Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

May 9, 2007
What's Shell thinking?

Art Shell would never publicly gloat about someone losing his or her job.

But I have to believe deep down inside he had to at least crack a smile with the word senior personnel executive Michael Lombardi was fired by the Raiders.

When Shell lashed out at Lombardi last fall without naming him, he surely knew talking about Lombardi would do little to change his fate as head coach. But he got the message out: Lombardi wasn't to be trusted.

Shell said Lombardi had been downing his coaching staff from the start by talking to media as an unnamed source. It got back to Shell it was Lombardi that trashed offensive coordinator Tom Walsh before the season.

Shell also said Lombardi had taken shots at Raiders owner Al Davis.

To Shell, that meant Walsh never had a chance because players were already hearing what an outdated playbook they had before they ever saw it. Lombardi was eventually barred from practices.

Shell's words could make it hard for Lombardi to get hired by another NFL team.

Teams know there are always going to be leaks to media. But what no owner wants is someone willing to dog them while they're paying them, especially someone in an administrative capacity.

Imagine the disgust of the Maloofs if they found out negative publicity from an unnamed source was coming from Geoff Petrie?

Lombardi's firing is only surprising in that took this long. Mark Jackson, hired in February, had already assumed many of Lombardi's duties.

Lombardi was believed to be interested in the Tennessee Titans general manager job that went to Mike Reinfeldt.

He might be better off trying to land a TV gig, where he used to work as an analyst.

I don't know how an owner could hire someone that would be the first person they'd look at when a "front office source" is mentioned in a story that is critical of his franchise.

There are disagreements in every team, but when someone is accused of working against the team, they make it difficult for anyone to want to read their resume.

It's hard to hire someone you can't trust.

--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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