Raider Greats – The Need for Speed  –  The Raiders 1993 5 x 100 Team

In this update we just won’t focus on one player but rather the Raiders WR unit. 1993 was a bit of a changing of the guard for the Raiders WR. Tim Brown was about to set into the realm of upper echelon WRs and begin a run of 9 straight 1000 yard seasons . Mervyn Fernandez and Sam Graddy retired after the 1992 seasons and 1993 would be Willie Gault’s final season in the NFL. 

In late 1992 the Raiders brought in Alexander Wright from Dallas in a trade, and in 1993 they would sign Rocket Ismail from the CFL and sign an undrafted free agent WR from West Virginia, the very appropriately named James Jett. 

Gault was demoted to 5th WR as the new blood came in  but still managed to average a career high 26.7 yards on Kick Returns late in the year. 

Ismail spent most of the year transitioning from the CFL and was the teams 4th WR catching 26 passes for 353 yards and a TD. He would also return 25 kick returns for an over 24 yards per return average. 

The biggest impact makers as the 2nd and 3rd WRs were Wright and Jett. Wright was the starting WR from Tim Brown and caught 27 passes for 460 yards and 4 TDs. This included  a game tying TD late in the final game of the season to send the game to OT and a Raiders win that would send them to the playoffs. 

Jett did not play in the first 3 games. Jett was considered a raw sprinter coming out of college and it took him some time to get acclimated to the NFL. However, Jett exploded on the scene in weeks 4 to 7 catching 14 balls for 322 yards and 2 tds in his first 4 games of playing action. On the season Jett would catch 33 balls for 771 yards and a lead leading 23.4 yards per reception. Not bad for an undrafted rookie! Jett would add another 111 yards and a TD on 3 catches in the Raiders playoff win over the Broncos. If you include his two playoff games Jett ended the year with nearly 890 yards on only 37 catches and 4 TDs in only 15 games. 

Brown, was probably the slowest of the 5 running a 4.45 40 (he would have been the backup alternate on the 4×100 team!). In 1993 Brown had his first year as an elite WR. On top of returning 40 punts for over 11 yards per punt returns and a TD, Brown caught 80 passes for 1,180 yards and 7 TDs.  Brown would add another 8 catches for 213 yards and 2 TDs in the Raiders two playoff games. 

In addition, all 5 players accounted for plays of 60 or more yards. Ismail and Gault on Kick Returns (68 and 60 yards) and Brown, Wright and Jett on Receptions (71, 68 and 74 yards). 

The 5 speedsters helped the Raiders have one of the most explosive passing attacks in the NFL and helped lead the Raiders to the 1993 playoffs. 

Below are highlights of that 1993 which features many big plays from these 5 men.