Las Vegas Raiders: 50 greatest players in franchise history

A video board displays an Al Davis quote (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
A video board displays an Al Davis quote (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Art Shell, Oakland Raiders
(Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary) /

9. player. 28. . LT. Maryland State Shore Hawks. Art Shell

There were three offensive linemen that helped the Raiders reach their peak during the Golden Era of the Silver and Black. The first guy we have to address is Pro Football Hall of Fame left tackle and former Raiders head coach Art Shell. He was simply a technician out on the edge for the 1970s.

Shell was a third-round selection out of HBCU Maryland State in the 1968 NFL Draft. After playing a rotational role in the late 1960s with the Silver and Black, Shell would become a starter for the Raiders in 1970. By the time he reached 26 years of age, Shell became a perennial Pro Bowler at left tackle for the Raiders.

Shell would make the Pro Bowl eight times in his pro career, 1972 to 1978 and again in 1980. He was a first-team All-Pro in 1974 and 1977. Shell would play on the Raiders’ first two Super Bowl championship teams in 1976 and in 1980. He would retire from playing after the 1982 NFL season.

Had he played just one more year, he would have been a three-time Super Bowl champion as a player. He did however immediately stick with the Raiders’ coaching staff after retiring. Shell would be the offensive line coach from 1983 to 1989 and then head coach from 1989 to 1994. He would briefly return to the Raiders sideline as head coach in 2006. Shell earned Canton enshrinement in 1989. His hall of fame classmates include Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, and Willie Wood.