Raiders try to make sense of opener


There was disappointment but not the sense of despair which so often accompanies an NFL loss, in large part due to the fact that 15 games remain.

Raiders players around during the open locker room session Monday weren’t happy about the way they played in a 38-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans. There was no Louis Murphy non-touchdown to talk about, as was the case last year’s 24-20 loss to San Diego, or any feeling that this was one that got away.

There would be no moral victories this time, and the decisiveness of the victory meant there wasn’t anything more to do than go back to work.

“Just a mishap. That’s it. Nothing serious,” cornerback Stanford Routt said. “Nothing to go and think the world’s about to come to an end. It’s just football. It happens.”

“The world isn’t caving in on us,” echoed right tackle Langston Walker. “You know, we just go out there, we’re going to watch the film today, and correct it, then get ready for (St. Louis).”

So there you have it. The Raiders may be 0-1, but they’re still global.

More news, notes and quotes from the Raiders’ open locker room session:

— Tight end Zach Miller had one of the more remarkable theories on record from a team which has lost an unprecedented 11 or more games for seven straight seasons.

“We had a lot of confidence, maybe we were overconfident going into the season,” Miller said.“Maybe because of the things we did we thought we could just show up. Each guy has to take it on themselves, myself included, and look at ourselves today and see what we did wrong and evaluate ourselves as honestly as we can.”

Miller said despite the consistent losing, he is confident the team’s veteran leadership won’t allow the Week 1 loss to fester.

He also said the Jason Campbell interception which was returned 42 yards by Chris Hope was because of a route adjustment error on his part.

“That one kind of falls on me,” Miller said. “We have to be on the same page there and we weren’t.”

— Linebacker Quentin Groves felt the Raiders got away from what they do best, in part because of the magnitude of the situation.

“I think, gathering from the things I got from everybody today, man, we were somewhat nervous,” Groves said. “Nervous for the simple fact that with a young team, you never know how we’re going to handle expectations. There’s been a lot of expectations placed upon this team, and we handled it with nervousness, and that’s one thing we’ve got to get out of our system.”

By being nervous and trying to be too perfect, Groves thought the Raiders failed to play to their strengths, which he said was having fun, flying around, being aggressive.

— Defensive end Trevor Scott called it “a minor setback. It went down how it went down. We can only get better form here on out.”

— Wide receiver/return specialist Yamon Figurs said his game-opening fumble (recovered by teammate Ricky Brown) was unavoidable.

“The guy who hit it, he put his helmet right on the ball,” Figurs said. “It was a good hit.”

— Figurs, who didn’t finish the game because of a stinger, said he was fine and expected to be able to play against St. Louis. Running back Michael Bush declined comment regarding his fractured left thumb, which was out of a brace completely as he dressed in the locker room.

Wide receiver Chaz Schilens, wearing black support hose on his surgically repaired left knee and walking with the help of a crutch, came into the training area entering the locker room and then thought better of it when he saw the assembled media.

Raiders coach Tom Cable will brief the press at 2 p.m. . . .


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer