Maybe it was a feeling borne of preparing to face struggling opponent or the optimism fueled by the return of some key injured players.
Whatever the reason, the outlook for the 2-6 Raiders and their game against the 1-7 Chiefs was sunny and optimistic from those players available in the open locker room session.
Johnson even took a page from the old “10-6 is still out there” book as authored by former Raiders running back LaMont Jordan, who would talk playoffs right up to the point where the Raiders lost their seventh game.
“You have to put the first eight games behind you because those games are done, you can’t get them back. You just have to look at the next eight games,” cornerback Chris Johnson said. “If you really want to look at it, you can go 8-0 and you might end up 10-6. There’s a possible way you can actually do it.”
Said middle linebacker Kirk Morrison: “We didn’t play well in the first half. We looked at ourselves, made some corrections and now it’s trying to go out there and put what we did in this bye week to use. I felt like there’s a lot of good football that we have left to play and we’ve got to go out and show everybody that what we did in the first half is really not what this football team is all about, getting back to the basics, just making sure we handle our business, and stay true to who we are.”
Gallery believes that consistency can bring something he’s yet to experience as a Raider _ a run of victories in the second half of the season.
“We just need to get back to doing things right and playing consistently at a high level. We’ve been up and down,” Gallery said. “If we do that, we’ll be able to win a lot of games in the second half.”
The bye week even altered the forecast of tight end Zach Miller, who of late has been blunt in his assessment of the failures of the Raiders passing game, donned his rose-colored glasses in projecting the kind of damage JaMarcus Russell could inflict upon the Chiefs and their 30th-ranked pass defense.
“He keeps progressing and we all have faith in our offense and JaMarcus and he can be that guy that can win football games for us and have huge days passing,” Miller said.
More to come later . . .