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Firing Art Shell Won’t Fix The Raiders

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The football coach, whose preciosity is equally lauded and reviled, will see every mistake committed on the field. The sole exception is Art Shell who couldn’t possibly note in his mind each mistake and must dread film review during the week.

The Oakland Raiders are among the worst teams in NFL history. Looking at their roster leaves one with the sneaking suspicion a CFL team snuck into the Raiders compound and replaced the NFL players. It’s bad and shows no signs of improvement.

In many parts of Africa and in Europe’s past, an ineffectual leader faced a firing squad. This action wasn’t effective but it served as a warning to those who sought power: either perform or face men with guns/arrows.

By no means am I advocating this brutish behavior, but at times you wonder if Raider nation, — known for their literacy — ever contemplated such an act. Sadly, it’s not the fault of one person for the startling lack of success of the Raiders.

The organization as a whole is antiquated. Decision making is questionable and accountability is absent. From managing the team’s finances to player development the Raiders trail Delta House, Arthur Andersen, and Airbus in management skills.

Fire Art Shell if you must, if the act will give you a moment’s pleasure, but know in your mind the real issues will haunt any coach who slides into his place. The entire organization is in need of an overhaul, starting at the top and working all the way down to the parking guys. Pride is missing and without it any organization is dead.

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About The Critic

  • pnp

    Quoting the Great Critic… lol

    “The entire organization is in need of an overhaul, starting at the top and working all the way down to the parking guys. Pride is missing and without it any organization is dead”

    This Person has No Clue.. what there talkin about… Its very true.. anyone that can put up a Web Site and listen to ESPN.. Can Write Nonsense…

    I guess the Raiders should Retool that Top 5 Defense in the NFL we well… Eh Critic?

    Get a Clue next time…

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/12/25/182240.php The Critic

    pnp: I’ll try to consult with you first. There should be their and, well, it’s clear you write the Raiders press releases.

    Let me pose a question: Would you rather win 8 or 9 games or rank in the top 5 of any statisical category? Further, when you look at the defensive side of the ball with respect to age, expiring contracts, etc, what would you as GM do to bolster the offense while keeping an aging defense in a Raider uniform. Thrill us with your acumen.

  • Little King

    It should actually be “they’re,” as a contracted “they are” is the only appropriate choice in that situation.
    Grammatical sensibilities aside, this still doesn’t change the fact that Art Shell is an absolute tool with no critical thinking skills, no “fire,” and no interpersonal skills. Would you trust Art with a quick math problem in a pinch (1:45 left, we have 1 timeout, trail by 2, etc…) Come on, he is a joke for a reason. FYI, I have been a Raider fan for 27 years, and he was horrible the first time around. The team ABSOLUTELY won in spite of him.

  • JC

    Wow, you have such thrilling acumen yourself.

    “Would you rather win 8 or 9 games or rank in the top 5 of any statisical category?”

    First of all, every rebuilding team has to start somewhere. There was a time in the not so distant past when the Ravens had a good defense but no offense. We are in the same position. A few good FA signings and drafting on the offensive side of the ball could turn the entire team around in a hurry. Remember when the Chargers had a good offense but the defense was lacking? Add Merriman, Castillo, Cromartie and now you have a great defense. The scheme was always there, just some pieces were missing.

    “when you look at the defensive side of the ball with respect to age, expiring contracts, etc, what would you as GM do to bolster the offense while keeping an aging defense in a Raider uniform.”

    As far as the defense goes we are in a very good position. The only “aging” players on the whole squad are Sapp, Johnstone, and Tyrone Poole. Poole is a backup and can be replaced by Routt. Johnstone is only situational anyway, but could easily be replaced by Kevin Huntley. Sapp is playing at a very high level and shows no reason to worry about his DT spot next year. Our entire secondary and all of our linebackers are young and still under contract for awhile. In fact, the only notable players whose contracts are an issue on D are Terdell Sands and Johnstone. As mentioned before, Johnstone is not a priority, but should be resigned fairly easily. Terdell Sands will be resigned fairly easily as well. The only thing our defense really needs is a stud run stopping DT in FA or draft (we should have brought Grady Jackson back when he was available). Then they will be set.

    On offense, we must sign Curry long term. Gabriel is still under contract for a couple more years. Moss should be traded for a draft pick, O lineman, or DT. IF Shell goes, Porter should find himself out of the doghouse and starting fairly quickly. Our WR depth chart should be Curry, Porter, Gabriel/Morant, Francis. Alvis Whitted should finally be let go, and Carlos Francis should be given another shot to get healthy and be our version of Santana Moss/Steve Smith…..the small speed guy.

    John Madsen is an excellent receiving TE but not nearly big enough to run block. He should be utilized more as a TE/WR hybrid for mismatches on passing downs. We need a solid TE very badly. Daniel Graham would make a lot of sense, as would Tony Gonzalez. Courtney Anderson should be retained as a TE2. Randall Williams should be let go.

    Lamont Jordan is a very good running back, but this team needs a powerhouse back there. We need to mold ourselves in the Strong D/Strong Running Game/Play Action Pass mold. Lamont Jordan is not cut out to do that by himself. That is why we need Adrian Peterson. I thought we were a lock to get him but now that Kevin Jones got hurt I’m not so sure. We also need a true blocking FB in th draft or a cheap one in FA, keep Crocket one more year as an emergency RB/FB. Let Reshard Leed go.

    At QB, Walter needs to be our starter. Sure he has struggled, but so did JP Losman and Alex Smith at first. They are both playing very well now. However, if we bring another rookie QB in as an insurance policy, that would also make sense. If we could get Troy SMith in the 2nd round I could live with that.

    Our draft should go as follows:

    1. Adrian Peterson RB
    2. Zach Miller TE *or* Troy Smith QB
    3. Best OL available
    4. Best DT available
    5. Best FB available
    5. Project WR
    6. Best OL available
    7. Best OL available.

    Let the OL rookies fight it out in training camp. Let Barry Sims go. Give Gallery one more year at LT to see if he progresses, then put him at RT if not. Replace Langston Walker with Chad Slaughter, he is about the same in pass protection but much better in run blocking. Keep McQuistan and Boothe at LG and RG, and Grove at center.

    There you have it….

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    I only partially buy into the “well at least the defense is okay” argument. It’s a mediocre defense that looks great compared to the offense.

    They’re ranked 1st in pass defense because teams don’t need to beat the Raiders through the air. By comparison, Oakland is a sieve on rush defense (27th).

    The mediocrity comes out in the only stat that matters: points allowed. At just over 20 points a game, they’re 17th.

  • Still Bill

    Raiders suck dog shit!! They will continue to do so for the next ten years

  • Raider fan in SD

    Sadly I will admit you are probably correct in some of your comments…. the Raider organization is in need of a pretty big overhaul and it needs to start from the top, with the managment….

    Again I hate to admit: you are also right in stating this isn’t Art Shell’s fault, at least not all the blame lies on him (I did like your blurb about how past peoples handled their inept leaders though… maybe with that fear hanging over Shell we would at least see a little emmotion/fire out of our coach?)

    In any event, I don’t agree this statement:

    “The Oakland Raiders are among the worst teams in NFL history. Looking at their roster leaves one with the sneaking suspicion a CFL team snuck into the Raiders compound and replaced the NFL players. It’s bad and shows no signs of improvement.”

    The Raiders are actually among the best teams in NFL history, so obviously you meant or were speaking of this years team, or maybe the Faikers, er Raiders we’ve seen the past few years since the super-whomping we took in the SB… I’d even give you THAT….

    True on the offensive side of the ball they are one of the worst if not the worst I’ve ever seen in the NFL in all the years I’ve been following the NFL, but that isn’t true of the ENTIRE team and roster….
    also I would debate you on our organization (or players) showing no signs of improvement
    There are quite a few signs of improvement (not many, maybe any really, on the O) there are also some young, progressing studs on this team – Kirk M., Thomas H., Fabian W., Stuart S., Michael H., just to name a FEW- who aren’t CFL bad… (granted you are right about some others, like Sam Williams and Alvis Whitted…)

    In parting, let me leave you with this: While in all likelyhood myself and my fellow Raider Nation faithfull have a few more tough years ahead, we won’t always remain this bad to where someone like yourself could say we rank among the worst in the league. We’ll return to our glory, it could even happen next year (it wont, but it COULD) my opinion on how that would be possible is as follows:

    OUR OFFENSE:

    ***can be HUGELY improved with a franchize running back being brought in over the off-season. Be it through FA, or the draft (draft preferred) here is an area we can address easily that would bump us out of the gutter immediately on the O-side. Lets get a REAL back, one that we can ride into the playoffs, like Allen was for us years and years back. We need a pass-blocking, pass-catching, workhorse back w/ the ability to blow through defenders in the box, and at the same time w/ the vision to wait for holes to open, make the proper cuts and high-tail it to the EZ. cut lamont i can’t stay healthy or stop hoppin around in the air when i run jordan – i dont care about absorbing the unbelieveable paycheck they gave this looser (sorry Lamont, I wouldn’t have wanted to be in these shoes) he’s gotta go (is there a team stupid enough to give us a draft pick even a low rd and take on this salary so we dont get the hit?)

    **get a TRUE FB, someone to pave the way for our new back and great in pass protection as well. love Zack, but he’s more a runner, misses too many lead-blocks and poor in pass protect…

    **Lets take some pressure off the QB Andrew Walter (dump Brooks he’s not even good enough to be a CFL qb in my humble opinion) having to be better-than-Peyton when we don’t ever draft a Peyton-calliber QB. (Walter was pretty dang good at ASU, he’s still young and needs to develop but look at Rivers, just goes to show what young developing QB’s can do IF/WHEN given time and an OUTSTANDING RB, and good playcalling/gameplan. find Walter’s style\desired offense, build around that. Or (please no) find us yet another wanna-be QB vet in FA to take us no-where…, let Tui go and get us a QB in the later rounds of the draft ,maybe the younger Palmer, or another guy w/ some true potential and talent we can sit them and let them watch/learn develop as long as we have our 1 vet QB from FA which we will i’m sure, then this position is OK to me w/ Andrew as our starter, GOOD, SOLID, FA vet as a backup if Andrew doesn’t show he has it (he needs to learn a LOT more and do a LOT of things better for me to feel he’s truely ready to lead an NFL team but i believe the talent/potential is there) in the pre-season, and draft 1,2 QB’s in the draft later rds though.

    **The line- obviously the line is in need of something- a complete overhaul maybe, but I dont think that is necessary. Address our lack of a true LT, move Gallery to RT and leave him alone give him a chance to get back to what he knows then if he still can’t cut it, cut him. Make some moves in the FA market to bring in a couple vet’s that are brawlers on the O-line some guys that can slap around our young line and get them to play a little more like men and less like little girls…. there IS a lack of pride-in this area-to be sure, and it needs to change. Here’s my O-line for next year:

    Free Agent LT (draft one for depth as well, or wait for the monster T from SC to come out in 08’s draft class)
    Paul McQuistan, LG
    Jake Grove, C (we could use another with Grove getting hurt too much, studly FA would be nice but not going to happen)
    Kevin Boothe, RG
    Robert Gallery, RT (draft one for depth as well, and beg someone to take Langston Walker off our hands please!!)

    **Get us a LEGITMATE TE, through FA.

    **Dump our cancers, Porter and Moss gotta go I hate to let tallented WR’s go but these guys are only hurting our team not being the amazing 1,2 punch they could/should be. Get us another 1st rd pick w/ Moss, get whatever/anything for Porter and if we can’t get anything then just straight up release him and take the hit again our money management is never good anyway so whats it matter…. here’s our WR corps for next yr in my humble opinion:
    Curry (gotta pay the man though)
    Gabriel (same)
    Morant
    Madsen
    Buchanon (our fa pickup from SC)
    **would LOVE to get Jarett from SC w/ the late 1st rd pick from the Moss trade but i’m sure that is a dream never to come true**

    and quickly on the D:

    **draft monster DT or even 2, to study under Sapp
    **start Darnell Bing at OLB in place of Sam W.
    *draft TRUE MLB of Morrison’s calliber
    *draft another young FAST CB w/ ability to blitz and play in coverage (i believe we could do this late in the draft as well no need for another cb in high rounds, Al)

    I could go on and ON AND ON, but i’ll spare you anymore of my rambling. Please next time before you as so quick to say this franchise is SO terrible, let us not forget some of the teams that are the WORST teams in the NFL, not a truely GREAT team having some tough years and some very rough times, giving haters like yourself what you’ve been waiting YEARS for, the chance to laugh it up, rub it in when we are taking our lumps (as most of you have had MORE than enough of in your teams past yet are so quick to forget it seems) and clown on us. Enjoy it while it lasts, and when we return to dominance as we shall, I’ll be there to comfort you and unlike the haters, I’ll bring you words of comfort rather than rubbing your face in sh-eye-t and laughing as you and others have been so kind to do. Raider Nation for life, win or lose, good times or bad times, RAIDER PRIDE WILL NEVER DIE, you haters will eat your words.

  • Stephen Hawkeeng

    You are all so smart.

  • http://raidernationpodcast.com Raider Greg

    OK……..First..It does not take a genious to figure out we have management problems ….Who is the “aging” Defense? Sapp is the oldest….Then? You must not be a fan of our Raiders….I know this by the way you write. You try to say so much with twists and turns and your style its hard to follow. The Point is…Fire Shell…Hell yes….Why…He lost the locker room like he did in 94. New leadership is a must to take control of the team. If you can rebut this in plain english, I would be thankfull.

  • hans

    Unfortunatly, the Critic is correct the Raiders need a complete overhaul.From Al Davis (the main problem, we had a talented coach who turned the team around but he did not kiss Al’s butt so off to Tampa to win a super bowl) to Art Shell, who is just plain a BAD coach, please leave and give controls to someone who cares about the team.The Raiders were a solid organization but no more,with bad draft picks, bad coaches, and a offensive philosophy that was created during the Ford administration,and a stubborness to do things differently to become competative again.Until things change from the top more of the same..

  • JB

    it might not help….but it sure cant hurt.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Sadly, it’s not the fault of one person for the startling lack of success of the Raiders.”

    Yes, it is. That person is Al Davis.

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/12/25/182240.php The Critic

    Thanks to each of you for taking time to comment. A few of you made sense and for that the world is grateful.

    Am I a Raiders fan? No. But it’s sad to see a proud franchise, even if the pride is a product of good marketing, tank it. The NFL is better when the Raiders are winning and lets face it, gangbangers are now having to wear White Sox gear and that’s wrong.

  • Al Davis

    Shell is without a doubt the worst coach I have ever seen. He can’t game plan. His idea of a playbook is some crap scribbled on a cocktail napkin. He has managed to demotivate an entire team. The part of the team that functions is the defense only because he can’t get his grubby fingers on them. Why wait? Fire him NOW!!!

  • Raider fan in SD

    The NFL is better when the Raiders are playing

  • Raider fan in SD

    The NFL is better when the Raiders are playing better, you are dayumn correct. You either love or you hate the Raiders, or so it seems. Makes for so many great matchups when gameday rolls around.

    Unfortunately the Raider teams over the past few years haven’t been all that wonderful to watch. Unless of course you are a fan of the other team and then yeah I guess I’d be excited too. This year its such a joke to play Oakland it pains me to watch/listen to the games each week dreading the outcome…. There used to be a time I only dreaded watching Sebass trot out to miss a kick, rather that dreading the whole dayumn thing…..

    The D is good but on the field far too long, and JUST not good enough to make up for the pathetic O. With all the drama injuries shifting of the o-line and changing crappy coach to other crappy coaches this year, forget it….. this year really was over before it started. Why did they have to go and look so decent in pre-season to get some of us hyped up. I really thought Shell had whipped them into a different mentality they looked like they wanted to be Raiders (some) and understood the uniform they wear isn’t to be messed with…. I was wrong….I’m ashamed to say I actually picked\believed in them to go 8-8 (maybe even playoffs…hahaha!) this year.
    Another Raider fan I spoke to around that time (pre-season) said I had to be totally off-base to believe that and they picked a 2-win, struggle to 4 wins at best. to that i laughed and said no way, not w/ Randy Moss, Porter, Gabriel, Curry, not w/ Andrew Walter from ASU who destroyed the Pac-10 passing records, just no way! then came the SD game 1st of the year IN OUR HOME they mopped the floor w/ us and disgraced us terribly… and how i HATE to lose to that fg Mary, er i mean Marty! I never wanted to be proven THIS wrong, nor could I have imagined being so embarassed.

    However that being said and whatever it takes to get this turned around, nothing I can do but continue to stay supportive (and that includes Shell, worthless brainless emotionless lump or no) of our Raiders and hold on for dear life while the storms are raging, building, with no end in sight… waiting for the time which will come, w/ the right moves and changes it could be sooner rather than later when we break through this sh-eye-t storm and into dominance.

    Raider Nation till I die.

  • Stormrage

    Yeah…because gang bangers are such a factor to the NFL, AM I RIGHT?

    LOLOLLLLLOLL clueless much?