After finally being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Tom Flores sat down for a lengthy interview. In doing so, he discussed key moments in the Raiders’ history but the current state of affairs as well.
A true trailblazer
Despite having four Super Bowl wins to his credit, Flores will always be known for paving the way for minorities in the NFL. First of all, he was the first starting quarterback of Mexican descent in history. Second, he was also the first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl. Despite this, Flores did not feel much pressure. He stated that “It wasn’t as big of a thing when I first started.” and “I never thought about it…I was hired for what I could do on the field.”
His no-nonsense attitude really shines through when he was quoted as saying “It doesn’t matter what color you are, you’ve got to be able to perform and you’ve got to be able to win, or you’re gonna be unemployed no matter what color you are.” Whether he understood what he was doing at the time or not, one thing is clear, Flores is a legendary figure in NFL history. He truly changed the game in many ways.
The current state of the Raiders and QB Derek Carr
Although he is no longer a member of the team, Flores still has lots of love for the Raiders organization. As such, he keeps up with the current state of the team. Like all fans, Flores has an opinion on quarterback Derek Carr. He believes the main reason for the peaks and valleys in Carr’s career is due to constant change within the team. The continuity with Jon Gruden “will help” according to the Hall of Famer.
When asked by Phil Jones of the Unphiltered Truth show if Carr was capable of winning the Super Bowl, Flores said “I don’t know, you never know… there’s no question Derek Carr has the physical ability but I can’t tell you about the rest of it because I’m not with him every day.” Overall, the Raiders legend does not seem too keen on Carr’s ability to take the Raiders to the heights he once coached them to.
However, when discussing the Raiders as a whole, he was more positive about their chances to win a Super Bowl. When asked he said, “yeah I certainly feel like they have a chance to get to the end but they’ve got to prove it.” The former coach preached unity and continuity throughout the team and he believes Gruden “knows how to win.” While the Super Bowl goals may be lofty for a team that has not made the playoffs since 2016, Flores posed a great question “Why not?”
Hall of Fame legacy
An icon of the sport, Flores was brought to tears when he was finally told he would be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He even started getting emotional when discussing it in the interview calling it a “lifetime achievement“. It’s clear the amount of pride Flores has in his introduction. Truly, there are not many people who deserve the honor more. As Flores enters the Hall of Fame, he does so as a trailblazer, an icon, and a beloved figure. While it took far too long for him to get enshrined, the NFL finally got it right.
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*Top Photo: Andre Chung/NBC News