The Raiders have long been one of the most well-known teams in professional sports. The Raiders have had it all, whether that be phenomenal players, game-changing executives, or trailblazing coaches. With five days left until the Raiders kick off their season, we are looking at the five most influential Raiders of all time. Coming in at number 5 is powerhouse running back Marcus Allen.
The Early Days
Originally a defensive back, Marcus Allen played football for the University of Southern California. His defensive status was short-lived as his coach moved him to running back early on. His first season at running back proved to his coach what a great decision that was. He spent his second season proving to the world what his coach already knew.
In 1980, Marcus Allen rushed for more than 2,300 yards. This made him the second player in college football history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. That same season, Allen led the nation in scoring and was Pac-10 Player of the Year. Due to his tremendous success, Allen closed the season by winning the Heisman Trophy.
USC has since retired Allen’s jersey number, demonstrating what we already knew: Allen changed the game of football for running backs everywhere.
Allen’s Time in the NFL
In 1982, Marcus Allen heard his name called in the NFL Draft. The Los Angeles Raiders selected him 10th overall. In his first season in the NFL, Allen made an immediate impact. Allen concluded his rookie season by winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He seemed unstoppable, and he was.
The following three years, Allen progressed as a player significantly. He had three straight 1,000-yard seasons. During his first 1,000 yard season, he led the Raiders to Super Bowl XVIII.
The Raiders played Super Bowl XVIII vs. the Washington, and Marcus Allen showed out. Allen totaled 191 yards, 2 touchdowns, on 20 carries. His impressive performance earned him the title of Super Bowl MVP.
After his Super Bowl domination, Allen continued to prove why his switch to running back was a great choice. In 1985, Allen rushed for 1,759 yards and was named NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year.
Marcus Allen went on to play 11 seasons for the Raiders before signing with the Kansas City Chiefs for the final five seasons of his career. After 16 tremendous seasons. Allen retired in 1997.
Life After Football
After retiring from the NFL, Allen continued to influence the game. Allen was officially recognized for his exceptional career in 2003 with his induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In addition to the NFL Hall of Fame, Allen has also been inducted to several other Hall of Fames. Those honors came from the California Sports Hall of Fame and the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Now, Marcus Allen has taken his talents in a different direction. Allen currently works as an analyst for the NFL, but is still influencing players, most notably Josh Jacobs. Jacobs has long been open about his relationship with Allen, calling him a “mentor.” Allen has expressed his admiration for Jacobs many a time and said he knows that Jacobs will challenge the records he set during his time with the Raiders.
Allen’s influence on the running back position and football in general will not be forgotten. He set records, won MVPs, won a Super Bowl, and advanced the game forever. Because of these remarkable accomplishments, Allen will forever be known as one of the most influential Raiders of all time.
Make sure you’re following @LVChronicle on Twitter to find out who comes in at number four tomorrow.
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