Bill Belichick reflects on Al Davis’s legacy: ‘He’s one of the Mt. Rushmore guys’

"I think we're all indebted to what he's done to help this game," Belichick said

Before the Patriots began solo practice in Las Vegas on Monday, head coach Bill Belichick told reporters his thoughts on former Raiders owner Al Davis’s legacy.

“It’s tremendous,” Belichick said. “Tremendous man and was a huge influence on professional football. I’m sure the game would be a lot different if it wasn’t for him, different today than if it wasn’t for him. I think we’re all indebted to what he’s done to help this game and certainly as a coach and as a professional in the game, to me, he’s one of the Mount Rushmore guys.”

The Raiders won three Super Bowls under Davis, who died in 2011 after owning the team for nearly 40 years.


His accomplishments go beyond his days as an owner. He was AFL coach of the year in 1963 and spent a year as commissioner of the league after a lengthy coaching career.

“He’s one of the founders and what he’s done for professional football,” Belichick said. “What he’s done to bring equality and opportunity to so many. His championship level of performance and the standard that he set for himself and his teams and the organization are historical.”

Belichick said he spent a day with Davis after the 1998 season when he interviewed with the Raiders. Later, the pair would spent more time together working on trades.

“I spent a lot of time with Mr. Davis and we’ve had a good relationship through the years,” Belichick said. “We did some deals. The [Derrick] Burgess deal, the [Randy] Moss deal. Those weren’t like five-minute conversations. They were multiple weeks, maybe even months. But yeah a ton of respect for Mr. Davis, everything he’s meant to the National Football League and the AFL.”

The Patriots will have joint practices with the Raiders this week before concluding the preseason Friday night. Belichick had high praise for the Raiders’ new practice facility.

“This is magnificent,” Belichick said. “I’ve been to a lot of good facilities and there have been some amazing college facilities, but I’d put this up there against any of them. I mean forget about the amenities, just the fields, the weight room, the offices, the indoor facility, the proximity, the ease of everything, yeah, this is as good as any I’ve seen. Better than any I’ve seen, not as good, it’s better than anything I’ve seen. It’s outstanding. It’s great for us to be able to work here.”


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