Raiders trying to make sense of losing ways

Giants vs. Raiders
Different year, same results. What needs to happen before the Raiders become the Raiders of old?

The first two games, the Raiders were outscored 34-33, but they were able to pull out a win. Since that time, the Raiders have been outscored 96-16 in three straight losses.

Three straight games, three straight losses, and the offense can’t gain more than 200 yards! That streak has gone on for four games in which the Raiders were able to gain over 150 yards just twice, (166 vs KC and 165 vs Houston).

Just that alone should make it easy for anyone to figure out what the problem is in Oakland, right? Well, not exactly.

If it were that easy, then the streak of sub-200 yard games would’ve ended after two games…I think. We are talking about a team that seems to show us new depths of futility from time to time over the last several years.

I know that Raider Nation is frustrated. Tom Cable knows that Raider Nation is frustrated.

Many on the Oakland Raiders players know that Raider Nation is frustrated, but is that enough for Cable’s team to dig themselves out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves?It is frustrating but the thing I reminded them, my faith is not lessened, it’s not broke down, it’s not anything other than what I believe in, and that is we can be a good football team,” said Cable at his weekly press conference on Monday.

Zach Miller spoke for the offense when speaking to reporters Monday morning saying, “Obviously guys are frustrated. They aren’t happy with how we’re playing on offense. SO guys are frustrated. They should be.

If there is any disbelief in themselves, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who will admit to it. Since the start of training camp, we’ve heard nearly everyone in silver and black talk about how good a team this is. We’ve even heard players from other teams talk about the amount of talent on the Raiders, but we have yet to see that talent show on the field.

When talking to Trevor Scott in the locker room, I asked him if the mentality of this team was different than what he had experienced last year. “I mean it’s definitely a lot different,” said the second-year defensive end who lost his starting job when the Raiders acquired Richard Seymour at the start of the season. “I think we’re more of a team this year. We just need to show more of that on Sunday.

If the Raiders have the talent, they are together like a team should be, and they are not in any new system, then why aren’t they playing that way? “To think at this point, what more can you do other than look at yourself as individuals and say, ‘Am I doing my job?’” said Jon Alston.

Alston continued his thought saying, “That’s what it comes down to, am I doing my job or am I not doing my job. Am I doing everything that I should be doing to make sure that I’m doing my job or am I not? That’s basically what it’s going to come down to.

Okay, but we’ve heard all that before. We heard that last year from Nnamdi Asomugha and it’s been said the year before that, and the year before that. Maybe it’s frustration, or cause for concern, but Alston didn’t leave his statement there. He went on to say, “As an individual you do that, but how it works most places is that if you’re not doing that, someone else does that for you. I don’t know. I don’t know what the situation is. I just hope to keep positive and spread positive vibes and do my best. That’s my job.

I hate to say it, but I think his and the job of everybody else in silver and black is to win football games. How they do that, is anybody’s guess right now.

Injury Front

  • Chaz Schilens is day to day as he continues to rehab from the broken bone in his foot. Cable said he’s making good progress and they hope to ‘get him into the mix‘ this week.
  • Ricky Brown has an injury to some ligaments that are on the outside of the ankle. According to Cable, those ligaments help keep the foot in line. The Raiders are waiting a couple of days to make the decision on whether Brown will have surgery, effectively ending his season, or if he’ll wear a boot or a cast and rehab it that way for about four weeks. What they decide will be evaluated this week depending on what the doctors say.
  • Nick Miller’s return isn’t scheduled to happen until after the bye week, which means he won’t be returning any kicks until after week nine.
  • Luke Lawton is day to day with an ankle sprain.
  • Robert Gallery is day to day, which is good news for the offensive line. Cable said he had a good workout Monday morning and that they will try and get him out on the practice field to see how much he can handle.
  • Cornell Green’s strained calf hasn’t healed yet, so Cable said that he is out this week.
  • Mario Henderson left the game for a time on Sunday because of a stinger. MRI’s came back negative so he’s good to go.
  • Jon Alston suffered a concussion during the latter part of the Giants game and was still showing some affects of that on Monday. He will be day to day and will have to pass a battery of tests before being cleared to play this week against Philadelphia.
  • Kirk Morrison strained his knee in the second half of the game. At the time of Cable’s press conference, there was no update on that.
  • Greg Ellis had his knee drained on Monday. He has some soreness from arthritis, but should be ready to go.
  • Hiram Eugene has a sore back, but there were no other details on that.

Other news and notes:

  • Cable said that without Ricky Brown or Jon Alston, Isaiah Ekejiuba and Sam Williams will have to be ready to go for this Sunday. An even bigger concern could arise if Kirk Morrison also isn’t healthy enough to play.
  • Cable admitted that a play that had been broken down on ESPN, showing JaMarcus Russell taking a five-step drop from the shotgun position was a mistake by his quarterback. “A quarterback should drop three steps out of the shotgun,” said Cable.
  • Cable is concerned about the quarterback position, but he said that wasn’t his biggest concern. “I think right now, the biggest thing is getting this thing evaluated. I think I have.” So what is the issue? Cable said there are three things: raise their standards individually from coaches on down, practice more efficiently, and eliminate distractions prior and during games–such as adversity.
  • Cable isn’t planning on dropping the play calling. “I really look at it as, is the play you call, does that have anything to do with executing it? Does it have anything to do with being in a manageable third down? Those kinds of things probably weigh heavier on my mind that what play’s being called,” said the head coach.
  • Cable said that he was more worried about the entire team’s confidence rather than just Russell’s. Jarrod Cooper had brought up that Russell should be benched for confidence reasons after the game in a postgame show.
  • Cable was asked if he was looking at making any trades before the week six deadline. “Not right now. Really we typically work on those sort of roster things in the next two days, or day and a half. Today is about getting through the last game and starting on the next one.
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