Daryle “The Mad Bomber” Lamonica

Daryle Lamonica floundered in relative anonymity for four seasons on the Buffalo Bills bench, backing up the great Jack Kemp.  Once he arrived in Oakland, however, his cannon-like right arm melded with Al Davis’s penchant for the deep pass, and thus Lamonia earned his nickname, The Mad Bomber.  This video illustrates a few points very well:

  1. Lamonica could throw a ball 50 yards with very little effort.
  2. #81 Warren Wells had phenomenal breakaway speed.  He is practically uncovered in many of these clips.
  3. Al Davis LOVED the deep pass.



Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

7 Responses to Daryle “The Mad Bomber” Lamonica

  1. Kirk Robinson says:

    The Mad Bomber was right!!
    I can remember going to some Raider games back in 1968 & 69 and watching
    Lamonica just unleash some Increadily High Majestic BOMBS.
    As a 10& 11 year old, I was just awe struck by them.
    The real Long Bombs Away types were usually headed in Warren Wells direction.
    Also remember Daryle being a guest at a youth football camp I attended back around 1974 at the U.O.P. campus in Stockton Calif.
    He was extremely nice, personable and very patient with us kids.
    I always appreciated that and remember it to this day!
    Very fond memories.
    Thanks Mad Bomber.

  2. Richard says:

    Lamonica did not “flounder” as a Buffalo Bill. On the contrary, on many occasions he relieved Jack Kemp, who had a penchant for being cold in many ballgames. Indeed, Lamonica was responsible for many wins in Buffalo. His trade to the Raiders was a mistake in a long line of Bills mismanagement blunders. I believe the coach at the time of this disaster was Joe Collier, a man who oversaw the Bills demise in the late 60’s. Those of us who watched many of those games knew that Lamonica had talent.

    • Todd Tobias says:

      Perhaps mine was a poor choice of words. I meant “flounder” as in a waste of his talent to be in a back up role. He did have success when given the opportunity, but he could have been starting elsewhere.

      • Richard says:

        There were those who were committed Lamonica fans, and believed that he should have had the starting nod over Jack. Kemp was always hot and cold, and Lamonica did a great job in relief. Buffalo, however, was a “ground and pound” team, long before the term became fashionable. Coach Saban preferred to run the ball, and used the pass second. I’m sure that Al Davis coveted Lamonica, and was well aware of his potential as a long thrower. By the time Lamonica was traded, Saban was gone, and the team was in different hands. It’s not surprising that they misjudged the great potential in their backup QB. The rest is history.

  3. 1967 says:

    I say with reverence that Daryle Lamonica/Raiders instilled more fear in this life-long Chiefs fan than any QB in football, those late 1960’s days of yore.

    I recall a story (1968 or ’69) that claimed Lamonica was the most conceited player in football, according the female scribe. I’ve had conversations with some writers/players who claimed Lamonica could not operate successfully short/beside the ‘bomb’ and also wasn’t cerebral enough.

    What I know is the Chiefs Len Dawson was my hero, but as to form if not ultimate result Lamonica remains the most picturesque-throwing QB my memory. I used to imagine what KC’s Otis Taylor might’ve done stat-wise playing on a deep-passing team Raiders/Lamonica, Chargers/Hadl or Jets/ Namath.

    Guess I should be content that my Chiefs won a Superbowl, which Lamonica nor Hadl ever did (I still believe Namath’s Superbowl win ’69 was more result good fortune/Colt ineptitude than NY superiority; Colts shot themselves in the feet all day long, but to the winner go the spoils, best on that day at least.)

  4. Jeff says:

    The first game that my Dad took me to that I actually remember was the 1968 Bills-Raiders game in Buffalo. Not a great memory as the Raiders destroyed the Bills 48-6. I was pretty sure after that game that nobody could ever beat the Raiders!

  5. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

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