Al Not At Minicamp...

Angry Pope

All Raider
Feb 2, 2006
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NFL insider: Al wasn't there, but don't worry
Coach Art Shell isn't concerned with the Raiders' owner's health.

By Jim Jenkins -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Sunday, May 14, 2006

Somewhat conspicuous by his absence at the Raiders' minicamp last week was owner Al Davis.

Counting draft choices, it was the team's first full-squad gathering under Art Shell, although the new head coach attached no importance to Davis not being there.

Two weeks ago, as is his custom, Davis, who turns 77 on July 4, directed the Raiders' draft out of their Alameda headquarters. Yet even while several people connected with the organization continue to express concern about his health, Davis says his primary problem is a leg ailment that prompted him to begin using a walker last season.

"If he doesn't show up starting in training camp and during the regular season, then I'll get worried," said Shell, who has a long history with Davis as a player, assistant coach and now as his head coach for a second time. "(For this minicamp), he doesn't need to be here."

Outgoing Commissioner Paul Tagliabue credited Davis with playing a major role in crafting an extension of the collective bargaining agreement with players during a league meeting near Dallas in early March. Davis did not attend a subsequent annual owners' meeting in Orlando but was appointed to a committee that will conduct a search for Tagliabue's successor.

Davis is expected to have a major presence when former Raiders coach John Madden is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 5. Davis presumably will be Madden's presenter, reversing roles from Davis' induction in 1992. On Aug. 6, the Raiders, who anticipate a large alumni and fan base to be present for all the weekend festivities, play the Philadelphia Eagles in the annual Hall of Fame exhibition game.
I read this earlier and it really has been concering me.

I know a lot of people are starting to wonder about Al's health and even though Al says it's only about his leg -- I wonder what that entails?

I'm not looking forward to the day Al Davis isn't around. :(
CrossBones said:
I read this earlier and it really has been concering me.

I know a lot of people are starting to wonder about Al's health and even though Al says it's only about his leg -- I wonder what that entails?

I'm not looking forward to the day Al Davis isn't around. :(
Don't blame you for the concern Bones, Al certainly didn't look well on TV during the CBA talks! :(
From 1995...


Published on August 10, 1995

1995- The Press Democrat

BYLINE: Dave Williams
Staff Writer


Oakland Raiders head coach Mike White had no response, sort of, to a story that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, in which former head coach Art Shell said his career was waylaid by three fellow coaches who went to owner Al Davis with their criticisms.

The newspaper quoted Shell as saying, ``Three back-stabbers. Three guys who should have just worried about their own positions but instead were thinking about everything else. Three guys who were really disloyal.''

At the end of Shell's tenure, he was not communicating with offensive coordinator Tom Walsh and was known to have problems with special-teams coach Steve Ortmayer, who also was in charge of football operations. The other ``back-stabber'' is said to still be a part of the Raiders coaching staff.

The only two coaches remaining from last year's team are defensive coordinator John Fox and White.

``I have no reaction to that,'' White said. ``I haven't even read the story. All I can say is that I really enjoyed my career with Art Shell. I had a real good rapport with Art and feel close to him. I thought Art Shell did a hell of a job as the coach.''

Shell currently is the offensive line coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, the Raiders' longtime archrival.

EYES ON KAUFMAN: White said the Raiders are eager to see how first-round draft pick Napoleon Kaufman performs on the natural grass of the Oakland Coliseum.

Kaufman was more than impressive during his college days at Washington, which played on artificial turf and made his quick mores all that more effective. But White said he thought Kaufman was at his best in a road game on grass against Miami last year, when the Huskies snapped the Hurricanes' 58-game home winning streak.

``He only made 80 yards,'' White said. ``But he made chunks of five and seven and six yards against a real great football team on grass. A lot of times you wonder about Astroturf backs. Some of them just run around the corner. In pro football, you don't do that because there are too many guys who are just as fast as you are, so we're anxious to see him.''

FOLLOWING A ROCKET: Christopher and Jeff Powers, a set of 12-year-old twins who were born prematurely and suffer from learning disabilities, are having their greatest summer vacation.

They have been driven across country from Albany, N.Y., to Austin, Texas, to Dallas to Oxnard following Raiders wide receiver Raghib ``Rocket'' Ismail, their favorite player. They'll be in Oakland for Saturday's exhibition game against the St. Louis Rams.

Their mother, Judy, contacted the Raiders organization, hoping to get a chance to meet Ismail. The Raiders, who close their practices to the public, made arrangements for the youngsters to attend Raiders practices and meet Ismail.

Ismail has been more than cooperative. He's taken pictures with the boys, and he's eaten lunch with them. He's also thrown passes to them after practice, as have other members of the Raiders.

MOSEBAR UPDATE: Center Don Mosebar, who injured an eye in last week's practices with the Dallas Cowboys, will have follow-up surgery in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

White said that Mosebar called him to inform him that he won't be attending Saturday's game. The surgery, White said, does not signal a setback in Mosebar's progress. But he indicated the surgery, which should last between about five hours, is being performed to get a better determination on the future of Mosebar's sight.
From 1995...


Published on October 15, 1995

1995- The Press Democrat

BYLINE: Dave Williams
Staff Writer


It was a mismatch from the word go. And it didn't go on very long.

When Al Davis hired then Denver offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan back in 1988, it was with the intent of bringing a fresh offensive outlook to the Raiders organization and weakening the Broncos, who were the AFC's dominant team at the time.

The move was unprecedented. Davis never had hired a head coach from outside the Raiders' family. And Shanahan, 36 at the time, quickly proved to be a black sheep.

Shanahan's career as Raiders coach lasted only 20 games. The Raiders finished 7-9 in the 1988 season. After they lost three of their first four games of 1989, Shanahan was given his walking papers. Shanahan never really had an opportunity to implement his program. His accepting the job was akin to purchasing a house sight unseen.

``Al and I really didn't get a chance to talk in detail since I was with Denver at that time as an offensive coordinator,'' Shanahan said. ``We really didn't sit down like we should have at that time and, from a philosophical standpoint, do what you would have done in a normal interview to tell him some of my philosophy and some of the offense I ran with the Denver Broncos.''

There were times during Shanahan's stint with the Raiders when he'd tell his players to run a drill, then Davis would instruct his team to do something else. When Shanahan called a certain play, Davis would tell the players it wasn't in the plan. Shanahan would fire an assistant coach, Davis would instruct them to get back to work. There were rumors that Davis had Shanahan's telephone bugged.

Different philosophies for a different organization.

But Shanahan's offensive philosophies were a perfect fit for the 49ers. In his three years with San Francisco, he coordinated the 49ers' offense into one of the most devastating units in the history of the NFL. And he earned himself a Super Bowl ring for his efforts last season when the 49ers destroyed the San Diego Chargers, 49-26.

Now, Shanahan is back as the top man with the Denver Broncos and has a chance to get a measure of revenge on Monday night when the Broncos host the Raiders at Mile High Stadium.

``Yeah, it'd be extra special to come away with a win against the Raiders,'' Shanahan said. ``I would not deny that. Anytime you leave an organization and you know people there, it's extra special. Especially when it involves people you don't consider great friends. Obviously, Al and I aren't very tight.''

And on Davis' end, the feelings are mutual.

``When he was here, he was just overwhelmed,'' Davis told the Los Angeles Daily News on Feb. 2. ``Everything was explained to him, what he had to do. Maybe he just didn't hear me. God, he was just so insecure. He used to talk to the players at his lecturn here, and he would put a box behind it so he would seem taller. One day, the players were going to juke the box so he would go down. I had to get rid of him.''

Under Tom Flores, Shanahan's predecessor, the Raiders had always had a laid-back approach to things. And Davis basically let his players run amok as long as they produced on the football field.

Shanahan, however, was a disciplinarian who tried to make wholesale changes immediately. He assigned players seats in meeting rooms. He didn't allow them to sit on their helmets on the sidelines. And chewing gum and sunflower seeds were a no-no. The rules did not sit well with the veterans or Davis.

``It was a totally different situation than what I was used to,'' Shanahan said. ``Al Davis runs everything. He's the guy. He's had a lot of success, but it was nothing I was used to.''

Davis has since fired Shanahan's successor, Art Shell, and hired Mike White. Ironically, White's offensive schemes are similar to those of Shanahan. Davis, however, seems to have more respect for White and has given him more freedom. And so far, White has justified Davis' trust as the team is 5-1 and leads the NFL in scoring.

Receiver Tim Brown is one of the few players who were around when Shanahan was head coach. Making a comparison is difficult.

``I think it was a different time in the Raider organization back then and Mike White happened to come in at a different time,'' Brown said. ``One was unlucky and the other one was lucky. And things are working out pretty good now.''

Brown, who is having a solid season this year, feels he would have flourished under Shanahan as well.

``Shanahan was a pretty good coach, definitely on the offensive side of the ball,'' Brown said. ``He knew everything there was to know about offense. I think if he would have been here, I would have had a lot more catches than I have right now in my career. I really have fond memories of him.''

Davis doesn't.

``He said he wasn't able to run his own plays,'' Davis said in the Feb. 2 interview with the Daily News. ``He said he wasn't able to do this, wasn't able to do that. I'm not on the sidelines during games.''

Davis won't be on the sidelines Monday night, nor will he be looking over Shanahan's shoulder. But Davis will be on Shanahan's mind.

``It's not just another game,'' Shanahan said. ``It's something that's very special.''
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