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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.

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.

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.

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 ...

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.

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 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.

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 ...

Former Raiderette files class-action lawsuit against the team OAKLAND -- As a proposed $1.25 million settlement for cheerleader wage theft pends approval in an Alameda County court, another class action lawsuit over pay and compensation has been filed against the Oakland Raiders by a former Raiderette.

Pat Sims unlikely to be back with Raiders ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders don’t expect to make dramatic changes to their roster like they did each of the past two seasons. However, one player who likely won’t be back in Oakland is defensive tackle Pat Sims. The 29-year-old Sims played well down the stretch in 2013, but his playing time and production dropped off dramatically in 2014. A former third-round pick by Cincinnati, Sims ...

Lyle Alzado
 Lyle Martin Alzado

Born: 1949
Died: 1992

Professional Football Player. He played for the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Raiders. A true defensive standout for the Broncos, he was the first Yankton (South Dakota) College player ever drafted by the NFL and was a two-time All-Conference pick. From those humble beginnings, his combination of quickness and strength provided him with the pass-rushing skills to start with the Broncos in 1971. His 4.75 40-yard dash time, coupled with his tremendous strength (he once had 27 wins as an amateur boxer) ranked him as one of pro football's top pass rushers. His status as a premier defensive lineman was also enhanced by his versatility - he played both end and tackle in the front four with All-pro status.

The 6-foot-3, 254-pound Alzado played 15 seasons at defensive end for the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Raiders. He was twice named All-Pro and compiled 97 sacks in 196 games.

A violent, combative player known for his short temper, Alzado was most comfortable with the renegade Raiders of the 1980s, helping them beat Washington in Super Bowl XVIII. But he also starred for Denver's "Orange Crush" defense of the 1970s, compiling 64½ sacks.

"The guy had a split personality," Raiders defensive end Greg Townsend said. "On the field, he had this tough image that he projected. Off the field he was the gentle giant. So caring, so warm, so giving."

But in 1992, seven years after playing in his last regular-season game, Alzado died from brain lymphoma, a rare form of cancer. He was 43. Although there is no medical link between steroids and brain lymphoma, Alzado was certain the drugs were responsible for his cancer. He became a symbol of the dangers of steroid abuse.

At the height of his steroid and human growth hormone abuse, Alzado estimated he spent $30,000 a year on the drugs, often buying them at gyms around the country. His second wife, Cindy, blamed the breakup of their marriage on his mood swings caused by steroids. She said she called police at least five times during their marriage because Lyle physically abused her, but Alzado was never arrested.

Alzado also admitted the steroids sometimes made him so crazy that at times he couldn't deal with social stress. "Once in Denver in 1979 a guy sideswiped my car," he said, "and I chased him up and down the hills through the neighborhoods."

After years of denying he used steroids, Alzado came clean in a cover story for Sports Illustrated in July 1991, three months after being diagnosed with brain cancer. "It was addicting, mentally addicting," Alzado wrote of his steroid use. "I just didn't feel strong unless I was taking something."

By the following spring, Lyle Alzado was dead.

He was born on April 3, 1949 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of an Italian-Spanish father, Maurice, and a Jewish mother, Martha. The family moved to Cedarhurst, on Long Island, when Lyle was 10.

Alzado endured family tensions. He described his father as a "drinker and street fighter" who left home when Lyle was a sophomore in high school. Martha worked as a florist, earning less than $100 a week. To help support his mother and four siblings, Alzado worked while in high school.

On the football field, Alzado was an aggressive defensive lineman at Lawrence High School, but he was no star. When he graduated, there were no scholarship offers waiting.

After Kilgore Junior College in Texas told Alzado he wasn't good enough for the football team in 1967 - Alzado later said his befriending an African-American teammate was to blame - he was accepted at Yankton College, a tiny NAIA school in South Dakota. It was here that Alzado began using steroids.

In 1970, a Broncos assistant coach had car trouble in Montana and decided to pass the time by watching Montana Tech on film. The opponent was Yankton, and Alzado performed impressively.

Denver made Alzado its fourth pick in the 1971 draft. He became a starter at defensive end as a rookie and soon emerged as a feared member of the defense. "My first year with the Broncos, I was like a maniac," Alzado said. "I outran, outhit, outanythinged everybody. All along I was taking steroids and I saw that they made me play better and better."

After his rookie season, Alzado went back to Yankton to get his college degree. He received a B.A. in physical education with an emphasis on secondary education. In 1972, Alzado led Denver with 10½ sacks and tied for the most tackles with 91. He set a Broncos record with 13 sacks in 1974, when he began a string of seven straight games with at least one sack, a streak that continued through the first game of 1975.

In 1977, he was named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year after leading the Broncos with eight sacks. In Super Bowl XII, a 27-10 loss to Dallas, Alzado and teammate Rubin Carter each had two sacks, becoming the first players in franchise history with multiple sacks in a postseason game.

After making the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year, Alzado - who had led the team in sacks in five of the last seven seasons - and the Broncos had a contract dispute. He flirted with the idea of becoming a pro boxer and in July 1979, he went eight rounds with heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in an exhibition. A month later, Alzado walked out of the Broncos' training camp. Management responded by trading him to Cleveland for draft picks.

Alzado's best season with the Browns was 1980, when he led the team with nine sacks. The following season he led the team with 8½. But that wasn't good enough to keep his career in Cleveland alive. Looking to dump salary, the Browns traded Alzado to the Raiders for an eighth-round draft choice in April 1982.

"A lot of guys on the Raiders asked me about steroids, and I'd help them get what they needed," Alzado said.

In a strike-shortened season, Alzado tied for the team lead with seven sacks, earning him honors as NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Against the Jets, he ripped the helmet off offensive tackle Chris Ward and flung it, prompting the NFL to create a rule outlawing helmet throwing.

In 1983, he had seven sacks in the regular season before getting 2½ in the Raiders' 38-10 rout of Pittsburgh in the divisional playoffs. The Raiders advanced to the Super Bowl, where Alzado promised to behead Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. That didn't happen (Alzado had no sacks), but he got a Super Bowl ring with the Raiders' 38-9 victory.

"I was so wild about winning," Alzado said. "It's all I cared about - winning, winning. I never talked about anything else."

After getting six sacks in 1984, Alzado was limited to only 11 games the next season, recording just three sacks. He retired after the campaign, attributing his use of steroids to the Achilles' tendon injury that forced his exit from the game he loved.

Pursuing an acting career, he appeared in 15 movies, all of them forgettable, such as Ernest Goes to Camp, Tapeheads and Club Fed.

In 1990, at 41, Alzado attempted a comeback with the Raiders. He suffered a knee injury in training camp, played in one exhibition game and was waived.

In March 1991, at the marriage to his fourth wife, Kathy, he couldn't walk a straight line. A month later, he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

In his account to Sports Illustrated, Alzado said he began taking anabolic steroids in college in 1969 and never stopped. "It wasn't worth it," Alzado wrote. "If you're on steroids or human growth hormone, stop. I should have."

After receiving a radical chemotherapy treatment and contracting pneumonia, Alzado died on May 14, 1992 at his home in Portland, Ore. The official cause of death was complications from brain cancer.

 


 

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