I'll start. Days like today are not happy ones. They're emotional but they are inspirational. The fellow who sits on my right has been with us for approximately 16 years and is one of the truly great players who have every played in the national football league and one of the truly great players who played for the raiders. He played in Los Angeles. He played in Oakland. In both places, he embellished what I like to call the greatness of the raiders. He always held up the tradition, the history and all of our old time players always knew that he was symptomatic of what I still call the greatness of the raiders. That's Tim brown. Unfortunately, days like this come upon us and I didn't realize that Tim after our conversation yesterday would meet with a lot of the press and express some of the things that we talked about but what I thought I could do is give you a little bit of history as to how we came to this particular situation. No. 1, I personally and the raider people think that Tim brown can still play professional football in the national football league. This is not a case where we think he should retire, nor did we ever suggest that he retire as a raider as some pundits wrote last night. That was never the question. This is generally what happened. When I hired Norv turner. We talked about numerous things, technical football, philosophy, discipline, medical and all of the great things that you would talk about. We talked about the personnel at this particular time in the raider organization. That we had already signed some free agents that we would continue to sign free agents as he became closely aligned and alerted to the raider players through films. We talked about certain problems and we talked about certain situations that would confront us that had been confronting us for several years with the raiders and at our first total meeting of our staff after his hiring some 15 new coaches and keeping four or five coaches, we have about 20 on the staff. We tried to discuss all of the personnel on the team that they had studied in film. As we discussed this, we also came up with, I'm just isolating the situation right now to talk about the receiver. We had about four receivers. There was no way to graphically describe them or give them a grade in any sense. The four were Ronald curry, jerry porter, Alvis Whitted and of course we drafted two players but we also had a young man (named Doug) Gabriel that the coaches in the minicamps became very high on him. But there was no actual ability to see them in total action. Jerry porter played but he did not play as a starter. Believe me, I know this because I fight for this often, some of you say age, they're old, they're this, but I'll tell you this. When you go into Kansas city and you have to come out running one at a time and here the roar of that crowd and play those games. When you have to go to Denver and play in those big games, there's nothing like having guys like this because you know they're going to play in the big game and play pretty well. We've been doing this a long time. We had several staff meetings relative to personnel after the minicamps. Again, when it came to the wide receivers, four names came up on the blackboard as they thought were outstanding prospects compared to what they had been working with whether it be in new England, whether jimmy Raye worked in Washington, new York and other coaches on the staff. I know this, we have 53 players, we dress 46. That's always a case of marking down who you're going to dress, who the players are that you're going to dress and they always would be brown and rice. It came to my attention on the last personnel meeting that we had, about a week before we came to training camp, that they were going to give these players a tremendous opportunity during the preseason to show what they can do. They were going to look at them very closely. They were going to keep Tim and jerry working but they were going to look at these two players, plus we drafted two wide receivers, one a tremendous speedster and the other a good sized guy. I had been interacting with Tim during the winter on several issues. I called him before we came to training camp. I was going to see him the day before we came to training camp, I wanted to talk to him. Unfortunately, a close friend of mine who grew up with me died back east. I flew back east. Tim understood. Tim came to camp and when I came to camp, I met with him. I wanted to lay the situation out to him, that right now coaches see three people and the idea is not to name the three who would be out front and one or two others that would be out front. I asked Tim about the players. To his credit, he thinks they're damn good. He thinks that their time has come to possibly play, to bring to the forefront their talent because in another year or two we won't have some of them based on cap issues. It was at that time, I said, ‘look, I've had a couple of inquiries about you. Are you going to be satisfied being No. 5, being No. 4 if it comes down to that.' he said to me, ‘no. I'm not going to be satisfied. I think I can play.' I said, ‘well, let me ask you this. You know in baseball and basketball, if we kept you, which I want to, and we didn't start you or even dress you in several games, but when we came into a big game somewhere where we get an injury or something. We put you on that field like they do in basketball. What do you think of that?' he looks at me and says, ‘no, I want to play.' years ago, I could ordain that. We've got a new coach, a new staff and I didn't feel that based on my observation that we wanted to go in that direction. We talked a lot more about the team, our lives and what went on 16 years here. After all, it gets sad and we've got a bigger thing in front of us. I said, ‘why don't you think about it tonight and let me think about it. We'll go from there.' that's the generally the story and maybe there's something I missed but I doubt it. I wanted him to know what was going on here. I could have kept him until the end and waited. I'm just saying I didn't want to do that to him. I wanted him to know the facts. As he said to me, ‘I don't want to hope for an injury to some player so that I can play.' a month from now, who knows, we may need a wide receiver. I don't know where he'll be. I hope he'll be happy. I'm sure he will be. Our relationship will continue. Those who have left us, 95 percent, stay in touch. The great Tim Brown. Tell the what you think, Tim.
I'm not going to talk much because obviously this is a very emotional day for me. I won't say literally have given my heart and soul to the this organization. Certainly, I have fought the battle as much as I could on the field. I tried to restore the image off the field if that's possible. Me coming here, being a Notre Dame guy, everybody said I didn't fit in as the typical raider. I have thoroughly enjoyed my career here. Mr. D and I haven't always seen eye-to-eye but we've always had great respect for each other and just by the organization doing things like this, gives me the same feelings that he has respect for what I've done. As far as I'm concerned this is a pause button, not a stop button. This is not the end of my relationship with the raider organization. I understand that the game of football gets very complicated. There are a lot of things that happen. There are a lot of things you have to deal with. Certainly, I'm going to be involved with this organization in the future in some way. No matter what happens, I think Mr. D and I have agreed that I will retire as a raider. I don't know if there's anything else I can say but thank you to Mr. D, thank you to Amy (Trask), all of the people of the raiders organization, it's been an incredible run. I will miss wearing the silver and black but mostly what you miss the relationships you establish with people. That's going to be the most difficult part of moving on but I'm a big boy. I've gotten my tears out and done the things I've needed to do to prepare myself for this situation but I had an opportunity to play with the great jerry rice. He will certainly be missed. My son will miss his 17-year old daughter. I talked to my son today and he said, ‘you're leaving my father-in-law, you can't do that.' I have nothing but great praise for this organization and for Mr. D, Norv turner, who spoke very candidly to me and I appreciate that very much. I think the raiders will be a very good football team this year. That's another reason why it will be disappointing. I think the moves they've made are going to make for a very exciting football team. To all the media I've had to deal with over the last nine years up here in northern California, I know I've probably been tough at times in some of the things I've said but I appreciate the respect you guys have given me and I hope you know that I've tried to respect you also. I just say, ‘god bless.' obviously this won't be the end of Tim brown. I'll surface somewhere, hopefully. If not, I'll be back here in the middle of the season doing a retirement deal but god bless and you guys take care.