Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shoop and Walsh Switch Seats

11 games into the 2006 season, the Raiders organization made a significant change to the coaching staff structure by exchanging the roles of John Shoop and Tom Walsh. John Shoop has been elevated from Tight Ends Coach to Offensive Coordinator. Tom Walsh has been demoted from Offensive Coordinator to Tight Ends Coach.

I am hopeful that Shoop will breathe new life, energy, ideas, and purpose into our woeful offensive unit. One of the key litmus tests for Shoop will be his ability to adjust the playcalling and schemes to fit the Raiders personnel and opponent. How will the Raiders offensive players respond to a new playcaller and coordinator? Will Shoop's modified game-plans and installation of new plays lead to a higher yield? The 5 game trial period with Shoop as the OC should be enough time to get a sense of whether or not he deserves to keep his post for the 2007 season.

I believe this change should have happened much sooner which I documented in my October 18th post. The most compelling reason to make the change was the Raiders lackluster productivity especially in the 2nd half of winnable games. For the season, the Raiders offense has scored only 10 TDs in 11 games, 2 in the 2nd half. The Raiders have been shut out in 5 second halves and have scored a total of 26 points or 2.36 per second half. Below is a statistical breakdown covering the 11 games with Walsh as the Offensive Coordinator. In the categories of Scoring, Yards per Game, Passing Yards Per Game, and Sacks Allowed, the Raiders are dead last.

Offensive Category

Yards per Game239.832
Rushing yards per game100.421
Passing yards per game139.432
Turnovers Allowed2630
Sacks Allowed5332
Time of Possession28:2228
3rd Down Conversion



Statement from Art Shell: "In this business, at times there are tough decisions that have to be made for the good of the football team. Today, I have made the difficult decision of replacing Tom Walsh as offensive coordinator of The Oakland Raiders with John Shoop for the rest of the season. Tom has been diligent in his effort to get our offense going in the right direction. In no way should the lack of a more successful offense be placed totally at his feet. Everyone plays a part in the success of any team. John Shoop has been a coordinator in the NFL and has achieved success, helping the Chicago Bears to a 13-3 record and the NFC Central Division title in 2001. We look forward to John's input as we continue our goal of bringing the Raiders back to prominence."


Blogger BlandaRocked said...


I've always been in agreement that Walsh calls a very limited game. It's a new offense for these players, and it's always somewhat typical that a first year offense is a little limited until the players get a handle on it. What has surprised me is the players inability to grab hold of that handle. The Gilman is different, but not that different. Therefore, I've felt that inability was somewhat intentional. A rebellion on the part of a few of the players who have predetermined that the offense won't work.

I've heard that Shoop asked to be changed from QB coach to TE coach in the off season because of disagreements with Walsh over the offense. I don't know if this is true. As a TE coach, he still has to deal with whatever Walsh game plans. But I do concede a benefit here. Shoop has recently been an OC. While he's most familiar with the WC and the off-shoots in play now, Walsh is only familiar with them during their developement. The Raiders never ran a WC style offense until 1995.

I don't think that Shoop will turn the team around, but I do think he will make them different. Also, this is such a big change that the players may view it as a new lease on life, and get them to focus on improvement and maintaining their jobs for next season.

9:10 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

An added note:

I've always felt that the notion that an offense is "out dated" is overblown. All "out dated" means in this sense is that it's not purely used by any team anymore. When I was in high school, in the 1970s, we were the only football team left in the country that still used a single wing offense. Outdated? Hell, no! We kicked ass! Nobody was running a defense designed to meet it.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

In response to the comment above, I believe "out-dated," in the intended sense, means that opposing defenses don't have to do very much to prepare for and shutdown our offense. There's nothing innovative or current or uniquely our own that we can throw at opposing Ds to cause them frustration. That'll happen when your offensive coordinator hasn't been involved with football since he was fired back in '94. So in that respect, yes, our offensive schemes were very much out-dated, old, stale.

I'm in agreement with Calico: the change should've come much sooner. Jury's out on whether or not we'll see immediate improvement, but I think there'll be at least a slight boost of confidence within the offense, if only because some of their pleas to replace Walsh have finally been answered. I think this spark will carry us to a win over Houston on Sunday. After the last three weeks, I'd say we're due.

ps - I dig the site, here. Nice work.

10:10 AM  
Blogger dan said...

Guys - what is going on with these latest quotes from Shell!?!?! Unbelievable.


7:37 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

hey all, i was on vacation in hawaii when i checked the internet on my cell phone and saw that walsh had been canned as OC. well, i (and everyone else) said it would happen but i didn't think it would take this stinkin' long. season was over a long time ago. too much, too little, and way too late as the saying goes.

oh and while we're at it, how about getting rid of those pretend coaches eatman and slater too?

alright - now let's go and play some real football shall we?

1:42 AM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

Well CJ, it sounds like Shoop at least talks the talk. Here he sounds like Gruden's Mini-Me.

Question is will the players respond this time?

Guess if Art is going to be the stoic leader, makes sense to have Ryan and Shoop actin' bananas to get the players motivated.

I have serious doubts that Shoop's conservative offensive style is going to please Al Davis, but then as long as the "O" doesn't give the game away or the refs make a present of it, the "D" should be able to keep most games close enough to win.

Certainly no one seems to be sad to see Walsh relieved of duty...

Question is, how permanent will this Shoop move prove to be, considering he has ideas of being a head coach himself and the Raiders already have one?

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

I saw the comments from "Coach" Shell on the link that Dan posted. If, and that's a big if, it's true what Shell says, then not only does he lack the support of the players, he also now lacks the support of the organization.

And again if that is true, it is terribly sad. The man is unqualified to be a head coach, and worse, he is now being sent out on a limb by the organization. There's no way he goes public with these comments if Al Davis has his back -- no way at all. So Al is either part of the attack, or he is powerless to stop it. Either way, he is going to be pissed at Shell for airing that dirty laundry.

We better be scouring the NCAA-D2 ranks for an up-and-coming coach. We'll need someone junior and desperate to replace Shell after he's fired.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

BR - The change was necessary and long overdue. Let's see how the players respond to a new voice and offensive game plan.

Alan - I'm in full agreement with you. Over the past 11 games the Raiders offense has been so elementary & unproductive that the opponents have been able to play their base D without any repercussions.

Scorpio - Welcome back & mahalo. Fixing the O-line should be priority #1.

Sir Stick'em - My feeling on Shoop is that unless there is a quantum leap in productivity over the next 5 games, Big Al will be looking for a new OC for 07.

Tooz 72 - I respectfully disagree with you on 2 points.

#1 - I think Shell has the support of all of the players minus Porter and Moss. The players have played hard in each and every game.

#2 - I think Shell has the support of the entire organization minus Lombardi. Of course I would have preferred for this to have been handled behind closed doors. If Lombardi is released at the end of the year (or sooner) because Art felt pressured to force Al's hand then so be it. My best guess is Shell discovered that Lombardi was leaking unflattering off the record remarks about the coaching staff and the Raider organization to the press and brought it to Al's attention. To me this was a way of Shell drawing a line in the sand to Al and saying either the Rat goes or he goes down swinging.

7:03 PM  
Blogger R-8-er Mike said...

You are Right on the money. Although I believe that the most deficient coaching is still to be found @ the O-Line, this was a change that had to be made. It was unacceptable that he was still calling in 7-step drops game-after-game with the young and immobile walters playing, it was painful to watch. It kind of reminded me of dropping your 80-year-old gramma off at a bus stop in east LA, half-dressed and with a $20 dollar bill pinned on her back, and bricks in her purse.... well I have never done or seen that, but you get the point.... painful. This way Shoop has a reasonable audition period, and with the 2 flat-footed flops on the side-lines, I think we can take 2 of the last 5 games. Not much, but it provides some hope going into next year. Hopefully Shell next addresses the O-line, and sends our 2 venerable coaches off to Dayton, and finds an O-line coach that actually has coached before.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

My pre-season 4-12 call doesn't stand a chance. The problems are obvious. I'm going to focus on what is good -- the defense, basically plus a couple of spots on offense. And how to get out of this mess -- the draft, trades, and new coaching staff. Let's put this pile of @#$%^& of a season behind us and focus forward.

7:33 PM  

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