Now, even that is coming apart as the Raiders season falls deeper into the abyss. On Monday, wide receiver Randy Moss lashed out at former Raiders defensive lineman and Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long for comments Long made about Moss' passion for the game.
"He had his turn when he played," Mosssaid of Long on his weekly radio spot on Fox Sports. "Of course, I know he's an (Fox-TV) analyst, and it's his job to stir up controversy, but for him to take a shot at me and say that I don't have a passion for the game, I love the passion for the game. If I don't have that much passion, you tell his (butt) to come out here and put on some pads and go at me."
Long referenced comments made by Moss on Fox Sports radio Oct.2 in which Moss said: The Cleveland Browns game "was a bad game for me. It really got to me knowing that it's hard for me to get into the game physically, to get myself going out there, to get a sweat. I mean, you have games that it's hard to get up for them."
When reached by phone, Long said his comments were in response to the ones Moss made Oct.2, that he has "never questioned Randy's ability or questioned his passion for the game."
On Monday, Moss said he and his NFL colleagues face a different set of challenges today from the ones Long encountered during a playing career that spanned 1981-93.
"For Howie Long to say something like that is kind of bad because he knows, as a former NFL player, what it takes to get up for a game every Sunday," Moss said. "You got to practice week in and week out. Back in them days, he was probably popping pills and tablets and all that to get them up and going.
"But nowadays with the drug-testing policies and the performance-enhancing policy, then it's hard for a player to just go out there with just himself and go out there week in and week out."
Long said he laughed when one of his sons informed him of Moss' comments. His amusement turned into puzzlement when he learned Moss implied that players from Long's generation needed help getting up for games.
"If Randy wants to know what I was about in my 13 years as a Raider, and I'm a proud Raider, all he has to do is walk upstairs to the coach's office because I had the privilege of playing with and for Art Shell," Long said. "I'm pulling for him, and I'm pulling for the football team."
Moss declined an interview request only minutes before he conducted his interview with Fox Sports. He hasn't spoken with local media since Aug.14.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Merril Hoge played from 1987-93. He called Moss' assertion that players from Long's and Hoge's era relied upon "pills and tablets" absurd.
"I didn't even take a Tylenol to get up or didn't need steroids," Hoge said in a phone interview. "A guy like Howie, he had a passion for the game. People who love the game, respect the game, have a problem with the way Randy plays the game. They are disgusted when they watch him play."
Hoge said Moss hides weaknesses in his game by blaming others. He calls Moss a "very limited player, a one-dimensional player. He's an awful route runner. Terrell Owens will play hard, at least."
When asked if he has voiced his displeasure with the way things are going this season, Moss said he no longer seeks out managing general partner Al Davis.
"I've had my times the last two years that I went up there," Moss said. "Most of the times I go up there, I'm usually talking to Freddie Biletnikoff, my wide receivers coach. But going up there and voicing my opinion is like going up there and wasting time. I don't even go."
IT'S WALTER AGAIN: Regular quarterback Aaron Brooks still isn't able to throw the ball as far as he needs to, Shell said, so he is listed as doubtful for Sunday night's game against the Denver Broncos.
Backup Andrew Walter has started the past two games while Brooks recovers from a strained pectoral muscle that he sustained Sept.17. He is expected to start Sunday, as well.
EXTRA POINTS: Right guard Kevin Boothe on Sunday received treatment for a broken nose before being released from a hospital, Shell said. He got hurt in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the 49ers. He is questionable for Sunday's game. The same goes for tight ends John Madsen (quadriceps), Randal Williams (quadriceps) and James Adkisson (groin), cornerback Fabian Washington (hamstring) and linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba (shoulder). Linebacker Grant Irons (back) won't play against the Broncos, Shell said.