Oakland Raiders Should Just Say No to Mike Shanahan

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Dec 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan walks off the field after a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Giants defeated the Redskins 20-6. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Raiders owner Mark Davis met with former Washington, Denver, and Los Angeles Raiders – head coach Mike Shanahan over the weekend, likely regarding the Raiders head coaching position. Shanahan, a two-time Super Bowl winning coach in Denver, is one of the most experienced coaches on the open market, with a career that goes back 40 years and NFL experience dating back to 1984. Shanahan is also completely wrong for the Raiders.

Mike Shanahan’s first head coaching gig was with the Los Angeles Raiders back in 1988, and did not go well. He fired or tried to fire a bunch of Al Davis’ favorite guys, including current Special Projects administrator and NFL Hall of Famer Willie Brown. He led the team to a 7-9 record in his first year, then got the team off to a 1-3 start before being fired and replaced by Art Shell, who would ultimately lead the team to three playoff berths in a six year term. This started a long-running feud between Al Davis and Mike Shanahan, and indeed between Shanahan and the entire Raider organization, as Shanahan not only felt that he wasn’t given a real opportunity by Davis, but that he had been shorted $250,000 as well.

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Shanahan spent time as the 49ers offensive coordinator under George Seifert, working with an offense that included Steve Young, Jerry Rice and Rickey Watters.  During his run in San Francisco, he once ordered Steve Young to throw a football at Al Davis’ head during warmups. After the 49ers won Super Bowl XXIX, Shanahan got the head job in Denver, taking over a team quarterbacked by Hall of Famer John Elway. Shanahan’s zone running scheme, which was ran to perfection by Denver’s offensive line and running back Terrell Davis, powered the team to two Super Bowl championships in 1997 and 1998 and an astounding 46-10 overall record between 1996 and 1998. One of the most famous moments of Shanahan’s career, late in the first Super Bowl victory, involved him ordering Terrell Davis into the game despite Davis being blinded by migranes, in order to sell a play fake and set up a bootleg touchdown by Elway.

After the 1998 season, Elway retired, and Denver didn’t win a playoff game again until after the 2005 season. Shanahan was fired by the Broncos after the 2008 season, after missing the playoffs three consecutive years. Shanahan took special interest in beating the Raiders during his run in Denver, amassing a stunning 20-6 record against the Silver and Black. Tensions between the two organizations were so deep that Al Davis refused to have any personal contact with a member of the Broncos front office, delegating those duties to Amy Trask or another executive.

Next: Shanahan's Washington Failures Cause for Concern