Skip to comments.Art Shell (re-)hired as Raiders head coach
Posted on 02/11/2006 11:06:13 AM PST by NormsRevenge
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- Al Davis turned to a familiar face to turn the Oakland Raiders around after the worst three-year stretch since he joined the franchise more than four decades ago.
Davis hired Art Shell for his second stint as Raiders coach Friday night, one day after Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt became the latest candidate to tell the team he didn't want the job.
Shell, a long shot when the 5 1/2 -week search began after Norv Turner was fired Jan. 3, first talked to Davis about taking the job last week. The 59-year-old Shell met most of Friday with Davis and other team officials and will be formally introduced at a news conference Saturday.
The first black head coach in modern NFL history when the Raiders hired him in 1989, Shell becomes the seventh one currently in the league. Of the 10 openings this offseason, the only other black coach hired was Herman Edwards, who was traded from the New York Jets to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Shell, who had been working as the senior vice president of football operations and development for the NFL, hasn't been a head coach since the Raiders fired him following the 1994 season in a move Davis has said he still regrets.
Davis has gone through five coaches in 11 seasons since firing Shell, possibly scaring some candidates away from the job.
Shell did have success while working with Davis. The coach had a 54-38 regular-season record with the Raiders, leading them to the AFC championship game following the 1990 season. But he didn't get a second chance as a head coach until now.
He worked as offensive line coach for two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and four with the Atlanta Falcons before stepping down following the 2000 season.
The Raiders have had only three winning seasons since Shell was fired -- one less than he had in five full seasons as coach.
With less than two weeks until the scouting combine begins, Shell will have to work quickly to put together his staff and set his offseason priorities.
He takes over a team that has struggled mightily since going to the Super Bowl following the 2002 season. The Raiders won 13 games over the last three years, the first time they had three losing seasons in a row since before Davis joined the franchise in 1963.
This past season began with optimism after Oakland acquired receiver Randy Moss and running back LaMont Jordan to help quarterback Kerry Collins and the offense. But the Raiders lost their first three games and never were in contention for a playoff spot.
Turner struggled to utilize Moss, who was unable to provide the big plays that made him one of the game's biggest stars in Minnesota. Injuries slowed Moss in the middle of the season and even a brief quarterback change from Collins to Marques Tuiasosopo didn't help.
The Raiders scored 51 points in their final five games and lost their last six overall and eight of nine. At 4-12, they finished with one fewer victory than in Turner's first season.
Perhaps the most glaring statistic was Oakland's failure to win a division game last season for the first time since Davis came aboard. The Raiders went 1-11 against the AFC West during Turner's two seasons.
Shell made eight Pro Bowls and won two Super Bowls as a standout offensive tackle in a 15-year career with the Raiders that led to his induction into the Hall of Fame. He replaced the fired Mike Shanahan during the 1989 season and lasted through 1994, the team's final season in Los Angeles.
Davis also interviewed Al Saunders, James Lofton and Rod Marinelli, and had talks with former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz, Oakland quarterbacks coach John Shoop and Louisville coach Bobby Petrino.
Saunders decided to take a job running the Washington Redskins' offense, Marinelli was hired as Detroit's head coach, Martz will be the Lions' offensive coordinator next season and Petrino said he wants to stay at Louisville.
Raider Nation fyi
Al Davis... the Steinbrenner of the NFL
My memory is that Art Shell was a decent coach, but saddled with a horrible owner.
I have have never gotten over the drubbing the Raiders put on the Skins in '84. I hope they go 0-14..
All the other coaches left the Raiders headquarters within hours. Davis needs to change his Depends once in awhile. Art is used to the stench.
This team is hopeless as it currently stands ... the coach is given no freedom or ability to manage his staff/game as needed to be successful.
Great.. I admire Art Shell. Don't hire Terrell Owens.
Looks like no one wants to work with that Lunatic.
Shell deserved another chance after the record he compiled. Just shows how stupid many of these teams are that none hired him.
Doubt if it will help much, as long as Davis owns 'em. They should improve, though.
It was heaven!
I normally can't stand Jim Rome, but he has Al Davis nailed: he calls him Alice.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.