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Raiders hope rebuild pays immediate dividends The time for excuses for the Oakland Raiders is over. After spending two years tearing apart a struggling team beset by bad draft picks and out-of-whack contracts, general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen finally got the chance to build the type of team they wanted since coming aboard before the 2012 season. Two years of bargain-basement shopping led to back-to-back four-win ...

Oakland Raiders vs. Seattle Seahawks: Preseason Week 4 Game Preview After three preseason games, the Oakland Raiders still have plenty of questions to answer. They'll be hoping to answer them against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night. After missing last week's game, Derek Carr suddenly finds himself in a great position. He's healthy, he's played well, and now that Matt Schaub is dealing with an elbow injury, he has an opportunity to make a strong case for ...

Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr to start vs. Seahawks - Wed, 27 Aug 2014 PST Oakland Raiders fans will get a close look at their past and future at quarterback in Thursday night’s exhibition finale against the Seattle Seahawks.

W2W4: Oakland Raiders The Oakland Raiders (1-2) and the Seattle Seahawks (2-1) complete the preseason Thursday night in Oakland at 10 p.m. ET. Three things to watch: Passing game: Even if starter Matt Schaub doesn’t play, the Raiders will want to see progress made in this area. It’s just not the quarterback position. Oakland’s coaches want to see better routes, better ball handling and better protection in the pass ...

Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr to start vs. Seahawks OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Oakland Raiders fans will get a close look at their past and future at quarterback in Thursday night's exhibition finale against the Seattle Seahawks.

Oakland Raiders donate $50k for earthquake relief in Napa The Oakland Raiders football team Wednesday afternoon donated $50,000 for earthquake relief to the American Red Cross, the Napa Valley Unified School District and the Napa Valley Education Foundation. "All of us at the Raiders express our deepest concern for those affected by Sunday's earthquake. Napa has been our summer home for almost two decades and during that time, we have fostered true ...

Oakland Raiders donate $50K for Napa earthquake relief The Oakland Raiders, who train at Redwood Middle School in Napa, are donating funds to benefit Napa schools and the Red Cross.

Oakland Raiders Donate Funds For Napa Earthquake Relief The Oakland Raiders football team Wednesday afternoon is donating $50,000 for earthquake relief to the American Red Cross, the Napa Valley Unified School District and the Napa Valley Education Foundation.

Raiders rookie QB Carr to start final preseason game vs. Seahawks OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Oakland Raiders fans will get a close look at their past and future at quarterback in Thursday night's exhibition finale against the Seattle Seahawks.

Raiders CB DJ Hayden will start regular season on PUP list Oakland Raiders cornerback DJ Hayden will miss at least the first six weeks of the season after being placed on the physically unable to perform list with a stress fracture in his right foot.

Lester Hayes
 Lester Hayes

A former teammate named Fred Biletnikoff used stick-um on his hands and body, but it was Lester Hayes who took it to another level and it forced the NFL to ban its use. Hayes played ten seasons with the Oakland and then the Los Angeles Raiders. He won the admiration of friend and foe alike for his ability to cover any type of receiver man for man. Whether it was Charlie Joiner, John Jefferson or some other great player, Hayes always managed to keep up with the best of them. In 2001 he was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame but just missed it by a few votes.

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.


 

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