Oakland, Football, Raiders discussed on Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network

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Ron woolfe joins us on sports byline. Usa and we can now say a member of the pro football hall of fame. He was the general manager. The Green Bay packers in his credited with bringing success to a packers franchise that rarely wondering the two decades prior to Ron joining the organization. He also played a significant role in personnel decisions and operations with the Oakland. Los Angeles Raiders as well Ron. I know that going into the hall of fame means different things to different people. I'm sure with coaches. It's one thing with players. It's another thing but you've been a major contributor to football for a long time. Which got the that honor. Tell me a little about what your reaction was to it. Well first of all it was wanted shock to have an opportunity to to be thought of in. That vein is an incredible experience for someone like myself. It's not something you think about as you as you work every day. I spent thirty eight active years working primarily in the personnel and of the National Football League. So you don't You don't you don't ever see or think that you're going to get an opportunity to one day where that gold jacket and Lo and behold that presented itself so. I'm still in shock. I'm still on all over it and It's a it's an honor a lot. A lot of people played a very important role and What I was able to do to help me along and I look at it more more or less as a team thing than anything else A lot helping Green Bay and had a lot of help obviously an open so I can't take credit for a lot of things that went on and Oakland but certainly in Green Bay. I'm very proud of what we're able to accomplish there and How we resurrected that franchise. Let me ask you because you did make an art form in other words personnel evaluation. You had touch. You had a feel for tell me a little bit about how that developed in You. Gravitated to that direction and football. Well I had a tremendous teacher. I was Nineteen sixty three. I was brought to Oakland As as a talent assistant Under Al Davis and he sat with me and taught me every aspect of town evaluation. It was a wonderful time for me. American football raiders. American football league There were only eight teams. We had thirty three players so that meant a whole. There were two hundred and forty four players. We would sit in the room at night. Alan and myself with the four other coaches that we had and we studied each team and we broke it down by position. So I'm saying we that's not. I shouldn't say that they really did. I was sitting in their absorbing. But you could watch for example Who the best left tackle who the best corners were things of that nature and by repetitive nature. I always like to compare everything by comparison variable there. We were able to ascertain who the best players were at each position in the American football league That's an education. Anybody would love to have I was always big on comparison. Compare one player to another. And that's Kinda how I learned. It did yeah. He had a particular philosophy about evaluating players. No matter what the position was Ron he really did sizes fever very important to him And he stressed that And he was always looking for explosive players. Both sides with a ball is looking for different makers on offense and difference makers on defense. Obviously he felt and I'm sure everybody is well aware of that. That followed the raiders. During that time then order to shut it team down you need to corners and someone who could apply pressure As as a rusher but he really stressed the cornerback. Position and offensively It was a receiver position. I think he's lean to that a little bit because that's what he coached. Did he adjust his a playing philosophy for the team to the players that he had or did the players did he go out and draft players that fit his philosophy of how he wanted the team to play? He went out and drafted players. That would sit as philosophy of how you want to wanted. The team supply He he wasn't He had he was Said his mind which way he wanted to go and the particular players he wanted to play for him and that's why he was able to acquire so many really good players in trades like Willie Brown here addiction to name a few. Those are for the the really old raider fans guys like Tom. Keating and eventually he ended up Making the raiders who are also ran into just a championship caliber team in fact. It's probably the only team when you stop and think about that when you think of the Oakland Raiders. You think of one person. You don't think of a player you think of. Al Davis and He's just a remarkable remarkable remarkable Executive in professional football. Let me ask you about the the move from Oakland Los Angeles. Oakland is obviously a blue collar type of town. The fans were that way as well. Los Angeles is Hollywood down. There did that. Have any effect on the raiders. That moved down there a very interesting question I I. I'm not sure I don't think so. I think you know if you second guess or Be like a Monday morning quarterback. I'm not sure we went to the you know. In retrospect looking back. Now I'm not sure we went to the right place. Maybe we should've tried to go to Pasadena Planet Rose Bowl something like that. But I don't think had any Any big effect I. It was a lot different though. I mean suddenly. You had limousines appearing in the parking lot take in players to engagements at night. You know. We never had that up at Oakland. Find funny if you think about it. Ron And you know the Oakland areas well in the seventies they had the Oakland A.'s. And of course the story with them was they had so much talent but when they were off the field they be fighting in the locker room. And then you think about the Raiders Oakland Raiders and they had all these distinct personalities crazy guys as well. I mean when you've got somebody like a Kenny Stabler and an Jack Tatum. But yet when they got on the field they played so well and so successfully. Is that something? That's just in the air in Oakland or was it just a philosophy by the people who are running those teams you think I think we had great great locker room presence. The people in the locker room ran. I'm talking about the players and this show is Jim Auto. Then it became Gene upshaw became Dave Dhabi. We have guys those guys the locker room. They police themselves if he has somebody on a little bit off kilter or off Center. He was quickly. Grab back and forced to succumb to their pressure. If you will and it was always about playing a game always about playing a game. What were the challenges for you? When in nineteen seventy five you joined the expansion Tampa Bay buccaneers. You were the vice president of operations and you help build that team. That would advance the seventy nine. Nfc Championship game taking a team from scratch in building it. Tell me about what that was like and what we are. Philosophy was in building it. Well very interesting experience for me. You know and I'm on to my own horn here as the only real expansion team before free agency in four years that in four years played championship game for the right to go to the Super Bowl. No one else ever did not Tom Landry. Not Tex Schramm where the cowboys. Paul Brown with the Bengals so I am very very proud of that now. It was a very big learning experience because unfortunately in that time period there were no quarterbacks that were available. Those two years were disastrous. Seventy five and seventy six in the draft or seventy six seventy seven. I should say seventy six seventy so The best quarterback to come out was a fellow by name. Steve Berg And you know yeah very nice career. We couldn't hit. We could not find one. It was very very frustrating to me because I believe in order to be successful in the in the national football league. You have to have a quarterback and We just couldn't come up with on when you look at the Success that they had in going to that. Nfc Championship game in about a minute. What was the key to that season? You know I was fired by the seventy nine the seventy nine but you put you put the building blocks in place. Yeah we had sixteen or seventeen guys that I had something to do with ever that were playing in that game on both sides. I think what happened was Play better football team playing some. They had one heck of a defense Leroy Salman is a good football player as As anybody's ever going to see I I've only been around one guy very similar to him. That'd be Reggie White with the packers. And and how long with the raiders? I shouldn't say one guy that's two guys. They're so he was. He was a dominant football player. As those other two guys were but I think that's it. I think just the rams were better team. Ron Hold on just a second. We're talking with Ron. Woolfe member of the football hall of fame. We'll talk about those great years up in Green Bay and how he put that team together as well and we do that as we continue across country and around the world on sports byline. Have.

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