Raiders help Norv Conquer Demons in D.C.

Having conquered one of the demons from his past with a win in Washington, Raiders head coach Norv Turner sets his sights on confronting another memory when Oakland hosts Miami on Sunday.

Turner spent two seasons with the Dolphins, working as their offensive coordinator and an assistant head coach on Dave Wannstedt's staff from 2002-2003. While there Turner helped Miami become one of the top rushing teams in the NFL, something he has had success with throughout his coaching career though his Oakland teams have struggled in that department.

Following the Raiders' 16-13 win over Washington, where he spent seven seasons as the Redskins head coach, Turner was given a game ball by his Oakland players. An emotional Turner was touched by the gesture but acknowledged things would be different against Miami.

''There have been so many changes down there, that's been the good thing about it,'' Turner said Monday. ''We'll just zero in on what they do and how they're playing. I know they're a talented group. They've got a group of players that I am very familiar with. I think it helps that I have a pretty good feel for their talent level.''

Meanwhile, Turner was still basking in the afterglow of the win over Washington. At 4-6, the Raiders are still far from being considered a legitimate playoff contender but after two straight losses, talking about a win was a refreshing change for Oakland's head coach.

''I understand the emotional part of it, of going back to Washington and all that,'' Turner said. ''But to me that's secondary to what's important to our football team. We felt we could have and should have won in Kansas City. I don't want to belabor that point. We've gone out and played aggressively, played hard on the road and come up short. We didn't want to come up short.

''You lose a game like we did to Kansas City and then you get ready and feel like you're going to play good against Denver and didn't play the way we're capable of playing. It was important for our guys to go out and play at a high level.''


* Wide receiver Doug Gabriel suffered a sprained ankle in the win over Washington and was to undergo X-rays on Monday. Results were not immediately available.

* Fullback John Paul Foschi also came out of the game against the Redskins with a sprained ankle. Turner indicated Foschi's injury could be more severe than Gabriel's, though a determination on his status won't be known until later this week.

* Defensive tackle Warren Sapp has a sprained shoulder but Turner said he doesn't expect Sapp -- who came out of Sunday's win for a few series -- to miss any playing time.

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