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Raiders enter camp with 'chip' on shoulders There was a common theme to the players the Oakland Raiders brought in this offseason. Discarded or unwanted by their former teams, players with a history of success in the NFL talked about the motivation of having a ''chip on the shoulder'' when they arrived in Oakland. ''Everybody here has something to prove and they're going to work and we all know we have something left,'' new running back ...
Oakland Raiders' 2014 Training Camp to-Do List The Oakland Raiders have had an eventful and ultimately successful offseason. After adding several respected free agents and putting together an impressive draft class , the team looks to be vastly improved—at least on paper. Of course, that doesn't mean anything if the team can't fulfill that promise on the field. A successful training camp is absolutely crucial for the Raiders. With so many ...
Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers Could Share Home Stadium The Oakland Raiders are having landlord issues. You know, the kind that make you want to move out and find new digs. Now, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stepped in and suggested that the Oakland Raiders’ solution — or at least temporary solution — might be to find a new roommate. And who does the
Marcus Allen sees back Raiders in L.A. While the Oakland Raiders' longterm plans for a home are muddy as ever -- the powers that be seem more interested in getting something done first for Major League Baseball’s Athletics at O.co Coliseum -- a Raiders Hall of Famer thinks he can clear the waters. Marcus Allen, the franchise’s brightest star in the Raiders’ star-crossed 13-year sojourn in Southern California, can see his first NFL ...
Oakland Raiders' veterans out to prove they're not washed up yet (2014 NFL training camp) Oakland Raiders open training camp on Thursday. Check out some of the biggest questions facing the Raiders in their road to play with a "chip on their shoulder."
Team Report - OAKLAND RAIDERS Raiders establishing positive chemistry
Marcus Allen: Raiders should return to L.A. Marcus Allen, the franchise's brightest star in the Raiders' star-crossed 13-year sojourn in Southern California, says he can see his first NFL team returning to Los Angeles.
Raiders' owner Mark Davis looking for better results As Oakland Raiders report to training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott on Wednesday, coach Dennis Allen is on the hot seat.
Predicting the Winners of the Oakland Raiders' Biggest Training Camp Battles The Oakland Raiders kick off training camp this week, and with it begin some interesting position battles to keep an eye on throughout the preseason. There should be much more roster competition this year than there was in years past, and that goes a long way toward showing just how much the Raiders’ overall talent has improved in a short period of time. Most of the competition will come at the ...
New Raider Veteran Players Seeking To Prove Doubters Wrong Discarded or unwanted by their former teams, players with a history of success in the NFL talked about the motivation of having a "chip on the shoulder" when they arrived in Oakland.
Lesters greatest season came in 1980 when he intercepted 18 passes, including five in the postseason, in leading Oakland to a Super Bowl title. He returned two of those 18 interceptions for touchdowns and in the playoffs, Lester was the most dominate cornerback in playoff history. Against the Oilers, Hayes intercepted former teammate Ken Stabler two times, returning the picks for a total of 26 yards and scoring one touchdown. One week later, he intercepted Cleveland quarterback Brian Sipe 2 times. Finally in the AFC Championship game against the Chargers, Hayes intercepted Fouts one time. In Super Bowl XV, Hayes didn't intercept a pass but he limited his man to just two receptions in the Raiders 27-10 victory.
On January 22, 1984 the Los Angeles Raiders played in Super Bowl XVIII against the Redskins. Hayes was once again flawless throughout the Raiders playoff run. He intercepted one pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Divisional playoffs and he intercepted another pass in the AFC Championship game against Seattle. In Super Bowl XVIII Hayes limited his man to just one reception. Hayes slipped on the play and this allowed for a completed pass. Lester almost shut out his receiver for the entire game!!!
Hayes was commonly referred to as "the Molester" and "the Judge." He was known for his "bump and run" coverage style, and for using Stickum™ before it was banned in a rule bearing his name. In college, he became an All-American safety at Texas A&M. Hayes was converted to cornerback after being drafted by the Raiders in 1977. Hayes was a member of two Raiders championship teams (1980, 1983), and was a five time Pro Bowler (1980-1984). He is eligible for enshrinement in the Professional Football Hall of Fame, but as yet has not been selected.
Hayes was a lifelong stutterer until well into his professional career. He tended to stay quiet, rather than draw attention to his condition. For this reason, he was often looked upon as not very smart, but after successful treatment, people "couldn't shut him up," according to Raiders coach John Madden, and it was revealed that Hayes was an articulate, intelligent man. At autograph signings, he would maintain a constant flow of chatter, entertaining his fans with his wit and style.
Hayes intercepted 39 passes during the regular season and 47 overall. He retired from football after the 198 season citing what he termed a "fit of rage" toward everyone within the Raiders organization after recording only 14 interceptions in his final six seasons.
Lester Hayes currently lives with his wife in Modesto, California.
Interview With Lester Hayes
Q: What were your favorite games while playing for the Raiders?
Lester Hayes: In the days of old when Charlie Sumner became our defensive coordinator in 1979, my life changed. The defensive tactics changed, allowing my confidence level to increase to the tenth power. The most important factor in the National Football League on the football battlefield is confidence and the need to trust your leader. The trust level was intensified upon the arrival of Coach Sumner. When a player trusts and loves his leader 110% from a defensive standpoint, they will do anything – if we had to, we would walk through a round of pitbulls wearing pork chop underwear. That is love. And we believed that we would not be bitten.
Q: Who were some of your favorite teammates?
Lester Hayes: Speaking from a bump and run mentality, some of my best friends were my defensive front seven, my sack men. Playing bump and run cornerback, to maintain a level of consistent confidence, the defensive seven had to apply pressure especially on passing downs. Coach Sumner would never rush just four players on passing downs. He would always blitz seven or eight or even nine players. Our focus was to bend the opponents’ concentration. And we were very successful at that defensive battlefield, football tactic.
Q: Can you describe your experience in the 1983 Super Bowl?
Lester Hayes: During the Super Bowl XVIII season, the three most important players on the left side of the defensive formation were Howie Long, Ted Hendricks, and Mike Davis. When Mike Davis became a starter in Super Bowl XV, he did such a stupendous job enabling me to be free for bump and run pass coverage. Playing for the “old school” Oakland Raiders, we played like a team of gladiators. We showed men no mercy – we took their will to fight. And we did this by our leaders, Coach Sumner and the defensive staff.
I can remember going into the 1977 NFL draft. I told teams not to draft me, with the exception for the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas was the only team that I showed up on time for scouts. The Houston Oilers was my second team. This was because I was a Texan, and I was programmed to favor these 2 teams. There was a fictitious rumor that said “Lester Hayes may have difficulty playing in the NFL.” And this is why I was the 14th safety drafted in 1977. But I am thankful to be a Raider. And I am thankful to Mr. Davis, Charlie Sumner, and my defensive staff.
Q: What is going on in your life today?
Lester Hayes: In 1994 I was living in a suburb of Los Angeles. There was a 6.9 earthquake centered in Northridge, and there was extensive damage done to my home. I needed six months of repairs done. So I had a choice to spend that six months time period with my friends in Vegas or stay in Modesto, CA. The hand of God led me to Modesto, and I began dating the first Christian lady of my life. And she introduced me to God. My destiny was then to learn the complete destiny of forgiveness.