One of the NFL’s most popular franchises has had an abundance of stars.
The franchise was born in 1960 and was one of the eight original members of the American Football League. And now the Silver and Black is once again on the move as the Raiders will call Las Vegas their home in 2020. From Oakland in ’60 to Los Angeles in 1982, back to Oakland in 1995 and now to Sin City, the franchise has quite the loyal following regardless of where they play their games.
It has also had an enormous amount of talent on their roster throughout the years, even though these days things have been a little lean when it comes to getting to the postseason. The club has reached the playoffs just once since 2003 and hasn’t won the AFC West since 2002. But head coach Jon Gruden is in his third year in his second stint with the franchise and the team is improving.
As with many of the league’s better organizations, trimming the list to 10 players isn’t easy. And in this instance, there was a unique addition.
10. Jack Tatum, S
He would eventually be the author of a book titled “They Call Me Assassin.” Former Ohio State defensive back Jack Tatum played for legendary head coach Woody Hayes while he was with the Buckeyes. Be it college or the pros, you could make a case he may have been the most physical defensive back to ever take the field. And some would say he may have played a little over the edge.
Of course, there was the big hit on Vikings’ wide receiver Sammy White in Super Bowl XI. And there were the unfortunate circumstances during the 1978 preseason in which a hit left New England Patriots’ wide receiver Darryl Stingley paralyzed. But that somber moment should never take away from the excellence of the player, who picked off 30 passes and recovered eight fumbles in nine seasons with Oakland and earned three-time Pro Bowl invitations with the Silver and Black.
Tatum finished his career in 1980 with the then-Houston Oilers. There were seven interceptions and two more fumble recoveries. And no doubt the physical enforcer no doubt found it easier to be Earl Campbell’s teammate than getting him to the ground.