CHARGER REVIEW : NOTEBOOK / T.J. SIMERS : Falcons Seek Miller, Beathard Says

General Manager Bobby Beathard says the Atlanta Falcons want to discuss a trade for wide receiver Anthony Miller.

Beathard would not discuss the Chargers' response, but it's known the team expressed interest in Falcons cornerback Bruce Pickins before he agreed to a contract last week.

They also attempted to trade up in the first round of the draft to get wide receiver Mike Pritchard before Atlanta selected him, and made a pitch for Pritchard again when they were trying to trade Lee Williams.

The Chargers have become unhappy with Miller's poor play, which has included dropped passes in games and practice. Miller, a Pro Bowl choice last season, has been moody and uncooperative this season, and the team has been concerned by possible off-the-field distractions, which have included a paternity suit and inquiries from the IRS.

Miller failed to catch a pass Sunday, breaking a streak of 38 games in which he has caught at least one pass. He dropped two more passes, although each would have required Pro Bowl-like efforts to catch them.

Beathard, however, said he does not expect the Chargers to consummate any deals before Tuesday's NFL trading deadline.

Beathard said he has not discussed a deal for Washington quarterback Stan Humphries, although it's known the Redskins remain unhappy with Humphries and may be agreeable to dealing him.

After the Chargers successfully went for it on fourth and goal from the one with only seconds left in the first half, the team's strength and conditioning coach ran over to Coach Dan Henning.

"I told him something like, you got some nerve," John Dunn said. "I would have kicked the field goal."

Just a coincidence? In Sunday's Gameday program, the "Raider Gallery" featured profiles on defensive back Elvis Patterson and offensive lineman James FitzPatrick.

Both Patterson and FitzPatrick previously were Chargers.

Patterson, who gave the Chargers their only previous victory in the Coliseum with an interception return for a touchdown during the 1987 strike, remains one of the game's most obnoxious performers.

In the final minutes of Sunday's game Patterson picked up a downed punt in his end zone, and despite blown whistles, took off running. He ran through a group of his teammates, who had moved onto the field during the break in action, and kept running the length of the field. When he reached the Chargers' end zone he held the ball high above his head as if he had scored.

Steve Ortmayer's not-so-special teams:

1. Opening kickoff--Former Chargers receiver Jamie Holland jumps offsides and Raiders are forced to kick again. Raiders receiver Sam Graddy made a touchdown-saving tackle at the Raiders' 41 on Nate Lewis' 56-yard return.

2. First punt--Chargers wide receiver Kitrick Taylor returned Jeff Gossett's first punt 23 yards.

3. First quarter kickoff--After the Raiders took a 3-0 lead, Lewis returned the ensuing kickoff 30 yards. At this rate, Lewis averages 43 yards a kickoff return and he becomes an overnight candidate for Hall of Fame consideration.

You saw it first:

- The Raiders came into the game having failed to score in the first quarter of play this season. Jeff Jaeger, however, end the dry spell with a 39-yard field goal 10:21 into the first quarter.

- Steve Smith's first-half run for 13 yards was the Raiders' longest of the season.

- The Chargers' 14-10 advantage was the first time this season they've gone into the locker room at halftime with the lead.

- Steve Hendrickson's 13-yard reception to the Raiders' 13, which set up Rod Bernstine's 4-yard touchdown two plays later, was the first time Hendrickson touched the ball this season.

- The Chargers' 14-13 lead after three quarters of play was the first time they've entered the fourth quarter ahead.

- Wide receiver Kitrick Taylor's six-yard reception for a first down in the fourth quarter was his first catch for the Chargers, and his first since 1988 when he was with Kansas City.

Chargers wide receiver Shawn Jefferson recovered a fumble on a fourth-quarter kickoff, but became angry at the officials when they accused him of jumping offside, negating the fumble.

A mini-brawl erupted, and referee Jerry Markbreit failed to turn off the field microphone as he made his way over to Coach Dan Henning. "Coach, quiet them down a little bit, you got a good game going," Markbreit was heard to say.

Henning was asked how his team will handle a victory.

"It should be a boost for the players," he said. "It should be a verification to them that if they continue to work hard and stick together they got a chance to win. Other than that it would be premature to say how they're going to handle it.

"I hope they handle it the way they've handled the last five weeks. The last five weeks have been tough, and under the conditions I think they've handled it well."

Tight end Arthur Cox was on crutches after the game with a sprained foot. Cox, however, reported that X-rays were negative.

For the record: Wide receiver Willie Gault caught one pass against the coverage of Chargers cornerback Sam Seale.

"We kicked their butts," Seale said.

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