Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

May 15, 2007
Shell now in free speech zone

What a difference not working for the Raiders makes.

No longer employed by the team, former coach Art Shell and ex-offensive coordinator Tom Walsh shed light on their feelings about Randy Moss in a Boston Globe article published Sunday.

Shell said Moss was "becoming an old man fast." It was a feeling shared privately by many with the Raiders but never expressed publicly, likely for fear of further alienating the unhappy receiver who now is a New England Patriot.

The thinking was age and injuries had slowed Moss' freakish speed. But saying that would only further anger Moss. Shell said Moss couldn't practice hard or he would be unable to deliver on game day.

Walsh said Moss busted plays routinely by changing his pass routes or failing to properly read coverage, which hurt the Raiders' effectiveness when quarterback Andrew Walter looked for Moss to be somewhere he wasn't.

Shell said during the season Moss wasn't supposed to change his routes, though he did go to Walter at times and do just that.

Had Shell called out Moss during the season, would it have made a difference in wins? Not likely. But had something such as "If Randy continues to change plays on his own, he won't play," been said, it would have sent a message to the rest of the team that the coaching staff was being tough on everyone, not just Jerry Porter.

While the locker room wasn't fractured in an offense-vs.-defense way, there was a lot of disillusionment about why decisions were being made, especially when they didn't seem to be football related.

By the way, Porter couldn't be accused of dogging it in his brief appearances last year.

- Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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