Walsh hired as Raiders' offensive coordinator

Updated: February 23, 2006, 8:06 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The Oakland Raiders reached deep into their past in choosing Art Shell as their new head coach. And now Shell has done the same in selecting his offensive coordinator.

In a move that has been rumored since he replaced Norv Turner as head coach, Shell has hired Tom Walsh to oversee an offense that, despite having plenty of potential playmakers, statistically ranked No. 21 in the league in 2005.

Walsh has not coached in the NFL since 1994, when he was fired, along with Shell, by the Raiders. Walsh hasn't worked at any level of the game since 1999, when he was director of operations and head coach of a minor-league franchise in Mobile, Ala., in 1999. Before that, he was head coach at Idaho State, where he compiled a 6-16 record in two seasons.

That recent idleness aside, Shell has great faith in Walsh, who worked for the Raiders from 1982 to '94, coaching quarterbacks and receivers before being elevated to coordinator. Walsh most recently has operated a bed-and-breakfast ranch and served as mayor of Swan Valley, Idaho.

Oakland's most recently hired coordinator, Jimmy Raye, is a close friend of Shell and the two have worked together in the past. But Raye departed the Raiders to become running backs coach with the New York Jets before Oakland hired Shell as head coach.

The Raiders did retain quarterbacks coach John Shoop, who actually interviewed for the head coach spot with the team, and he figures to have considerable input into the offensive design as well.

Also, as rumored, Shell has added Hall of Fame tackle Jackie Slater as offensive line coach. Slater played 20 seasons in the NFL, with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001. He will work with another former NFL lineman, Irv Eatman, in tutoring the Raiders' blockers.

Former NFL defensive lineman Daryl Sims, who most recently was head coach of the Cologne franchise in the NFL Europe League, was hired as a defensive line assistant.

Len Pasquarelli is ESPN.com's senior NFL writer.

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