Davis compared current Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell and his situation upon arrival in Oakland with Jim Plunkett, “I see this young Jason Campbell as a football player like I saw Jim Plunkett. He has everything. He was 13-0 in college at Auburn. He can throw up the field, he can run, he’s big, he’s smart. I really predict great things for him. I hope he doesn’t let me down. I don’t think he will.”
The Hall of Fame owner sees a lot of parallels between the 2010 Oakland Raiders and the 1980 Raiders. “I really liken this team a great deal to the team of 1980 in which the great Jim Plunkett pulled us out of the doldrums, took us to the Super Bowl as a wild card and we had so many great players who eventually made their way into the Hall of Fame.”
The 1980 team was a team in transition. Most of the core of the team that had dominated the 70s had retired and there were few remnants remaining. Quarterback Jim Plunkett had come to the Raiders and sat on the sidelines for two years before taking over for an injured Dan Pastorini. Ken “The Snake” Stabler had been traded to the Oilers the previous offseason. This rag tag team rallied around Plunkett on offense and rookie linebacker Matt Millen on defense to rebound and win the Super Bowl. They had missed the playoffs for the two previous seasons.
Davis spoke wistfully of the future and his desire to see the Raiders back on top. “The will to win will always be here. The fire that burns brightest in me and my family, Carol and Mark, is the will to win. We just want the Raiders to do great. As you know, I’m 81 years old but I still can contribute a great deal. We do a great deal for the team. I think we have our stamp on this team. It’s our personnel, it’s our picks, it’s our want to be great once again, to join the ranks of the elite and get back that number one rating in terms of wins and losses since we’ve come into the league. And to make the National Football League – which it is – the greatest game that’s always played by the greatest players, the greatest coaches, the greatest plays, the greatest games and, of course, the greatest fans that anyone could want.”