October 09, 2011
The Oakland Raiders came from behind against the Houston Texans to mark a 25-20 victory in the franchise's first game without the participation of the late Al Davis since 1962, and that was an inspiring performance.
However, the game itself had nothing on the postgame speech given by head coach Hue Jackson to his players:
"Losing that man hurt me more than you know," Jackson said of Davis, who passed away on Saturday morning. "But you know what? It's like I told you — he loves you guys. Just like he loves this coaching staff and this organization. And that man … that was a hell of a job by you, Michael Huff(notes). But Al Davis had his hands on that ball.
"And I'll tell you this ... listen to me … You've got to trust me. You've got to keep playing, and that's what we did. It didn't go right — there are so many things to fix and it didn't go right. But you kept fighting because that's what that man would want you to do. That's what Raiders do. That's what Raiders do! I never told you it wouldn't be hard, and I never told you it would be pretty. But you know what? There's nothing like winning. There's nothing like winning. You guys deserve it — you busted your asses and you have Victory Monday!"
That was the gist of the speech, and a very impressive moment for coach Jackson. Al Davis made his share of controversial decisions throughout his life in football, but one gets the sense that he hit a grand slam with the last head coach he ever hired.
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