Thursday, January 04, 2007

Shell Out?

UPDATE 8:08: This is as official as it gets. The Raiders have confirmed that Art Shell is no longer the head coach. Thanks to X for the tip.

UPDATE 7:07: The revised ESPN story quotes Shell's agent saying the following:
"There is no final decision, and beyond that I have no comment." Thanks to Doobie for alerting us to this update.

UPDATE 5:59: ESPN is reporting the following:
"Oakland coach Art Shell is scheduled to meet with his staff at 2 p.m. ET Friday to inform them that he's done as the Raiders' coach, a team source told Shell and owner Al Davis met for most of the day Thursday, but at this point, it is unclear whether Shell is resigning or is being fired."

UPDATE 4:27: Citing two sources within the Raiders organization,
Yahoo is reporting that Art Shell will be relieved of his head coaching duties. Thanks to BlandaRocked for this news tip.

A reader wrote a few days ago, citing what he called a reliable source, saying that Art Shell would be sacked. He was not alone.

Now is saying that it will happen today: "A league source tells us that the Oakland Raiders are firing coach Art Shell. Today."

Just to clarify, I'm not saying it will happen. I have no insider access or information. All I'm saying is that the rumor mill has churned to the point that a professional football news site is saying it will happen, citing a league source. If they are working off of bad information, then shame on them. If they are right, then they've got a nice scoop, and we will have some big news around these parts.

Thanks to LK for alerting us to this development.


Blogger Gray Flannel Suit said...

I hate the revolving door in Oakland as much as the next person, but I am hard pressed to think of one reason he deserves another season.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Tim Mo said...

I just don't see it. Now what? Unless we land a big fish, expect more of the same.

2:35 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I'm beginning to believe that this was a hoax. If it were true, and was to be announced today, it would have been announced prior to the evening news deadline on the east coast. It likely wouldn't have been anounced by 2PM today.

2:55 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Sorry - likely WOULD HAVE been... etc.

2:56 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I'll believe it when it happens, not before. Raiders' tradition of nepotism trumps all rumors. The "REAL" story would not read "Art Shell Fired," it would read, "Art Shell Promoted."

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bingo, NYRaider. I wouldn't be shocked if they announce the new caoach simultaneously so it's not all negative. "Shell Promoted, Tedford Hired", etc...

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope. It's all we have left. While I will support Shell if he is brought back, I don't want him. And why haven't we fired Walsh, Shoop, and every other offensive coach already?


3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I have no inside sources, no sports site that I read has reported this firing yet. Therefore I will check my optimism.


4:11 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Yahoo news is now reporting that Shell is negotiating a settlement for the final year of his contract and will move to the front office according to "two sources within the Raiders organization."

4:24 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The fact that it hasn't yet been anounced could mean that there is something else in the works, such as the promotion or hiring of a new coach. I think that if Davis had already made the decision to fire Shell, he would have done it on January 1st, the day after the season ended, which is his custom. I suspect that he may have held off upon the availability of another choice for HC. Once it was established that he could make particular hire, he'll make the anouncement.

If this is true, I'm sorry to see Shell go, but happy that he's staying with the organization. If Davis does not have somebody in mind, I'd view this as another roll of the dice, and more of the same next year. I wouldn't expect a hire until a couple of weeks following the Super Bowl, again, with little time to prepare a new coaching staff and to prepare for the draft.

Be careful what you wish for, folks.

4:33 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

There is one other aspect of this which indicates that even if Davis has someone in mind (who is not a minority), it would not be anounced immediately. Under current NFL rules, a team replacing a coach has to interview at least one minority, even if the departing coach was a minority hire.

It's going to take a little while to see exactly how this will play out.

5:01 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


Last I heard, Parcells was either going to be fired, or was about to resign, but nothing official has come down the wires.

If Ryan is going to be promoted, I don't know if that lets the Raiders off the hook in regard to a minority interview. I do know that it is widely specultated that if Ryan is promoted, Martindale will be his DC. They're good friends, and Ryan trusts him.

Martindale has also been offered the DC spot at Stanford University.

5:16 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


At this point I think that the firing is real. Yahoo is pretty even handed when it comes to the Raiders, and they say they have two team sources, not just one.

Also, Shell's agent was invited to the meeting which indicates a renegotiation. I doubt that Shell's agent would agree to a renegotiation unless Shell was being given a different job. It therefore seems likely to me that Shell is being kicked upstairs, and he will be replaced as HC.

5:30 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

This drama is more exciting than the season. But, that's pretty much been the case over the past several years' of offseasons. Parcels is untouchable until the Cowgirls are out of the playoffs (league rules prohibit any such contact), and I don't see Cowher leaving the Steelers to coach the Raiders. Just doesn't make sense.

5:44 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

ESPN tv news is reporting "Cowher to resign, Shell is out."

5:52 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

I work at a major publisher and have a guy scanning the news wires. If I hear anything, you guys will be the first to know.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Report from ESPN: Oakland coach Art Shell is scheduled to meet with his staff at 2 p.m. ET Friday to inform them that he's done as the Raiders' coach, a team sorce told Shell and owner Al Davis met for most of the day Thursday, but at this point, it is unclear whether Shell is resigning or is being fired.

One of the early favorites to replace Shell is defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

An updated revision of that story, with input from Shell's agent.

"Oakland coach Art Shell is scheduled to meet with his staff at 2 p.m. ET Friday to inform them that he's done as the Raiders' coach, a team source told's Michael Smith. Shell and owner Al Davis met for most of the day Thursday, but at this point, it is unclear whether Shell is resigning or is being fired.

Shell's agent, Danny More, did not confirm that Shell was out.

"There is no final decision, and beyond that I have no comment," More told's John Clayton.

More did confirm Shell met with Davis on Thursday, but More also said Shell and Davis would meet again Friday morning.

One of the early favorites to replace Shell is defensive coordinator Rob Ryan."

6:48 PM  
Blogger x said...

Art is out as HC.

While Art will no longer serve as head coach, he and Mr. Davis have discussed and will continue to discuss opportunities for Art to remain a valued member of the Raider organization.


It's the right thing.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Yep, it's done. From ESPN:

Art Shell has been fired as head coach of the Oakland Raiders for the second time in 13 years.

After an all day meeting with owner Al Davis Thursday, Davis decided to go a different direction with his head coaching position. The Raiders finished 2-14 last season and the offense scored only 12 touchdowns in 16 games. The two sides were expected to meet again Friday morning and come to finally determine whether Shell would return as head coach for the 2007 season.

Two hours after the meeting, the decision was made. Shell was out as head coach.

"Al Davis and Art Shell met today and discussed the 2006 football season" the Raiders said in a statement. "While Art will no longer serve as head coach, he and Mr. Davis have discussed and will continue to discuss opportunities for Art to remain a valued member of the Raider organization."

Shell is set to meet with his staff at 2 p.m. ET Friday to inform them that he's done as the Raiders' coach.

Shell was hired as head coach last year when Davis admitted he made a mistake in firing him in 1994. Shell's record as Raiders head coach was 56-41 from 1989 through 1994. In 1989, Shell was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after one of the most distinguished careers in Raiders history.

Following Shell's firing in 1994, only one Raiders coach had a winning tenure and that was Jon Gruden. Shell met with Davis last January and Davis felt he needed to bring a former Raiders who believed in Raiders tradition as the head coach. Shell was given a two-year contract to turn the team around.

The Raiders finished 2-14. Shell and wide receiver Jerry Porter hit it off poorly during the offseason, and Porter barely played in 2006 even though he was healthy most of the season. Wide receiver Randy Moss complained about his frustrations about the Raiders offense. By mid-season, Shell demoted offensive coordinator Tom Walsh, whom he hired from a dude ranch, and replaced him with John Shoop, the former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator who was coaching the tight ends.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, the offense didn't change. It still struggled to score point.

One possible candidate for the job might be on staff. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan turned around the defense, which started eight young players. Davis, however, likes to hire offensive head coaches, so it would be a switch in Raiders tradition to go with a defensive coach.

At this stage, though, Davis is looking for any solution. In the past four years, the Raiders have had a 15-49 record.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monitiored RT from my wife's work Black Berry while in Puerto Vallarta for the last week. Things seem to be moving quickly. As many times as I've cursed him the old man he still has it.
Here's more to think about.....

...Former St. Louis Park grad and University of Minnesota alum, Marc on the Gopher radar to fill the head coach vacancy left open after Glen Mason was fired last weekend.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned that Trestman is also being courted by NFL teams. He will interview with two pro teams next week including the Oakland Raiders, where he worked as a offensive coordinator for two seasons...

From another board less "sophisticated" than RT but still part of the nation.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If front office for Shell means he has any input in personnel we have problems. Lombardi seemed a shrewd GM or whatever his officlai role. He did well with the cap. Shell seems too proud to work with a mole. Maybe he'll get a settlement and walk. That would be sad considering all he has contributed to the organization.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this just had to be done.

It was a tough year for Art, with all the losing, fighting with spoiled players, and seeing "moles" in the shadows.
I think Art would have done a better job if supplied more talent, but this team needs a baby sitter, and Art just isn't cut out for that.

Call me crazy, but I think the guy to watch is Whisenhunt.
Whisenhunt has two choices. He can take over for Cowher, a real tough act to follow, or he can go to Oakland, which has the # one pick, and no where to go but up.

I say he will pick the Raiders this time, with Rob Ryan promoted to DC/Asst. head coach.

This would work for me.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GUYS IT'S OFFICIAL! check it our on

the shell hiring was a huge MISTAKE from the get go. the first step is done!

NOW al needs to check his massive ego and PAY a REAL coach and GM and hand over some power or get back on the sidelines and coach this mo-fo himself!

10:17 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

First and foremost I want to thank and honor Art for his 28 years of dedicated service to the Silver and Black. In whatever capacity he is retained, he will always have a home in Raiderland.

Raider 00: From what I've seen on the net tonight, Whisenhunt seems to be a front runner for the Dolphins HC job. My short list of HC candidates if Ryan isn't promoted would be:

Bobby Petrino (Louisville), Jeff Tefford (Cal Berkley), and Denny Green.

In particular, I feel Green could be a good fit because of his reputation as an offensive minded coach, his relationship with Al, his potential to groom a young QB. This would be especially true if the Raiders take JeMarcus Russell in the draft. Russell is almost a carbon copy of Dante Culpepper. Green was Culpeppers HC in his 1st year as a starter where he completed 62% of his passes for 3900+ yards, and 33 TDs. This would also bode well if Al intends to keep Moss on the roster considering Green's relationship with Randy. The Vikes incidentally went to the NFC Championship game and were ranked #5 in offense. Food for thought...

10:56 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Over at Raiderworld, one of the more reliable posters (Fathead)who claims to have reliable sources mentioned the following: (take it for what it is worth)

"I just found out Steve Sarkisian (USC OC)is a candidate for the HC job not OC. Al loves Sarkisian so this is a strong possibilty. Al is bringing in Trestman to interview for the OC job. So there it is, either Ryan or Sarkisian as of right now. Al plans on also bringing in Jim Mora Jr. to interview for the HC position and of course Patrino. I think Patrino stays at LU."

tomorrow should be interesting ...

11:10 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:13 AM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Hey guys if you get a chance check out Total Access on NFL Network. Adam Schefter tells how Al got to the decision to fire Shell. Normally I'd be wary of Schefter, but he was the first to say that Art would be fired at the end of the season. What worries me is that according to Schefter Al conferred with several players about Shell before giving Shell his pink slip. What if Moss was one of those players? It would look as if the inmates were running the asylum after all. Anyway, check out Total Access, it repeats until 10am Friday.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been preaching this the last month or so. If Art is let go, he will step in Lombardi's place as GM. He's a better front office guy anyway, and I think the Raiders will still be able to fill their holes. Take this quote from the team last night, "'While Art will no longer serve as head coach, he and Mr. Davis have discussed and will continue to discuss opportunities for Art to remain a valued member of the Raider organization,'" (taken from the Raiders website).
Rob Ryan will be the next head coach, regardless of who is and isn't interviewed. The players across the board love this guy, and he has started out the same way that Madden started his career, as a linebacker's coach, worked his way up to Defensive Coordinator, and then Head Coach. Talk about returning to "Raider Glory!" I feel the only way he doesn't become our next coach is simply because he doesn't want it.
CJ mentioned from Fathead that Steve Sarkisian from USC is in line as well. Fine. I'm okay with that too. I like Sarkisian, and it would make sense if Pete Carroll is woo'd out of USC by Arizona. I feel if this happens, then Norm Chow will return to USC to be their Head Coach over Sarkisian, and he wouldn't need Sarkisian. So bringing in Sarkisian would make sense to me.
I agree that he won't come to Oakland for an OC job.
The thing against Sarkisian is lack of NFL Coaching experience. This is why I think Ryan is top candidate. Davis hires coaches who have NFL experience. I think Ryan doesn't understand the offensive side of the ball as much, and is going to need some tremendous help there. This is why I think Dennis Green is going to come in as OC and Assistant Coach. His knowledge of football will help Ryan be a successful coach for years to come.

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck, Art.

Cowher would cost the #1 pick in compensation; no way that happens [we got two mid #1's for Gruden]

Parcells is burnt out. Look at him on the sidelines. Very little energy left--and what's he going to coach, 2 or 3 years? We need somebody who can be here ten

Would like to see Rob get a shot, with a hot OC.

Not liking the Trestman OC rumors [no more re-treads, please]

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other interesting notes from yesterday, here's a list of some Free agents the Raiders signed:
"In other news, the Raiders signed the following free agents: running back Tony Jackson, offensive tackle Mark Wilson, wide receiver Leo Bookman, center Jon Condo and defensive end Bryant McNeal." From IBA.
Note the Tackle and Center. Wilson has started 1 game, and played in 2 (in 2004) for the Redskins. He did not play last season, and was not on a team this year.
Jon Condo is not a Center though, he is listed as a LB. He played in 3 games in Dallas in 2005, his stats are unknown.

6:08 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raider00: Reports were that Cowher told Whisenhunt to stay put last year, almost certainly telling him the Steelers HC job was his after 2006. Now, all the sudden the Miami HC job is open too. Whisenhunt has better options than the Raiders, and he won’t have to deal with the obvious distractions (Al Davis).

CJ: I’m not sold on Denny Green. He is Art Shell’s exact opposite... perhaps too volatile. Although, the thought of having an offensive-minded HC and a solid OC all in one sounds very appealing.

Bobby Petrino is a no-brainer, and guys like Jeff Tefford and Marc Trestman are enough to get excited about. I kind of like Trestman because he’s been here, and knows the ropes. Plus, he has a little bit of Rich Gannon in him. Trestman HC; Gannon OC. Doh!!!

Rob Ryan. Initial reports are that he does want the job. The last time Al hired a defensive-minded HC he won a SB for us and ended up in the HOF. The obvious problem with that is we would still have a gaping hole at OC.

Advantage over last year: the Raiders offer a solid defense and the first pick in the draft (that’s a big carrot to dangle). Disadvantages, we offer a new coach the same negatives that left us with no real options last year and in previous HC hires, e.g., a meddling owner and untouchable assistant coaches... not that any prospect would want to disturb the proven success of the defense.

Finally, I don’t understand the whole “mole” thing, but Lombardi seems to be magician with the salary cap, so I hope he doesn’t get shown the door just yet.

6:49 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

I'll be very sorry not to see Mr. Shell on the sidelines and at training camp. Then again, if he takes Lambardi goes to make room for Shell up top, we may just see some improvement in other areas. Ryan would be an interesting choice, but we will need a great OC. Hope someone likes a challenge!

Quick side note. Someone mentioned "the Tuna". A warning from the metroplex. Pass! The guy is washed up. He's to conservative and has produced nothing but inconsistency since coming to the Big D. We won't miss him here.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider 00: Correction on one of my earlier posts regarding Whisenhunt. He is the front funner for the Falcons HC not Dolphins HC. He's originally from Atlanta, a Georgia Tech grad, and spent four years playing tight end for the Falcons.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so art is done,good move but it was a bad move to hire him in the first place..... now we will see if Al can actually get someone worth a crap to come here..with 4 coaches in the last 5 years and the reputation of dysfunction.... it isn't going to be an easy sell for Al. let's hope Al has learned his lesson in hiring coaches,meaning, he doesn't wait it out until the end of febuary trying to get a desperate coach so he can save money. he always hires a coach trying to keep his leverage,hopefully he will give up on it and give a deserving candidate the money and will let him run with it....i'm not holding my breath though,i mean,what has Al done that puts any confidence in him that he will get this thing done right??? he has done 1 good hiring for hc in the last 20 years, the rest....... i will reserve judgment until it is shown that Al will CHANGE,until then i expect the same ole same ole.

8:20 AM  
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