Raiders prepare to play in the snow.

S&BI Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2005


Weather forecasts call for a possible chance of snow in New York on Sunday but that isn't bothering Raiders head coach Norv Turner. With his team having lost four of its last five and making a change at quarterback, Turner has other things on his mind.

''My experience is if it's not real windy the weather is not the issue,'' Turner said Thursday. ''I told the guys on Wednesday, it's one of my favorite places in terms of being on the road and play on the road. It's a great stadium, great history there. And I've been fortunate to be on some teams that have had success there.

''The one thing is the cold isn't the issue. We've already proven we can play well in the snow. If it gets windy you have to account for that and it can get real windy.''

Mother Nature aside, the Raiders have more pressing concerns. Quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo will be making just the second start of his five-year NFL career and the first since 2003.

Tuiasosopo had been relegated to taking just a handful of snaps with the starting offense in practice before replacing Kerry Collins in the lineup earlier this week. Tuiasosopo took the majority of reps Wednesday and Thursday while Collins mainly watched as an observer.

''I think (Tuiasosopo) has had two real good days,'' Turner said. ''You can tell he's excited about the opportunity. And the energy and his ability to move around and run and those things, you see it in practice and I'm sure it'll be a factor in the game.''

Neither the Jets nor the Raiders have any playoff aspirations and are just playing out for draft position. Oakland is 4-8 and has won just one game since Halloween while New York is 2-10 and riding a seven-game slide.

''They've played a lot of games where they've held people down, held people down and just couldn't do it,'' Turner said. ''They do a good job with their pass rush. They're a good pressure team. They beat Tampa (and) they've done a lot of good things defensively.''

NOTES

* Defensive end Derrick Burgess wasn't feeling well and was held out of practice, though Turner said he expects Burgess to play against the Jets. With 11 sacks, Burgess is tied with Osi Umenyiora of the New York Giants for the NFL lead.

* Turner raised the possibility that injured cornerback Charles Woodson might be ready to escalate his rehabilitation.

''I asked him Monday what they're planning,'' Turner said. ''He might late, late this week, maybe tomorrow, just jog some. I think Charles wants to get back. If he can get back, if there's a way for him to be able to do it then we have that flexibility to do it.

* With John Paul Foschi doubtful to play against the Jets because of a lingering foot injury the Raiders may call on veteran Omar Easy. Easy has been playing only on special teams but could be used on offense if something happens to Zack Crockett.



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