The reach of former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis was extensive.
Davis was famous for breaking down tape on a daily basis and dipping his hands into every facet of the organization.
Defensive back Michael Huff confirms something we've long suspected: Davis was deeply involved in game planning and schemes right up until the end.
"Nothing personal, but obviously, before with Al -- rest in peace -- he had his hands in all the defense," Huff told the Bay Area News Group this week. "He had all his little things he liked to do. Now with D.A. (head coach Dennis Allen) out there, we've got all kinds of blitzes, we've got 3-4, 4-3 fronts, just a lot of variety and different things going on. So I'm going to love it."
Davis' hands-on approach isn't exactly a juicy secret out of Oakland, but it is interesting to hear Huff's excitement to work under Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver. Huff bemoaned Oakland's past defensive schemes as vanilla.
"Everybody knew," Huff said. "I'm in the middle of the field. I'm in the post, we're pretty much man-to-man on the outside. It was pretty simple. We really didn't blitz much. We let our front four get after them. That's how it was, so we dealt with it."
The Raiders franchise lost a memorable character and -- at least by younger fans -- an underappreciated football mind in Davis last October. So much of the game we enjoy today has Davis' stamp on it. With that said, we look at the current transition in Oakland as an effort to pull the franchise into the modern age -- both off the field and on. Huff seems to agree.