Inside slant

Charles Woodson's arrest early Monday morning in Oakland for public intoxication does not augur well for a Raider team that was eagerly looking forward to registering a fast start next season.

Woodson has a prior offense under the NFL's substance abuse policy and whether convicted or not for the early hours misdemeanor, could wind up with a suspension which would likely be enforced at the start of the 2005 season.

Whatever the outcome, pending hearings or appeals, it seems unlikely a suspension would take place before this season is over.

Woodson did not play in Sunday's game against Tennessee due to a bruised knee. He was in the locker room congratulating teammates for their victory. Twelve hours later he was in jail.

The incident happened in downtown Oakland near police vehicle headquarters at 4:20 a.m. Woodson and teammate Marques Anderson, a safety, were passengers in the back seat of a car driven by an unidentified woman.

The woman left her car and flagged down a police officer near the OPD's transportation and parking yard. She told the officer the two men in her back seat refused to get out of the car.

According to OPD spokeswoman Danielle Ashford, when the officer approached Woodson and Anderson, "they were very uncooperative. They had problems maintaining their balance and had a strong odor of alcohol. They were acting in a belligerent manner."

They were booked into Oakland city jail on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication, then released without bail.

It was Woodson's second episode with the law. In May of 2000 he was charged with drunken driving in Ann Arbor, Mich. after a 2 a.m. incident in the parking lot of the hotel he was staying at. He was co-hosting a charity golf tournament at his alma mater. He registered a .24 blood alcohol level upon his arrest, but subsequent levels registered .20 and .18.

Woodson's only other run-in with authority during his seven years in Oakland was when he broke curfew in the season finale at San Diego last season and was suspended along with teammate Charlie Garner.

"It's a situation where you'd like your guys to not be in that situation," coach Norv Turner said. "The thing we always talk about to our football team is those hours are where problems turn up. That's how you avoid them, by staying out of those situations."


Coach Norv Turner had three players come away with foot injuries after chop block episodes in Atlanta -- DE Warren Sapp, NT Ted Washington and LB Sam Williams. He would like to see the issue of chop blocks revisited by the competition committee.

"Every year the topic comes up and there have been guys that have been hurt by this (technique)," he said. "I believe the league will take a hard look at it and I hope they do.

"It's a fine line because you want guys to be able to play and there is a skill with being able to block and cut off people. But there's also a point where it's an injury problem.

"You'd like to approach it that no one is teaching a block that's trying to hurt somebody."

--In a game that had enough big plays to stock a highlight film, there was one Raider safety Ray Buchanan won't soon forget.

It came with 1:55 to play and Tennessee trailing 38-28 and threatening at the Raiders 20 yard line. Titans quarterback Billy Volek threw a pass to the left side to 6-4, 262-pound tight end Ben Troupe.

Buchanan converged on Troupe inside the 10 yard line. He aimed his tackle for Troupe's sternum, head down in position to make the stop then was aghast when Troupe jumped completely over him. "I told him after the game that was one of the best plays I've ever seen," Buchanan said. "He really had to want it. I don't know what his vertical leap is, but I'd have to guess it was 46 (inches) on that play.

"I thought at least I could hit one of his knees but he spread his legs and when I threw an elbow up, I couldn't hit anything. Then he came down and landed on his feet."

Troupe landed near the goal line and seemingly had a touchdown but officials marked the ball at the 1.

-- Regardless of CB Charles Woodson's legal status involving a public intoxication charge, the Raiders do not expect to know whether his bruised knee will recover in time for him to face Kansas City Saturday.

-- Tests were pending on CB Phillip Buchanon's bruised tail bone to see if there was any further damage. Even if tests show nothing more than a bruise, coach Norv Turner said Buchanon was "very sore" and likely to be a late-in-the-week playing decision.

-- Warren Sapp collected his first solo sack of the year against Tennessee and it came on his 32nd birthday. He now has 1.5 sacks for the year.

-- LB Sam Williams, who entered the game with a sprained ankle, aggravated the injury Sunday. Turner said trainers expected him to improve by late in the week but said he might not be able to practice.

-- TE Teyo Johnson equaled his season total for both receptions (3) and touchdowns (1) against Tennessee. He also got his first start of the year in place of Doug Jolley.



PASSING OFFENSE: A -- It was QB Kerry Collins' finest hour in a Raider uniform -- five touchdowns, 371 yards and a 119.5 passer rating. For one game at least, Oakland fans who had been booing him were cheering. Jerry Porter's three touchdowns, eight catches and 148 yards were all career highs. Doug Gabriel caught his first touchdown pass since opening day. The offensive line again did a good job of protecting Collins, allowing just two sacks.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D-plus -- The bright spot was an 11-yard run by Zack Crockett, a bull-in-the-china-shop blast that was inspirational as much as anything else. Otherwise, it was another grim afternoon running the football as Oakland had 57 yards in 22 attempts.

PASS DEFENSE: D-minus -- Both starting cornerbacks were missing (Charles Woodson for the entire game, Phillip Buchanon for 2 1/2 quarters). Nnamdi Asomugha and Denard Walker had their hands full with Billy Volek, Walker in particular. He made up for some of it with an interception, but there was no evading the statistical evidence -- 40 completions for 492 yards and 28 first downs passing. The Raiders had their highest sack total since Week 2 with three and Tommy Kelly slapped the ball out of Volek's hands for a sack/fumble. However on all three sacks, there was no bodily contact. Volek slipped on the other two sacks.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus -- The Titans didn't rush much better than the Raiders -- 61 yards. It was the third fewest yards Oakland has yielded in a game this year. But the way Volek was passing, the Titans never seriously attempted to run, which should sound familiar because it describes Oakland's rushing game.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Shane Lechler and Sebastian Janikowski had monster games but the disparity in kickoff returns was a disaster for Oakland. Each team had five kickoff returns but Tennessee gained 82 yards in field position by racking up 152 yards to Oakland's 70.

COACHING: A -- Norv Turner and his staff concocted a game plan that perfectly exploited Tennessee's defensive weaknesses, particularly in the secondary. This is not exactly virgin territory, though, because Tennessee has now given up 140 points in its last three games. Still, the Raider plan was bold and effective.

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