Looking good for Shell in Oakland

OWINGS MILLS -- Art Shell might finally be the ultimate answer to the Oakland Raiders' embarrassingly long and twisted search for a new head coach. An NFL source said Friday night that Shell could be announced as soon as this weekend. Norv Turner was fired nearly 40 days ago.

Apparently, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Fassel, who had phone contact but no formal interview with enigmatic Raiders owner Al Davis to date, will be staying in Baltimore.

Davis' reaction is reportedly a blank stare and silence whenever Fassel's name is broached by team officials, according to an NFL source close to the situation.

Shell, a former Raiders head coach when the team was based in Los Angeles who was fired after the 1994 season with a 54-38 career mark with the AFC West club, represents a fallback option for Davis. Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Louisville coach Bobby Petrino resisted overtures and both formally removed their names from consideration Thursday.

Shell was fired after a 9-7 season, a move Davis has said he regrets. Presently the vice president of football operations and development for the NFL office, Shell had a winning mark in four of his five full seasons.

The Raiders have only registered three winning seasons since Shell's forced departure and have gone 13-35 over the past three seasons.

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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