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Turner becoming increasingly frustrated with Raiders' poor play

Things have become so bad for the Oakland Raiders that coach Norv Turner is finally allowing himself to criticize his team _ sort of.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Things have become so bad for the Oakland Raiders that coach Norv Turner is finally allowing himself to criticize his team sort of.

After weeks of defending Oakland's poor play, Turner seemed fed up with the Raiders' effort level after Sunday's 42-14 loss at San Diego, saying there was nothing positive he could take from their fifth straight defeat. He backtracked a day later.

Once Turner watched film, he returned to his familiar assessment: Oakland played hard ``competed'' but didn't execute well enough yet again. Quite a contrast from his postgame comments.

It's obvious we're not capable of putting drives together, and it's obvious we're not capable of putting defensive stands together,'' the Raiders' first-year coach said after the game.We're going to look hard at everything.''

Some of his players aren't so sure everybody's trying as hard as they can.

On Monday, four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson accused some of his teammates of dogging it at times during games. Without everyone's effort, he doesn't know if the Raiders (2-6) can win another game.

He hopes players don't call it quits now.

You get any indication of us winning games by what happened yesterday?'' he said.Look at it, look at the situation, look what's going on. It's not happening. It's just not happening.''

The same thing occurred a year ago with different personnel and a different man in charge _ some players just stopped caring. Bill Callahan was fired as coach after two seasons and following a 4-12 finish that came on the heels of Oakland's Super Bowl season. Owner Al Davis chose Turner to turn things around, hoping it would happen in a hurry.

Instead, the infighting that defined this club a year ago could come back soon.

Perhaps the Raiders need someone, just one player, who they can call their leader. In past years, it's been Tim Brown, the team's longest-tenured member until he was released during training camp. Now, respected veterans Jerry Rice and Rich Gannon are also gone _ Rice was traded to the Seattle Seahawks and Gannon is out for the year with a broken vertebra in his neck.

Fifth-year receiver Jerry Porter said Monday he's ready to speak up the moment he senses division in the locker room, but that's coming from someone who has already voided the final year of his contract for next season and indicated he likely will no longer be with the Raiders after this year.

All offseason, Porter tried to forget the frustration of last season. Lately, it's been impossible because of all the similarities.

I tried to get that out of my memory bank last year,'' Porter said.It feels like deja vu, it really does.''

During Sunday's loss, the fifth straight game the Raiders have given up at least 30 points, defensive tackle Warren Sapp was caught by TV cameras engaged in a heated discussion with Turner.

And Sapp is supposed to be one of the good examples for the younger guys.

When you're in this position, when you're struggling, all the questions are being asked right now _ are guys buying in (to the system), leadership,'' Turner said.Sometimes it comes down to the guy ran a go route, the guy ran a comeback. Did you cover him? Did you tackle him? When the ball was in the air did you reach out and knock the ball down? You are running the route on the guy and he had you pressed, did you catch it? Did you beat your guy and did you not beat him? We can go through every position. Again, leadership is a big part of the game in the locker room and all that. You still have to go out and win your individual battle.''

Turner repeated several times Monday that everyone is tired of the losing and committed to change. He would consider using different players in the starting lineup if he thought Oakland would have a better chance, but the team isn't deep enough to do that, he said.

The Raiders travel to Carolina this Sunday, then have their bye week.

We need guys to be angry. I'm angry. I hope other guys are,'' said quarterback Kerry Collins, who's winless in his last 10 starts.Yeah, we've got talent. Everybody's got talent in this league. It's not about talent. It's about coming together. Otherwise, we don't have a chance.''

Turner likes that approach.

``Anger isn't a bad thing if it's channeled in the right direction,'' he said.

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