Raiders Quarterback 1979–1986
By Cam Russo
Q: You spent eight years with the Raiders. What is one of your
favorite memories during that time?
Plunkett: “Although we won two Super Bowls, that first Super
Bowl means more to me than anything else. After struggling in
New England, playing for San Francisco for two years, getting
cut, resigned. Got here and was behind Ken Stabler and then
Dan Pastorini. I mean after, I guess my tenth year, to finally
do what every player dreams of, getting to and winning a Super
Bowl. It was quite a road well-traveled for me. It culminated in
a Super Bowl victory. I am very proud of that fact.”
Q: In that first Super Bowl, the Raiders were the AFC Wildcard.
Were underdogs fitting for that group of players? What made that
championship run so special?
Plunkett: “Without a question! Mr. Davis brought in a bunch
of different parts, players and brought them all together. The
culmination was in a Super Bowl win for the Raiders. It was a
great time for me. I played with some tremendous people, guys
on the team. I really enjoyed their company, comradery. All the
things that make a sport, football, fun.”
Q: You weren’t the starting quarterback on the depth chart at the
beginning of each championship run. How did you stay prepared
for your opportunity when it arrived?
Plunkett: “Well, just like I did the first time. I had to bide my time.
They had Stabler. Then they brought in another quarterback
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after they traded Stabler to Houston, in Pastorini. I certainly
don’t want anyone to get hurt, which happened to Marc Wilson.
He won one game, lost his second, was in the process of losing
his third and may not have finished the season anyway...then I
would have been back in that spot and helped the Raiders win.
In 1983, Marc got hurt after the third game when I came back
on. The rest is history as they say. We got to the Super Bowl. We
were a really good football team in 1983 and 1984.”
Q: What kind of mentality do you need to have as a quarterback,
whether you are the starter or coming off the bench?
Plunkett: “Coming off the bench, most the time, is more difficult
in some ways because you don’t get the preparation all week
long. You got to attend the meetings, watch practice and you
only get a few reps so it’s a little hard coming off the bench.
On the other hand, your opponent hasn’t seen you in a while or
ever and you come off the bench and you do things that they
haven’t been studying for all week. They were watching the
other quarterback and sometimes you can take advantage of
those things that they don’t know about you as a quarterback.”
Q: As a native of San Jose, Calif., local prep star and Heisman
Trophy winner at Stanford; How did it feel to play for a team close
to home later in your career?
Plunkett: “To come back and be successful in your hometown
area was a great feeling. All of a sudden you hear from friends