Al wasn't there, but don't worry


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Jan 22, 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.
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