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Coach Jackson, Raiders players saddened by Davis' death

HOUSTON -- The Oakland Raiders left their downtown hotel for a two-hour walkthrough Saturday after a team meeting in which the coaching staff told players about the passing of iconic owner Al Davis. Players and coaches were businesslike as they boarded team buses, although there were several hugs and handshakes, particularly among some of the longtime employees.

The Raiders play the Houston Texanson Sunday afternoon in what some players said will be an emotional game because of Davis' passing. The Raiders have planned a tribute to Davis before the game, but they won't disclose those plans, according to a team spokesman.

"It's with my deepest and most sincere regret that Coach Davis has passed," Raiders coach Hue Jackson said. "My thoughts and prayers go first to his wife and family, then to the Raider family and organization. Because of this accomplished man and his forever love of the black and silver, the fire that burned in him, I will honor. It will forever burn in me.

"Obviously, it's a tremendous loss. I just know Coach. He would want us to go out and play like Raiders. What a tremendous person, tremendous man. I owe him so much. This league owes him so much. He's a legend and an icon, and we're going to honor him by playing the way the Raiders should play."

Jackson continued: "It's hard. ... We want him to live forever. Our players never thought anything would happen to him because he's Coach. They're sad, and I think they're disappointed, but we're channeling it the right way. We're here to play a football game. We understand what his message would be to us, and that's, 'Just win, baby,' and that's what we look forward to doing."

Defensive tackle Richard Seymour, whom the Raiders acquired in a 2009 trade with the New England Patriots, mourned the loss of Davis.

"In my short time of knowing him -- his passion, his will to win, will forever be with me," Seymour said. "When I first came here, I could just tell over the phone his passion, his commitment. Everyone that's been connected to him, that's his lasting impact. He's an icon. In my mind, he's a legend, not only in my heart and the Raiders' hearts but with the foundation of the NFL.

"He transcends black, white -- it didn't matter. To him, it was about winning. It was about people. Even when you go to politics, it didn't matter. Republican, Democrat, he was about the end result. I think we can learn a lot from him."

Seymour said Davis would want the team to focus on Sunday's game.

"In my mind, it isn't 'Let's win one for the Gipper.' I feel, with him, he would want us to go out and do what we do," Seymour said. "The end result would be winning. There definitely will be a moment of silence and a lot of passion for sure. We'll try to go out and emulate what he would want us to be."

Hall of Fame defensive back Willie Brown, now the Raiders' director of squad development, has been with the franchise for 41 years as a player and coach. He shared the following anecdote with the media after breaking down and crying during a previous interview.

Brown said that when he played for the Denver Broncos in 1964, Davis came up to him on the field after a game against the Raiders and told him, as they shook hands, "One day we're going to get you here." Brown said that when he pulled his hand away, he had $50 in his palm. The Raiders eventually traded for Brown, who played for them from 1967 to 1978.

"That's a true story," Brown said. "True story."

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