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Raiders coach has head up despite four-win season

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Norv Turner drove away from Raiders
headquarters Sunday with plans on coming back Tuesday to begin
player evaluations.

The coach knows he could be cleaning out his desk that day instead.

"Obviously, I would expect a decision would be made relatively
soon," Turner said on the heels of the Raiders' season-ending
30-21 loss to the New York Giants on Saturday night. "As I said,
I'm ready to go to work. If it's different than that, then I
understand it."

Turner's job security has been in question for several months.
The Raiders went 4-12 -- one fewer win than they had in Turner's
first season a year ago -- losing their final six games and eight of nine.

Oakland has three straight losing seasons and two under Turner,
who hasn't produced the immediate turnaround owner Al Davis
demanded when he hired the talented offensive coach to succeed Bill
Callahan following the 2003 season.

The 53-year-old Turner would like to know as soon as possible
whether he will be fired or asked back to fulfill the final year of
his contract, worth about $1.75 million.

Turner met with his players Sunday morning before everybody
parted ways for the offseason with a similar feeling: that this
team greatly underachieved after the roster was upgraded with
players such as Randy Moss and LaMont Jordan.

The Raiders failed to win a division game for the first time in
Davis' tenure as owner and are 1-11 against the AFC West during
Turner's two seasons.

Turner refuses to look back now and second guess anything he's
done.

"I don't have any regrets," Turner said. "You go in and do
the best you can and give everything you have and you just go and
do what you can."

The Raiders were in the game Saturday, just as they have been
many times this season, but gave up costly big plays -- namely a
95-yard touchdown run by Tiki Barber and Plaxico Burress' 78-yard
catch and run for a score.

"The disappointing thing for me is to be in a game where you
look up and you say, 'Hey, we're playing pretty good with these
guys, we know it's a good team, we know they've got things they can
do,' and bang, we give up a 95-yard run," Turner said. "In each
game you can point to a play or two like that and you look and say,
'God, how'd that happen?' "

There are plenty of Raiders players who support Turner and are
willing to take the blame for the losing. They think Turner
deserves another shot and shouldn't be held responsible for all the problems.

"We think he's coming back next year," rookie linebacker Kirk Morrison said in the parking lot Sunday. "All we can do is try to
improve. He's a good coach. We think it was more the players than the coach."

Turner spent nearly seven seasons as Washington Redskins coach,
leading them to a 49-59-1 record and just one playoff berth between 1994 and 2000 before being fired with three games left in his final campaign.

The Raiders' five interceptions were an all-time low for a full
season. The '72 Oilers, '95 Falcons and last year's Rams each had six.

Third-string Raiders quarterback Andrew Walter is scheduled to
have surgery on his troublesome left groin Friday in Philadelphia
by William Meyers, the same doctor who operated on Eagles
quarterback Donovan McNabb for a sports hernia.

He will return to Arizona to recover for a few weeks, then
rehabilitate at team headquarters.

"It's one of those things where it wouldn't get better, so
we've got to get it done," said Walter, who injured the groin in
training camp.