Hot Topic and Player Notes

Is trouble brewing in receiving heaven? That's what they were calling the Raiders when they acquired Randy Moss to go with Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry to form what promised to be a trio that would terrorize the AFC West.

The only hangup, as some saw it, was whether there would be enough balls thrown to satisfy all three, not to mention running back LaMont Jordan, who was expected to have 300 carries and 60 receptions himself.

When asked if he could handle the possibility his statistics would be less imposing than in the past, Moss said he could ... if the team was winning.

Moss made five catches for 130 yards through one game and had 14 passes directed to him. But the team was not winning.
Porter, who signed a new five-year deal shortly before Moss came aboard, had expected to be the Raiders' go-to threat this year. When Moss arrived, Porter said it he could handle it, there would be plenty of balls available. He missed the entire preseason and in his first game, caught just three passes and only five were thrown to him.

Curry, who is being carefully scrutinized, was coming off Achilles' tendon surgery and has been brought along slowly. But slow doesn't describe his first game. Only one pass was directed at him. It was incomplete. The play was nullified by a penalty.

So while Moss had 14 passes thrown to him, Porter and Curry had six between them and the first sounds of protest, though muted, have already been logged.

Curry was perplexed. He said he wasn't even on the field in the second half of the 30-20 loss at New England. Was the team taking it easy on his Achilles' and ankle injuries?

"All I want to say is that if taking it easy is not playing ..." he said, letting his words tail off. "If I am going to be out there to play, then I want to be out there to play."

His point: If the team doesn't consider him fit to play, then don't use him.

Asked if he was aware in advance that he would be down in the second half, Curry said "I was aware I was probably going to be in and out, but how they were going to break it down, that I didn't know.

"It's frustrating, but not frustrating to the point where you are upset. I want to go out and make plays but I know what the situation is. It is what it is."

And just what is it?

"I don't know what it is," Curry said.

Meanwhile, Porter didn't want to talk at all. He waved off an interview request but when asked if his hamstring had held up during the game, cracked a not-so-funny joke.

"I am fine," he said. "I am always fine. Unless you see a bone coming through the skin, I'm still fine."


--In an unexpected twist, WR Doug Gabriel was permitted to catch passes Wednesday for the first time since finger surgery a month ago. Although his practice time was limited, Gabriel, who had not been expected to return until Oct. 2 at the earliest, then was listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Kansas City. He had been expected to be ruled out.

--Although he said the idea had a certain appeal to outsiders, coach Norv Turner squashed the idea of having CB Charles Woodson assigned to Chiefs' TE Tony Gonzalez. "It's easier said than done," Turner said. "It can get complicated. They're a shift and move team. You have to coordinate it with everyone else (in the secondary)."

--QB Kerry Collins said his sore thumb was not an issue. He jammed it on a helmet in New England a week ago.

--Norv Turner praised the work of DL Ed Jasper, who had four tackles and a pass defended in the opener. Jasper had considered retirement after being released by Atlanta but joined the Raiders as a free agent. "Once we got into camp and got him going and saw the things he can do, (we saw) he's very active inside, a slithering guy that can play the run," Turner said. "And he's a very good pass rusher." Jasper led the Raiders in sacks in preseason with four.

--Backup RB Justin Fargas (knee) has what coach Norv Turner calls a "chronic" knee problem that "has kind of resolved itself." Fargas has not played since mid-August but is practicing again and could be available for Sunday's game.

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