PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : RAIDERS : Special Teams Are Special Problem

The Raider special teams struggled on Sunday.

The first time the San Diego Chargers got the ball at the Coliseum, it was on the receiving end of a punt.

San Diego's Darrien Gordon avoided a tackle by James Trapp, then managed to avoid the 10 other Raiders as he went 90 yards to the end zone in a game the Chargers won, 26-24.

The Raiders' special teams gave up 95 yards on three punt returns and 131 yards on five kickoff returns, allowing San Diego good field position all afternoon.

"Special teams have always been a big part of us," Coach Art Shell said. "We are just not doing as well as we want to. We are letting too many people come through. From what I saw on film, guys are out of position. They're asked to be in a lane and they're not in that lane."

One positive came out of Sunday's performance by the special teams. Alexander Wright got a chance to join Rocket Ismail and Harvey Williams as kick returners and responded with 121 yards on three returns. Wright, a wide receiver, was being used primarily as a kick returner by the Dallas Cowboys when the Raiders got him two years ago.


Defensive lineman Willie Broughton, sidelined because of an elbow injury since before the season, is almost ready to return. With a Raider bye this weekend, Broughton might be activated for the game Oct. 9 at the New England Patriots.

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