Tampa Bay – The Las Vegas Raiders celebrated two of their own when the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class was announced for 2021. Tom Flores longtime Oakland Raiders head coach was finally named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As a head coach, Flores won back-to-back Super Bowls with both the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders as an assistant and head coach.
Flores became the first Hispanic male to become a starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders back in 1960. He won his first Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1969. Flores was an assistant coach under Jon Madden before taking over as the head coach following Madden’s retirement in 1980.
He led the Raiders as a wild card team into the playoffs to win the Super Bowl after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10. Oakland was the first team to win a Super Bowl as a wild card team and the only team to win four postseason games en route to the Super Bowl. After his coaching days, Flores became a color analyst for the Raiders Radio Network.
Charles Woodson was also selected to Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility. No surprise the former Cornerback/Safety made a name for himself early on. He won a National Championship with the Michigan Wolverines and the Heisman Trophy in 1997 beating out Peyton Manning who came in second. Manning will also be inducted to the 2021 Class. Woodson was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1998 and selected fourth overall.
From there Woodson became such a fierce competitor that the then “tuck rule” was created after a play he made during the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Raiders and New England Patriots at Foxboro Stadium in 2002. During rigid temperatures and snow, Woodson tackled quarterback Tom Brady who fumbled the ball which would have led to an Oakland victory.
After the pay was challenged the officials ruled that Brady attempted to “tuck” the ball back towards his body which led to an incomplete pass despite Brady’s body moving in a forward motion before losing the ball. Ruled an incomplete pass the Patriots sealed their victory to win the game. This was a controversial rule used by the NFL from 1999 until 2013. Woodson always felt the call was wrong.
Woodson went on to win his first Super Bowl in 2010 with the Green Bay Packers. He also won NFL Rookie of the Year in 1998, NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1998 and 2009. Woodson was a 9x Pro Bowler and 4x First Team All-Pro (1999, 2001, 2009, 2011). After his tenure with the Packers, Woodson returned to Oakland and played two seasons with the Raiders before retiring at the end of the 2015 season.
Both Flores and Woodson talk about the memories and being inducted into the Hall:
Photo by Miguel Blair 2015