When it comes to iconic members of the Raiders organization, you probably think of Al Davis. But Art Shell should probably be the next person you think of. Drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1968, Shell played his entire NFL career with the team through 1982. The eight-time Pro Bowl was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989 as a Raider. After working as an OL coach for the franchise for seven seasons, he was head coach from 1989 to 1994, becoming the first African-American coach to lead their team to the Conference Championship game. He also had a very brief return to the head coaching role in 2006.
The point is, if anyone represents the Raiders, it’s Art Shell. And you better believe he was shocked and disappointed to learn about the emails that Jon Gruden wrote between 2011 and 2018, and which forced Gruden to resign earlier this week.
"He hurt a lot of people"
I spoke to Art Shell last night about Jon Gruden. The legendary #Raiders player and coach gave his thoughts on Gruden, the locker room, Mark Davis and how the franchise has to move forward: https://t.co/xu8F2swnXU
— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) October 13, 2021
It was a shock to me. It’s disappointing that someone would put themselves in a position to do that,” Shell told Tashan Reed at The Athletic. “He hurt a lot of people. He hurt himself, too. I mean, I think everybody’s shocked. I was in shock. I said, “What?” I couldn’t believe it. And it’s an unfortunate thing. But you gotta live with the consequences of what you do. He’s going to pay a price. He’s paid it already. He’s going to pay more.”
Davis also said that he thinks the best thing Raiders players can do is start moving forward and trying to get back to playing football.
It’s important to move on,” said Shell. “It’s important to understand what happened. Why it happened? The only person who will know that is Jon. He’s the only person that will know why that happened, but it’s important for the team and the organization to move on as quickly as they can.”
That might be easier said than done.
Shell said that he thought owner Mark Davis handled the situation as well as his dad, Al Davis, would have. And now it’s up to the interim coach Rich Bisaccia to right the ship and get the players focused on their next game, a Sunday showdown with the Denver Broncos.