Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis had a vision for what a football team should be in the '60s. He wanted the biggest, strongest, most intimidating men on the offensive line to plow holes for the Raiders physical running backs and protect the quarterback.
Davis also wanted to scare defensive backs with the fastest men in the world to play receiver. Not only did he intimidate defenses with all that speed, but he created excitement with anticipation of the bomb.
On defense, he had 11 angry men and those angry men made whoever had the ball go down hard. The Raiders' hard hitters over the years also created fan excitement while making opposing teams weak in the knees.
Raider head coach Hue Jackson wants to restore Davis' vision and has promised to "build a bully" in Raider Nation. The Raiders have hard hitters in place who will be used to bring the hat to opposing teams.
Turn the page to see who they are.
You shouldn't be surprised!
He's known more for his big play ability, but Darren McFadden led the team in players knocked out of a game (three). He put defensive backs on notice by lowering his shoulder and the boom on them in 2010.
He even had All-World nose tackle Haloti Ngata on the grass for a spell after a block in 2009. The way Jon McGraw turned the other way while flying backwards after a collision with McFadden near the goal line in the first Chief game in 2010, was crazy.
It took San Diego Charger safety Eric Weddle a cool minute get up after McFadden bucked him on the way to the end zone too.
I had to put McFadden on the list!
Many of you may not know a whole lot about Travis Goethel because he was hurt most of last year. But the man was moved from middle to outside linebacker to start because he busts on fools!
Believe me when I say that a healthy Goethel in 2011 will make it much harder to run the ball on the Raiders. The man is bangin' domes in camp as I write, so he must be healed from last year's injuries.
Goethel will be another part of the "bully" in 2011.
Did you think he would be left out?
Richard Seymour moves his 6'6", 315-pound frame in an explosive manner off of the line of scrimmage. Once he has used that to either beat his man or split a double team, he is after whoever has the ball in his hands.
When he gets to the man with the ball in his hands, he's usually in a bad mood and expresses it on him. The result of that is always a collision that the ball carrier wished didn't happen and the eruption of O.co Coliseum.
I don't usually have defensive linemen on the list due to a lack of a running start—but Seymour has such short-area burst and speed for his size that he is able to cause collisions.
I know I said I don't like to have defensive linemen due to a lack of a running start, but Lamarr Houston is another exception. He's 6'3", 305 pounds, and runs a 4.7 40, and he's about as mean as they come in the NFL.
He arrived in Raider Nation with a chip on his shoulder as a rookie last year, starting camp brawls right away. Houston would eventually learn how to channel that chip on his shoulder into sacks, finishing with five in 2010.
With another year under the tutelage of Seymour, I expect to get to the quarterback more in 2011. I've already seen him run right over the top of men over 320 pounds, so you know what's going to happen when he gets a running start at the quarterback.
There's going to be some quarterbacks hurting and fumbles being forced.
It took controversial 2009 second-round pick Mike Mitchell a while to get on the field because the coaching staff didn't trust him in coverage. He seems to have fixed the problem, as he looked a lot better in coverage than starting safety Tyvon Branch.
Receivers beware, because Mitchell, a youtube sensation for his hits in college, is a heat-seeking missile in the NFL. I believe he should start at strong safety going forward for the Raiders because he solved his aforementioned coverage issues.
Raiders fans will then be thrilled by his hard hits like the one he put on Justin Forsett in the preseason.
Kamerion Wimbley is 6'4", 260 pounds, runs a 4.5 40, with a 38.5 inch vertical leap and is a very violent human being. When he turns the corner on a tackle, it's game over and the quarterback tries to get down if he sees Wimbley coming.
It isn't just quarterbacks, as offensive linemen have been bucked to the ground by Wimbley. Undrafted free agent Alan Pelc is a 6'5", 314-pound guard who has already felt the wrath of Wimbley and couldn't remain on his feet early in camp.
Wimbley often smells the opposing quarterbacks' fear, their heart pumping as soon as Wimbley lines up. That's because the Wimbley is coming, and when he hits you, your body is no longer in alignment.
There's a little pain involved too.
He looked a little lost early and found his way down the stretch of his rookie season last year. But when Rolando McClain gets to where he was going, like Seymour, he is angry and expresses it on the ball carrier.
Also like Seymour, he will settle for body slam if he doesn't get the running start for the proper collision. McClain rarely had to settle for that body slam from his linebacker position because he caused many collisions.
Did you see the hit he put on then-San Diego Charger running back Darren Sproles?
His hits just have a different sound to them.
For Jackson to build this "bully" he has talked about, the team is going to have to be violent and intimidating. No matter what contact sport it is, there's nothing like a hard hit to intimidate and break the will of an opponent.
"Bullying" doesn't just happen by giving a guy a dirty look in the competitive, contact sports world. Scaring opponents take a back seat to the thrills the fans get from seeing an explosive collision.
Then there's the turnover factor with forced fumbles.
The battle of attrition also factors into the equation as hard hits in the first quarter are often felt in the fourth. And the Raiders piled up a collection of such players to make all of this happen on any given Sunday.
Hopefully, it's every Sunday.