The Oakland Raiders are 2-6, the same record they had last season at the same point on the way to a 4-12 season. At the same point last season, cornerback Charles Woodson publicly criticized then head coach Bill Callahan for having too big of an ego and being unwilling to listen to veteran players.
So far, anyhow, the players are not giving head coach Norv Turner the same treatment but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
"I don't worry about it too much," Linebacker Travian Smith said. "The coaches are doing a good job of instilling confidence in us. We just have to execute the plays that are at hand, just take care of your own job and we'll be successful because we have the talent."
Instead players are calling each other out. Nonetheless, many people are using the four-letter "Q" word in association with Oakland after looking listless in a 42-14 loss Sunday on the road against the San Diego Chargers. In addition, injuries continue to mount and the team has not demonstrated that it has the resolve to right the ship.
"The signs I look for, it's not hard to find," Quarterback Kerry Collins said. "Guys not caring. You can see it. I didn't see it last week. I think guys are playing hard. I'll do whatever is in my power to make sure that doesn't happen."
The Raiders have dropped five consecutive games as their 30-20 win against Tampa Bay seems like eons ago, even though it was Sept. 26. Oakland was also embarrassed in a 31-3 loss at home to the Denver Broncos and then lost at home 31-26 to the New Orleans Saints, who had lost three straight and were reportedly about to fire their coach.
Against the Chargers, things went from bad-to-worst. The Raiders were outgained 129-19 in the first quarter and fell behind 14-0 and 42-7 after three quarters, before Chargers essentially called off the dogs.
"If you win, your attitude changes," Wide receiver Ronald Curry said. "After we won the Bucs game you should have seen it around here. We felt like we had something good and now it's like we're hoping that things turn around. You want that feeling again. When you win, you're so hungry that you don't like to lose."
NOTE: The Raiders have signed offensive lineman Corey Hulsey to the active roster.
Vince D'Adamo can be reached at email@example.com