Join me as I wonder if the opinions of a senior Oakland Raider give us some insight on what needs to be done in 2011. On Monday, I made a visit to a small town to check on someone who knows football and played it well.
Warren Wells and his generation of players fascinate me as an aspiring sportswriter, and many aspects of their careers have inspired me to do research on some of them.
As I peruse old files, I run into more information than I am able to process. It would take years to pull some of the information together and to discern what really happened to some very outstanding players in the '60s and '70s.
Wells told me that he thought the Oakland Raiders needed a quarterback. I asked him, "What about Jason Campbell."
He just looked at me, then added, "I don't like his play calling."
He did not offer details during our discussion. He probably did not think I would understand what he might have to say. He may have been comparing Campbell with Daryl Lamonica, the Mad Bomber.
I admit I wanted to ask Mr. Wells if he was talking about Jason Campbell's timing, holding on to the ball too long, or what? Perhaps during a future interview during the upcoming season, Wells will tell us more.
When I asked him about the lockout, he quickly made reference to the fact that he has been watching basketball on television. I don't think he wanted to talk to me about the lockout.
The most important thing I learned in our conversation on Monday, May 16, 2011 was that Wells kept the playbook near him during his career.
I asked him how many hours he studied the playbook each day during his career. He said that he did keep up with the hours, he just kept the playbook near him at all times. He looked down at the floor and seemed pensive while I jotted down notes.
Based on what Mr. Wells said and in light of the fact the man is extremely intelligent with a photographic memory, I could see why he could out think most guys on the football field. He is still agile during his senior years, and he has long fingers.
It looks like his hands were made to catch and hold a football.
I asked him what would he tell some of the young Oakland Raiders. He said, quietly, just be careful to not let the anything interfere with your career.
That's good advice. He shared a lot of wisdom. His eyes light up and he enjoys talking about the Oakland Raiders.
Finally, he read to me from his favorite book. He selected Matthew Chapter 7 and 8. Again, the passages were loaded with wisdom.
Go Raiders! Study your playbook. Get wisdom and get understanding!