Tom Flores returns on today’s third installment of Talk of Fame Network’s weekly “5 Games’’ podcast series to recall his first Super Bowl coaching experience as one of only three offensive assistants to John Madden in Super Bowl XI.
This would be the second of four Super Bowl appearances for Flores, who is one of only two men (Mike Ditka being the other) to appear in the Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
January 9, 1977 was a turning point for Flores and the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders had won 75% of their games over the previous eight years but had lost Super Bowl II and six AFC Championship Games between 1968 and 1975. They had become the team that couldn’t win the Big One. It was a pressure they all felt throughout Super Bowl week.
“I felt we were as good a team as we’d had since I came to the Raiders,’’ Flores recalled thinking. “But are we going to choke? Are we going to lay an egg?’’
Flores explains how the acquisition of linebacker Ted Hendricks helped answer that question and recalls a coaches meeting the night before the game against the Minnesota Vikings that led to him making a prediction he came to regret the following day.
To hear the full, behind-the-scenes story of Super Bowl XI from the Raiders’ perspective click the link below to hear the full podcast.