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New Oakland Raiders head coach greeted by fans Godfather Griz Jones and other members of the 66th MOB (Making Oakland Better) waited patiently in a parking lot at the Oakland Raiders facility in Alameda on Jan. 16 as Jack Del Rio, the team’s new head coach, addressed the media at his introductory news conference.

L'ville to make Grantham among richest DCs Louisville is rewarding defensive coordinator Todd Grantham for declining the Oakland Raiders' job offer.

Raiders sign Charles Woodson for 2015 season The Oakland Raiders signed pending free-agent safety Charles Woodson to a one-year contract extension on Monday, bringing him back for an 18th season in the NFL. The team announced the contract by releasing a picture on Twitter of Woodson signing the deal next to Hall of Fame defensive back Willie Brown. Woodson was eligible to be a free agent in March. He played all 16 games this season and was ...

Raiders Fans In Los Angeles To Rally Again For Team To Move South While the Oakland Raiders are committed to play at the O.co Coliseum for at least another season, fans of the team in Los Angeles are staging another rally supporting the idea of moving the team back to Southern California again.

Improving Personnel Critical for Oakland Raiders to Run No-Huddle Offense The Oakland Raiders are either incompetent or ingenious. New head coach Jack Del Rio and his handpicked offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave weren ’t hot coaching candidates and have spotty resumes, but that didn ’t deter a team that hires new coaches every couple of years like clockwork. Fans are obviously hoping that somehow hiring Del Rio, Musgrave and what is likely to be a similarly ...

Raiders hit with new suit by ex-cheerleader over wages A former Oakland Raiders cheerleader frustrated over a proposed $1.25 million settlement over alleged wage violations filed her own class-action lawsuit and added another allegation, saying cheerleaders were denied promised media opportunities. The suit also says cheerleaders were forced to “ignore lingering and painful injuries during rehearsals and games for fear of being 'benched’ or fined ...

Oakland Raiders announce hiring of four assistant coaches New Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio still looking for a defensive coordinator; former Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith, a candidate for the Raiders' defensive coordinator post, likely to take season off, according to ESPN.

CRAWFORD | Grantham rejects Raiders, will remain defensive coordinator at Louisville The NFL Network says that the Oakland Raiders have offered Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham a two-year contract to return to the NFL as a defensive coordinator, but the Louisville assistant hasn't yet accepted the deal.

Raiders bringing Woodson back for one more season — his 18th Oakland Raiders, Charles Woodson sign one-year contract extension, meaning the safety will return for his 18th NFL season.

Reports: Oakland Raiders hire Jack Del Rio as new head coach Reports: Oakland Raiders hire Jack Del Rio as new head coach

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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