecting 91.5 sacks, eight Pro Bowl selections and one Super Bowl ring (XVIII).
Jim Brown will always be the face of the Cleveland Browns, where he established himself as a football icon. But in 1987, at 47, Brown contemplated a return to football as a member of the Raiders. Though it made for a fascinating story, the comeback never materialized and Brown rejoined the ranks of the retired by the start of the season.
Nobody embodies the spirit of the Raiders more than their feisty owner, Al Davis. He joined the team in 1963 and in the nearly 50 years since, Davis has served as the team's coach, general manager and principal owner. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.
Tim Brown, known as Mr. Raider, spent 16 years with the organization and holds the franchise record for most games played (240), most touchdowns scored (104), most receiving yards (14,734) and most all-purpose yards (14, 924).
Curt Marsh spent six seasons in the trenches for the Raiders, opening holes for Marcus Allen with his fellow offensive linemen. The pounding took its toll on Marsh, who underwent 30 football-related surgeries, including a leg amputation.
While Tim Brown may have been the greatest receiver in Raiders history, Randy Moss may have been the worst. He joined the team before the 2005 season and Oakland fans hoped Moss would mimic his impressive performance in Minnesota. Unfortunately, Moss was never able to find a home in Oakland, often clashing with coaches and teammates. After two seasons, the Raiders gave up on the talented wideout and traded him to New England, where he went onto post some of his best career numbers. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.