Despite leading the Oakland Raiders to their most successful season in seven years, the organization…
[Chaz] Schilens will go back to work this week on a limited basis. Seems to be making improvement on both the knee and the foot. Zach Miller, the x-rays were negative. Has quite a contusion in his lower leg. [Bruce] Gradkowski, still waiting on an MRI but it does appear to have injured the right shoulder. [Nnamdi] Asomugha, waiting on an MRI as well on his ankle. Kind of bit him a few times yesterday. We talked about that yesterday, the reason why he was in and out of the game. [Tyvon] Branch has got a sore shoulder. [Chris] Johnson, on the groin, we'll see where he's at on Wednesday. And then Kamerion Wimbley took some stiches on the hand yesterday but does not appear to be serious.
After watching the film, it's just what I said after the game. We got out-played, we got out-coached, and it's two weeks in a row we got a bad taste in our mouth. But as we have talked about, we got ourselves into this little mess here for two weeks, we can get ourselves out of it and have no doubt that we will. But we've got to get back to doing the things, the little things, that were getting us where we wanted to go.
Having a game like this against the Chargers, who are playing as well as they are, is that…
It's good for us. It's very good. You know, I think to get back in division play, trying to get to 4-0 in division, trying to sweep the Chargers, which I don't know when that's been done here, but more importantly, just getting back on track and playing the kind of football we're capable of playing and the opponent, I think, definitely brings it out of us this week.
Why did you get away from doing the little things?
Well, that's a great question. You talk about the word ‘accountability,' and I just think that not placing blame or looking to point fingers or anything like that, but just staying the course and doing everything that's within our power to make sure we're ready to go. And then, as I've always said, on Sunday, doing it. The last week was a tremendous week of preparation—as good as maybe we've had all year. But it surely didn't show on Sunday.
With the corners as nicked up as they are, how much of a challenge is that going into San Diego with the way [Philip] Rivers has been throwing the ball to those big receivers?
Well, we're going to have to have some guys get healthy and step up. I mean, that's the bottom line here. We know what we're dealing with. You're playing one of the best quarterbacks in football, if not, the best guy right now, with a bunch of weapons to throw it to. So, there's a definite challenge there for that group and there will have to be some guys, you know, come through for us.
Zach's been banged up the last two weeks. How much has that hurt you both passing and running the ball?
Well, I think it does affect you. He's a heck of a player. You know, not to take anything away from Brandon Myers because he's gone in both times and played very well, but he's not gotten the opportunities I think that maybe would go towards Zach, in terms of catching the ball. But Brandon's capable of doing that. It would definitely be nice to get Zach healthy though.
What is it going to take to get some other wide receivers to join Jacoby in the play-making aspect?
You know, I think the opportunities are there for them to make those plays. You know, we threw a ball over the middle to Louis [Murphy] and he kind of ducked underneath it. There's a perfect example. If you run the route at the right depth, you don't have to worry about the safety coming across and you'll catch that ball in the hole and take off with it. The last play of the game, the fourth down that we didn't, Bruce does a nice job of throwing away from the safety to Johnnie [Lee Higgins]. We don't break to the ball and go get it. So, I think really it's just make the most of your opportunities. That'll get you involved pretty quick.
When teams are loading up against the run and you aren't able to run the ball well, is this offense geared to win a game if you've got to pass for a lot of yards?
You know, I think we can. I mean that's the one thing if you said to us where are we different offensively, it's throwing the football. From the last couple of years, anyway. But, that's not really what we want to do but if we have to, yeah, I think we've shown that we're capable of throwing the ball.
How do you keep this thing from spiraling into what has happened here in the recent past?
Well, I think we've grown so much that we won't let that happen. As I said to him, look, we got ourselves into the last two weeks. We're also the same group of men that were 4-1 five weeks prior to that. So we know we got ourselves into that, we got ourselves into a little lull here. For us to do it we have to be accountable for each other and get ourselves out of it. We got in it. We got to get out of it. No one's going to help us. This league, they love for teams to do what we're doing right now, and that's kind of cringe a little bit or blink, if you will. And we can't do that. We have to look it in the eye and deal with it, and we're a good team that is very capable of playing very, very good football. So it's up to us to get back right.
It almost started with a spark in Denver, like a 21-point quarter or something like that. It kind of mushroomed from there. Is that all it takes sometimes to get a team back…
Sometimes. But I think it's just more than that, it's just going out and playing each down like it's the most important. And I think during that stretch of success we had, that's what you could say about us. We went out there and played every down like it was the absolute most important thing. And I don't feel like we've done that. It's been hit or miss the last two weeks and that's not good enough.
How is San Diego different now than earlier in the season?
Well, they're healthier. When you get your left tackle back, you get a couple receivers back, your runners back, the tight end has some issues still, [Ryan] Matthews has been in and out. But for the most part, they've stayed healthy. In other areas, they've gotten some people back. So, that always helps you.