Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Walsh Fired?

Rumor has it that Tom Walsh has been fired. Roberto of Raider Raza first tipped me off...I haven't seen official confirmation, but RaiderFans.net and other forums are abuzz with the news. Could it be true? Hold tight and stay tuned...

Update: 12:35 - RaiderFans.net has confirmed the dismissal of Tom Walsh as offensive coordinator. According to this report, he will be replaced by John Shoop. Click here to read more.

Update: 12:49 - The Oakland Raiders have confirmed that John Shoop has replaced Tom Walsh as offensive coordinator. Walsh will remain on staff (thanks OakZombie for the clarification).

My Take: 1:00 -
I have no doubt that Tom Walsh gave it his all. I harbor no ill will toward the man. He just wasn’t up to the task. He gave up a nice life in Idaho to assist his friend Art Shell and to become a Raider again. I commend him for his effort and loyalty. That said, I’m not shedding any tears over his demotion. Football is a ruthless performance-based business. First you get the boot, then maybe you get the Hallmark card. In fact, this decision should have been made weeks ago, if at all this season. I expect to see an uplift in our offensive performance in the wake of Walsh’s demotion.


Blogger Calico Jack said...

From Pro Football Talk ...

"POSTED 3:41 p.m. EST, November 28, 2006


Acting on a story first posted on Raiderfans.net, we have confirmed from a source with knowledge of the situation, but who has requested anonymity, that the Raiders have fired offensive coordinator Tom Walsh.

Walsh was hired earlier this year by coach Art Shell, who returned to the Raiders after several years working at the league office.

Contrary (kind of) to reports that tight ends coach John Shoop will replace Walsh, we're told that Shoop will call the plays, but that he might not inherit the title.

Walsh had been out of football for several years, and hadn't coached at the NFL level since Art Shell's first stint as head coach of the Raiders, which ended in the mid-1990s. He has been criticized by fans, media, past players, and some current players for his offensive schemes, which arguably are outdated and involve too many deep drops by the quarterback and too few opportunities to get the quarterback out of the pocket.

Shoop previously served as offensive coordinator for the Bears under Dick Jauron."

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This gives me a lot of hope. Not for an immediate high scoring turnaround. Hope that Shell is capable of fixing what is wrong with this team, even if that involves firing a friend.

By the way Jack, I guess PFT.com was wrong about one thing, apparently Shoop DOES have the offensive coordinator title.

Best of luck to Shoop, I think it's a step in the right direction...

1:04 PM  
Blogger Raider Raza said...

I'm happy here is official confirmation...http://www.raiders.com/default.jsp

1:08 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

While I'm certain that this will bring dancing in the streets for many in the Raider Nation, I agree with Shell that Walsh was not solely to blame. My understanding is that Shoop, as an OC, is not a big step up. I don't think that we will see any significant increase in Raider scoring this season. Nor would we have if Walsh was fired much sooner. Walsh is a class act in that, apparently, he has agreed to stay with the team (no doubt to consult regarding the Gilman offense). I agree with RT in that Walsh took some risk to come out of retirement. I also agree that Walsh showed a good deal of rust, but was improving weekly along with the rest of the team. My sympathies to Shell because I know what it is like to fire a loyal friend. But this is the NFL where accountability means keeping your job in hard times only so long as you're not the easiest one to fire. I suspect that this decision was handed down by Al. "Art, I'm sorry, old friend, but I'm taking a pasting (both with the fans and the opposition) with Thom as OC. Either you let him go, or I have to let you both go at the end of the season."

But enough of all that. One more argument taken off the books. Let's move forward. The NFL has many, many more rules to rewrite.

1:48 PM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

It's gonna be tough. Can't figure how much can be changed at this point in the season for terminology, etc, but if he can make adjustments after halftime, respond to changes the D makes, we might actually hit 20 points. It will be interesting to see what effect it has on Moss.

1:55 PM  
Blogger frkyraider said...

wonder if this will make Ferry Pouter happy. shoop aint exactly martz but......

3:08 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

I'm actually glad Walsh is still on staff. I know he's caught a lot of flak and I was ticked off with the playcalling as well, but I have noticed the offense picking up the pace in the past few weeks. I've seen fewer of those deep drops and even some short passes to the running backs. I like the way John Madsen was involved in the offense against the Chargers.

Could it be that it's just that it took Walsh this long to get up to speed, or is it because we're using different personnel on the offense? We'll soon see.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Penny Distribution said...

In all seriousness, though, I have to agree with BR. I don't expect to see much of an improvement this season (or next, if this is the permanent choice).

Really, the '01-'03 Bears? I know they won the NFC Central in '01, but they weren't exactly an offensive juggernaut.

This biggest positive in this move is Shell reinforcing his "accountability" statements. Yes, the blame has to fall on the players and the coaches, but it was beginning to look like Shell was giving only lip-service to those assertions while Walsh failed to get the most out of his (admittedly under-acheiving) offense. Now, more than ever, Shell has committed to making the choices that benefit only the organization and he must command the respect of the players and fans for making that tough decision.

3:29 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It’s a little late coming, but kudos to Art Shell. Shoop should be able to streamline some of the language and diversify the playcalling to make an immediate impact. Interestingly, Shoop steps up to OC after a stretch of tough division opponents, and may benefit from a slight drop off in competition.

Too, having Walsh remain can only benefit any transition Shoop needs to make. I like the idea that all the coaches might be involved in righting the ship, and no one coach should be held responsible for the horror we’ve witnessed. Art should also take a close look at his o-line coaching tag-team and reflect on their abilities.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

One interesting twist on this job swap is the following tidbit, as reported by the SF Chronicle:

"Shoop was the quarterbacks coach in Tampa Bay in 2004 and joined the Raiders' staff as quarterbacks coach in 2005. This season, he asked to move to the post of tight ends coach, reportedly because of a disagreement in offensive philosophy with Walsh."

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BR-"My understanding is that Shoop, as an OC, is not a big step up."
WHAT? You're kidding? Right? Shoop took the Bears to a 13-3 with less talent that the Raiders have now offensively!
I agree however that we will not see "significant scoring" this year, but you will see significant improvement to how the offense is ran.
I also agree that Walsh is a class guy, and I commend him for staying on, and I think Shell and Davis showed a lot of by offering him a different position on the team; like they did with Norv Turner, Bill Callahan, and others.
I do think this was the right move.

3:59 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

New post at BlandaRocked

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Chicago and for the final two years Shoop was here the fans and writers called for his head. I know, I know RT,. . . let's be positive. I shall remain hopeful.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yes, I heard it got a little rough for him in Chicago, he even had his own web site: www.firejohnshoop.com.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats the best pic raiders.com had?! poor guy

4:10 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yeah, he looks like he just returned from getting lost in the woods for a few days.

If he truly wants to go caveman, he needs to consult Rob Ryan for styling advice.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He actually looks like the love child of Jon Gruden and Jon Ritcie in that picture!

6:54 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

For what is worth, here are some points to consider that I posted back on 10/18;

The Bears during Shoops (2001-2003)tenure had horrible, and I mean horrible QBs (Jim Miller and Kordell Stewart) and very marginal offensive talent.

In Shoops 1st year, the Bears went 13-3 and won the division with Jim Miller at QB. Let me repeat that. Da Bears went 13-3 with Jim Miller at QB. Don't tell me it was just the D. The Bears were 11th in the league in scoring; 338 points. (The current Raiders after 11 games were on pace to score 192 points)

Rookie A.Thomas was ROY in 2001, had 278 rushes for 1183 yards; 4.3 avg. (Shoop must have had a good grasp of the running attack for a rookie to rush the ball so effectively)

WR Marty Booker had 100 catches for 1071 yards in 2001 and 97 receptions for 1183 yards in 2002. Booker was a Pro Bowl selection in 2002.(What has Booker done since?)

Yeah, I know, Da Bears record wasn't so great during Shoops tenure (24-26) and the offense wasn't exactly prolific in 2 of his 3 years. However, after digging through the rosters and stats, I think Shoop did much better than you might think.

In the final analysis, I am certain that Shoop's play calling and use of the Raiders talent would be much better than Walsh.

I also think it is vital to have an OC who can work closely with the QB. What kind of a relationship do you think Walter has with Walsh? Do they even talk? I get the feeling that Shoop who was a QB in college and a successful QB Coach in the NFL would be a major upgrade in terms of developing Walter. Just a thought.

Personally I think canning Walsh and promoting Shoop to interim OC would be a breath of fresh air. It would be a way of signalling to the players and fans alike that the organization has a sense of urgency about fixing a rock bottom offensive unit.

Frankly, I don't see any downside to this move. The only thing I'm dreading is that the longer Walsh is the OC, the longer the players will go without tasting success.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Nice work, Calico Jack!!!

7:14 PM  
Blogger Penny Distribution said...

Yeah CJ!

Man, you've got the numbers/stats thing down! Great work...

Wanna do my taxes for me this year? ;-)

8:48 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

PR being negative...hold the press.

I don't think this move sends the wrong signal to the players at all. If anything, it lets them know that if you don't perform your job to a certain standard then you are eligible to be reassinged, move down the depth chart, or sent packing.

I also believe that the removal of Walsh as OC takes away the players crutch or excuse to blame the lack of productivity strictly on the OC.

As BlandaRocked pointed out on his latest blog entry, there seemed to be a real disconnect between the players and Walsh. It will be interesting to see how the players respond to the new voice, game plan, and play calls of Shoop.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Roy said...

Not shedding tears??? I shed a few tears of joy. Although I have been dreaming of Troy Smith playing for us next year. Now we will probably win just enough games to lose him.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Five games is a good audition for Shoop for the job for next year. Huge plus if he gets the job done and we have a solid OC in place for 2007.

11:31 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

A thought just occurred to me. Purely speculation. But there of been allusions to this change previously by rumors. We've all noticed an upbeat change in the offense over the last couple of games, even though the Raiders have still lost those games. I wonder if this change was actually made a couple of weeks ago to see how it worked out. Knowing that the game against Houston would be the toughest sell out of the season, I wonder if Davis/Trask decided to withhold the announcement until just before the Texans game to spark added interest for that, and the remaining home games.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I love a good conspiracy theory, but I think that the uptick in offensive energy over the past few weeks has more to do with Aaron Brooks juking his way out of trouble time and time again, and often making positive yards from broken plays that would have been sacks for negative yards with Walter at the helm.

I'm not knocking Walter, but until the o-line is fixed, Brooks' mobility is a major asset.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, a move that makes sense. Getting Walsh out of the box and onto the field may help him see the big picture. J.S. has a chance to show what his made of. He was orginally given an interview to take the H.C. or O.C. job before Shell arrived. He may not be the best choice but he is definitly an improvement. This may open the door for other canidates during the off season.

But I am glad Davis made the call. "It must have been tough for Shell to demote Walsh," What kind of crap is this. It was hard, Shell didn't make the decision, Al did. Al told Shell either you make the change or I will. That is how it was done. Shell has been loving on Walsh all season. Shell would have never demoted Walsh unless there was outside influence. That's the bottom line.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

What does everyone make of this late breaking story:


Updated: Nov. 29, 2006, 9:32 PM ET
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders' soap opera season took another strange turn Wednesday when coach Art Shell accused a member of the organization of trying to undermine the coaching staff and rooting against the team.
Shell did not name the person, but he said it was not a coach or a player. He said the person has been calling media members around the country and criticizing coaches.

"I'm a fighter," Shell said. "I sit back and I watch things happen and then it gets to the point where you cross the line. That line has been crossed and I won't sit back and allow it to happen anymore."

Shell's latest comments came in response to questions about his decision Tuesday to demote Tom Walsh from his role of offensive coordinator to tight ends coach and replace him with John Shoop.
"When you root against me, you're rooting against the Raiders," Shell said. "When you root against Tom Walsh, you're rooting against the Raiders. And for someone to do that is unconscionable. It's unconscionable. It's detestable and I think it's an outrage."

9:02 PM  

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