Shell fuming after blown call upstairs

Raiders head coach Art Shell said Monday that he was ''miffed'' after seeing replays of a critical fourth-quarter play during Oakland's loss to Cleveland that he was told was not worth challenging.

The play -- a 15-yard pass from quarterback Andrew Walter to wide receiver Ronald Curry -- came on third down and was ruled a yard short of a first down even though television replays appeared to show Curry getting across the marker.

Shell said he called upstairs to the Raiders' coaching box to see if he should challenge the call but was told no. Oakland then went for it on fourth down and running back LaMont Jordan was dropped for a two-yard loss, ending the team's last good chance to score.

''After I saw it I was miffed because we should have challenged it,'' Shell said.

Shell wouldn't reveal which of his assistants made the decision not to challenge the ruling but did say that changes will be made to the process.

''We talked about it as a staff this morning,'' Shell said. ''We'll do something about it.''

Just what changes were made remain uncertain but it was clear the Raiders were still bitter over allowing an 18-point lead to get away to the Browns, who scored 21 unanswered points to post their first win of the season.

Oakland, on the other hand, remains winless despite its best performance of the season. The Raiders dominated Cleveland for most of the first half but went into the tank after that, holding the ball just just over nine minutes in the second half.

Oakland had plenty of breakdowns during the meltdown. The defense gave up two long scoring drives, one just before halftime and the other coming out to start the third quarter. Offensively, the Raiders had major problems moving the ball.

''When you have a team down you have to really, really turn up the volume, as they say,'' Shell said. ''We just didn't do that. I don't know if we became complacent. We can't afford to be complacent. We have a team down, we can't afford to let them drive down the field and score just before the half, which is what happened. We can't let them come out at the beginning of the second half and march down the field. We've got to do something to make plays to stop that team and get our defense off the field.

''We need a win, there's no doubt about that. We should have gotten it yesterday but we didn't get it done. We have to go back and work hard this week and try to get one this week. It's not going to be easy but we have to go to work. We have to get it done. Once we get the win, the confidence level has to go up a little, you have to feel good about yourself. But you have to push your way through these things. You can't go out and start the game. It's how you finish the game. We started out good. We didn't finish good.''

The news didn't get any better on Oakland's injury front. Quarterback Aaron Brooks, who did not play against the Browns because of a strained pectoral muscle, is still doubtful. Cornerback Fabian Washington is also doubtful to play against San Francisco after aggravating his hamstring injury.

Tackle Robert Gallery has a sprained right shoulder. Fullback Zack Crockett and defensive end Lance Johnstone both suffered knee injuries in the loss to the Browns while running back Rashard Lee (sprained neck) and linebacker Ike Ekejiuba (shoulder) were also hurt. Crockett, Johnstone, Lee and Ekejiuba were all scheduled to undergo MRI tests Monday but the results were not immediately available.

''Any time you get an MRI you get a little nervous,'' Shell said. ''Of course, we do MRIs to make sure anyway but like with Lee and the sprained neck, you have to be concerned about that. Crockett and Johnstone with the knee, there's a little swelling in the knee so you have to be concerned about those types of things.''


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