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Brown Lashes Out at Davis in Wake of Shell Dismissal : Raiders: Receiver blames team's owner for its failures and says he 'should accept the responsibility.'

February 04, 1995|STEVE SPRINGER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Raider wide receiver Tim Brown reacted to Thursday's news that Coach Art Shell had been replaced by Mike White by unleashing a verbal attack on owner Al Davis, saying that the team's problems were less the fault of the coach than the owner.

"Nothing is going to change," Brown said Friday from Honolulu, where he is preparing for Sunday's NFL Pro Bowl. "They could bring in Superman, and he couldn't coach this team if the hierarchy doesn't change its philosophy.

"I don't think anybody on this team thinks that Art Shell is the reason we didn't make the playoffs. I hate to see him be the fall guy and take the responsibility for the ineptness of the players. If Al is directing the ship, I think he should accept the responsibility. I think the head guy must change. If the head don't change, the body don't change.

"I think Al should be the coach. Let him be the head coach. At least that way, we would get it from the horse's mouth. We would know what he is thinking.

"I'll tell you one thing. I'm over here with (quarterback) Jeff Hostetler. Somebody better work on him if they want him to stay around, because he doesn't like all this instability, either."

Davis would not comment on Brown's remarks.

Brown said Shell lost the respect of his players because they perceived that he and his assistants had no power.

"We can't continue with coaches who have no control," Brown said. "When you know people are being told what to do, you have no respect for them, and you're not going to listen to them. That's why you have discipline problems.

"Give the coaches some control. Let us know that, when they say something, it's what they are saying. Players have no respect when you go up to a position coach, or the head coach, and he says, 'I would do it this way if I could, but I can't.' How am I supposed to listen to someone unless I know they are speaking for themselves and not for somebody else?

"You know that there are people who should be on the field who are not and you know that comes from above. This goes back to the days of (quarterback) Steve Beuerlein. This has been going on since I've been here. It's ridiculous. . . .

"It has to change if we're going to win. I've been here seven years, and I'm trying to win. It has to happen."

Brown said he was not surprised that White got the job.

"I don't think anyone from the outside would want to come in and be a part of all the things that go on here," he said.

"I think he (White) is a good offensive coach. But will he have the input? Things have to be different. I would love to think they will.

"I know you are going to write what you write, but please, don't make it sound like I'm trying to dog Mike White. I think he's a fine coach and, given the opportunity, he could do a great job if he's given full rein. But Art Shell could have been a great coach if he was given free rein."

After the Raiders retained Brown in the off-season by matching a four-year, $11-million offer from the Denver Broncos, he had his best season statistically, catching 89 passes for 1,309 yards and nine touchdowns.

Hostetler and Brown were an extremely effective combination, but the Raider offense suffered at times, becoming too one-dimensional when Hostetler looked to Brown to the exclusion of others.

Brown blasted the play-calling after a 21-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game in which Brown caught only three passes. He questioned his diminished role in the offense that day.

Brown said Friday that he has just begun to talk.

"If this means my being a blabbermouth, so be it," he said. "I've tried to be the nice guy and smooth things over in the locker room, but no more. From now on, I'm saying what I think."

* RAM CANDIDATES

The team is expected to seek permission to talk to UCLA's Terry Donahue and San Diego State's Ted Tollner about its coaching vacancy. C10

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