Same Questions, Same Answers from Norv

Another week, another loss and another round of questions regarding his job security. Raiders head coach Norv Turner might not want to talk about his future in Oakland but that won't stop the rumors and speculation that he'll be fired once the current season ends.

Two days after a humiliating 22-3 loss to Denver that left the Raiders winless in the division for the first time in modern history and dropped them to 4-11 on the season, Turner spent a good portion of his Monday press conference dodging any and all questions surrounding his job status.

''I think I'd really rather deal with those questions after the season,'' said Turner, reiterating statements he's given on the subject for the past three weeks. ''I hate to keep answering it the same way but I'll get into all that stuff when we end the season. It's just not the right time. I want to zero in on New York and give all our attention to that.''

That might be more difficult than once anticipated.

The loss to the Broncos assured the Raiders that, at best, they'll only be able to match last year's 5-11 record. After starting off with hopes of ending a two-year playoff drought, Oakland is facing a third consecutive losing season.

Throughout the year the Raiders' players defended their performances and voiced their support for Turner. But after the loss to the Broncos, some Oakland players voiced their displeasure over their teammates efforts and took some veiled shots at the coaching staff.

Turner originally signed a three-year contract with the Raiders, a deal that includes two one-year club options. At one point this season it seemed reasonable that Turner would at least be able to fulfill the third year of his contract but those odds have decreased significantly over the last month.

Oakland has won just one game since Halloween, is riding a five-game losing streak and hasn't scored more than 10 points in a game since losing 33-21 to Miami on Nov. 27.

It's not just the losses that are hurting Turner's chances of returning. It's the way the Raiders have lost that is sure to stick in the craw of owner Al Davis. Davis rarely speaks to the media during the regular season and no team official wanting to keep their job is willing to talk about the subject.

Likewise, Turner has also tried to avoid the subject. But with a 9-22 record as Oakland's head coach, he knows it's an impossible task.

''There's a lot of things that are going to be evaluated and whatever is the best in terms of rebuilding this team, that's what you're talking about,'' Turner said. ''The thing about is it, and I said this after Week 2 and 3, the record is what you are. You can make a case for 'it should be this' or 'it should be this.' But your record is what you are, so there's nothing misleading. Now as I have said, it's been shown in this league (that) teams make dramatic jumps one year to the next with not-sweeping changes.''

NOTES

* Running back LaMont Jordan, who did not play against Denver, is listed as doubtful to play against New York.

* Tight end Courtney Anderson is also doubtful to play against the Giants.

* Turner said that defensive back Charles Woodson, out since Oct. 23 with a broken leg, will not be able to practice or play this week, meaning it's very likely Woodson has played his final game as a Raider. Woodson is earning more than $10 million this season as Oakland's franchise player, a number that would raise to more than $12 million next year if the Raiders were to keep the franchise label on him.


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