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MailTribune.com
  • Raiders don't dwell on negative

  • ALAMEDA, Calif. — The coaching staff may have said bye, but Carson Palmer has no intention of saying farewell.
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  • ALAMEDA, Calif. — The coaching staff may have said bye, but Carson Palmer has no intention of saying farewell.
    The Raiders concluded their second bye week practice Wednesday and get the next four days off. But with a 1-3 record and the stat sheet a disaster area, there won't be a lot of fun in the sun.
    "You can say, 'Screw it, I'm going to Vegas and party for four days,' but that's not what this team is about," Palmer said. "Most of the guys are sticking around and are going to come in and work out."
    The Raiders appear to have put Sunday's 37-6 loss to the Denver Broncos behind them. Coach Dennis Allen cited two good days of practice aimed at rectifying the biggest problems of the poor start.
    As for team morale, Monday's long faces have given way to a lighter mood.
    Allen has no problem with a little levity if it's accompanied by taking care of business.
    "You can't dwell on the negative," Allen said. "You have to rebound, you have to learn from mistakes and don't commit the same mistakes again. We have to move forward."
    Palmer said there are a few instances of players leaving to be with family — defensive tackle Richard Seymour, excused for personal reasons Wednesday, typically goes home to South Carolina — but that most players aren't going anywhere.
    "A lot of times bye weeks come so far into the season that you need a break," Palmer said. "We don't need a break. We're frustrated that we are where we are. We look at this as a week to get better, there are practices to get better, meetings to get better."
    Most of Oakland's problems can be traced to what happens on third down, which the Broncos illustrated by converting 10-of-16 third down attempts to Oakland's 1 for 12.
    For the season, the Raiders are ranked 30th on offense in coverting third downs (15 for 51, 28 percent). Defensively, the Raiders are 32nd (32 for 60, 53 percent). The end result is offensive and defensive units that are a detriment to each other.
    "That's been a big focus for us this week," Allen said. "We have to find ways to convert on third down and get off the field on third down defensively."
    When asked what the Raiders accomplished during the week, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said, "Real good evaluation on scheme. We have shown to our offensive players our studies on our run game, on our third downs and the red zone."
    Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said his unit has fared well in limiting "explosive plays" but has been late in terms of being on time prevent shorter ones that result in first downs.
    "We've got to force longer third downs and then we've got to execute on third down," Tarver said.
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