Hot Topic and Player Notes: Raiders

Out of the playoff race with a 4-8 record, the Oakland Raiders are trying to blend an every-man-for-himself outlook in terms of individual accomplishment with enough of a sense of team to get a few wins before the end of the season.

"We're looking to take some people down with us, that's the goal of our team right now," left tackle Barry Sims said.

But not necessarily the motivating factor for everyone on the Raiders.

Defensive end Derrick Burgess said he'd like to lead the league in sacks to generate some good feelings among the defense.

Running back LaMont Jordan, in his first season as a fulltime starter, wants to go well beyond 1,000 yards (he has 844 with four games remaining) and lead the Raiders in receiving (his 61 receptions are five ahead of teammate Jerry Porter).

Porter, although brushed off finishing with 998 yards receiving last season, is on pace for 1,026 yards receiving in 2005 and would like to join that club.

No one's sure what Randy Moss wants, because he's not talking.

"Ain't nothing to talk about around here," Moss said in his most recent rejection of an interview request from Bay Area media.

Raiders coach Norv Turner, whose job could be on the line in the last four games, hopes to see players with enough pride to finish strong.

"A guy like Derrick Burgess has been through two different seasons where he's missed most of the season with injuries," Turner said. "He knows what it's like not to get to play 16 games. Now he has that chance, and to have an outstanding year. I can go on and on, naming 20 guys who could finish full seasons and have excellent years."

Turner thinks that despite the 4-8 record, the Raiders have prepared and practiced in a professional manner.

"In terms of effort, I like they way they've competed and fought," Turner said. "I don't think that's an issue."

Bobby Hamilton, a veteran defensive end who has had a solid year and is one of the team leaders, will be watching his teammates closely over the last quarter of a season.

"It's all about egos now," Hamilton said. "Who's going to quit? Who's going to give up? You hate to say the season's over for us, but now it's all about finishing strong and letting it carry over to next year."


--QB Kerry Collins has been victimized for a defensive score in four consecutive games, with three interceptions returned for touchdowns plus taking a sack in the end zone for a safety.

--QB Marques Tuiasosopo was the only active player who did not see action in Oakland's 34-10 loss to San Diego.

--RB LaMont Jordan has averaged more than 4 yards per carry in a game four times in 12 games.

--RB Zack Crockett got his first carry in three games against San Diego and ran 24 yards as the clock expired.

--FB John Paul Foschi may be active after missing the last two games with a foot injury.

--WR Randy Moss caught 7 passes against San Diego, the most he has had since catching 7 for Minnesota in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears.

--WR Jerry Porter did not have a touchdown reception in the first six games, had four in four-game span, and has not caught one in the last two games.

--WR Doug Gabriel has 24 receptions and 20 first downs, a higher percentage of first downs to receptions (83.3 percent) than either Randy Moss or Jerry Porter.

--TE Courtney Anderson has 23 receptions and 18 first downs, a higher percentage of first downs to receptions (78.3 percent) than either Randy Moss or Jerry Porter.

--DE Derrick Burgess, who did not have a sack against San Diego, has six games with no sacks, five games with two sacks, and one game with one sack.

--SS Calvin Branch, who had two tackles against San Diego, has been signed three times and waived twice since July 26.

--CB Fabian Washington was called for illegal contact against the Chargers (it was declined), making him the only Raiders player to receive a flag in a penalty-free game.

--DT Terdell Sands, who had a sack of Drew Brees and threw LaDainian Tomlinson for a 4-yard loss on a screen pass, should see his playing time increase with Ted Washington and Ed Jasper slowed by injury and Warren Sapp on injured reserve.

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