Displaying items by tag: Los Angeles Raiders

11. Roger Craig

A very strong case can be made to justify the induction of Roger Craig to the Football Hall of Fame.  This makes it all the more bizarre that the powerful Running Back had to wait ten years to even get nominated.

There could be no doubt that during his prime that Roger Craig was an integral part of every offensive play.  Craig initially was a fullback in the pro ranks, but it became clear that he was equally adept at carrying the ball as blocking for others.  In 1986 he became the first football player to both rush and catch for 1,000 yards each.  Opposing defenses feared his high knee running style and had to keep all eyes on Craig during every play.

23. Cliff Branch

Wide Receivers have exploded in terms of yardage but the 70’s did not feature a lot of game breakers at that or any other position.  One of those exceptions was Cliff Branch who during the mid 70’s was one of the most explosive athletes on the field.

Cliff Branch was the deep threat for the Raiders when the Silver and Black were the most feared team in the league.  From 1974 to 1976, Branch would twice lead the league in receiving touchdowns and though the amount of catches he managed in that time frame seems average today, his average yards per catch holds up in any era.  Branch was also part of three Super Bowl Championship teams and caught a combined three touchdowns in the wins.

27. Steve Wisniewski

What points do you get for being one of the best players to come out of Vermont?  Okay, not that much, but regardless of what state Steve Wisniewski came from, there was no doubt that he was one of the finest Offensive Linemen of the 1990’s.

Steve Wisniewski was the defacto leader of the Silver and Black’s O-Line for over a decade.  Many considered him a dirty player and too many he was the embodiment of the Silver and Black.  Regardless of whatever tactics the “Wiz” would use, there was no doubt that he was a talented Left Guard and in addition to eight Pro Bowls, he was named to the prestigious NFL 1990’s All Decade team.

32. Lester Hayes

Many Hall of Fame candidates watch their push for the Hall build and build.  This doesn’t seem to be the case for Lester Hayes who was a finalist in his first four years of eligibility, but has only been a semi finalist the last six years.

Lester Hayes is best known for two things.  The first was in 1980 where he had 13 picks and won the Defensive Player of the Year award. The year after the “Lester Hayes” rules was put into effect banning players from the use of “stickum”, an adhesive that Hayes was using to get a better grip on the ball.

84. Todd Christensen

Considering that Todd Christensen was drafted as a Running Back, it is impressive that he developed into one of the most successful Tight Ends of the 1980’s.