And what is the secret of drafting if you never get to draft higher than 19th?
"We work hard at it," says Davis. "Without computers. We take a punter [ Ray Guy] in the first round, and he's a hell of a weapon."
What's wrong with trades?
"We'll trade," Davis says. "We like to trade. But you can't give up a couple of empty uniforms and a roll of tape and get a Bubba Smith. You've got to give up a Ray Chester."
The writer wonders why everybody says Oakland's passing game is different.
"Because it is," says Davis. "We don't run a lot of slants. That's how you get receivers killed. We like to keep ours around. Fred Biletnikoff is in his 10th season. We don't like interceptions. You throw on the break or before the break, you get interceptions. We throw after the break. Stabler is good at holding the ball."
The writer says that maybe Oakland can throw after the break because the defense is ankle-deep in watered-down dirt.
"You know what the rug has done?" says Davis. "The rug and the larger roster have brought in the little, fast guy. The Terry Metcalf, the Mack Herron, the Greg Pruitt. The rug has brought in speed. Guys can cut better and fly."
Every good team this year has speed, right?
"Somewhere," Davis says. "You say, well, Miami only has speed when Mercury Morris is in there. But that's not true. It's Paul Warfield. Warfield is what keeps you honest. Branch is what we have to keep people honest. They said he couldn't catch at Colorado. He caught kickoffs and punts pretty good, and we thought he could catch, and you've got to like a 9.3."