Dave Casper...

Angry Pope

All Raider
Feb 2, 2006
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Hall of Fame Ghost

July 31, 2006

As legendary Raiders head coach John Madden prepares to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, August 5th, we present a look back at the 16 proud members of the Silver and Black who have previously earned such distinction. We continue with Raiders TE Dave Casper, who was enshrined in 2002.

Tight end Dave Casper was selected by The Oakland Raiders in the second-round of the 1974 NFL Draft. Used primarily on special teams during his first two seasons, he earned a starting role in 1976 and quickly established himself as a dominant player, finishing the season with an impressive 53 catches for 691 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Casper's outstanding play charged the Raiders' offense with a blend of pass catching and blocking that culminated in a 32-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI.

Nicknamed "The Ghost" by his teammates, Casper was a great receiver and blocker that came through as a clutch go-to guy. Two of the game's most memorable plays involved the sure-handed tight end.

In the 1977 AFC playoff game between the Raiders and the Baltimore Colts, it was Casper's 10-yard touchdown reception that ended the double-overtime affair, 37-31, in favor of the Raiders. "Ghost to the Post," the game is called in reference to Casper's 42-yard reception that set up the tying field goal at the end of regulation.

Early the next season, Casper again pulled his team from certain defeat, on a play that would forever be remembered as "The Holy Roller." Down seven points to the San Diego Chargers with 10 seconds remaining in the game, Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler fumbled the ball. The ball rolled 13 yards to the Chargers 11, where running back Pete Banaszak batted it toward the goal line. At the 5-yard line, a quick thinking Casper continued the ball's forward progress with his foot before finally falling on it in the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

Casper played six and a half seasons with the Raiders. During that time he was named All-Pro and All-AFC four times and was selected to play in four Pro Bowls. Midway through the 1980 season he was traded to the Houston Oilers for a first-round and two second-round draft picks. There he was reunited with Stabler, who was traded to the Oilers at the start of the season. Casper finished the season with 56 receptions and was named to his fifth Pro Bowl.

In 1984, Casper returned to the Raiders, finishing his career with 378 receptions for 5,216 yards and 52 touchdowns. On Saturday August 3, 2002, Casper became the 13th member of the Silver & Black to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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