That's because Kaufman has speed like Sandra Bullock. "I don't know how fast he is," said Broncos coach Mike Shanahan following Sunday's defeat, "but I know one thing: He's faster than we are."
Bugel was hip to that from the get-go. Three days after the debacle against the Chargers, in the middle of Oakland's bye week, he began a meeting of offensive players by saying, "We're gonna run the f——— ball, and it's on you guys." The crisp display of candor was refreshing, as many Raiders had taken to mocking Bugel for the corniness of his speeches. Two examples: "Men, we'll win this week because we have to." ""Men, football is a game of violence."
Bugel also addressed Oakland's shoddy run defense. He reshuffled his line, essentially replacing end Lance Johnstone, who's generously listed at 250 pounds, in running situations with 320-pound, first-round draft pick Darrell Russell. Then he went back to basics in an attempt to curtail the Raiders' penchant for undisciplined play. For 45 minutes each practice day during Oakland's two-week wait between games, Bugel had his scout-team offense run Denver's plays and made his defensive players practice sticking to their assignments. McGlockton, the biggest culprit, must have gotten the message. Following the Oct. 15 practice, he offered a mea culpa to his teammates by conceding that he hadn't been playing well and asserting that he was going to be more aggressive against the Broncos.
McGlockton, who had five tackles and one sack in the defeat of Denver, was a major reason for the Raiders' success in their matchup with AFC rushing leader Terrell Davis, who entered Sunday's game averaging 5.2 yards per carry but was held to 85 yards on 23 attempts. Davis did run for a pair of touchdowns, celebrating with his signature salute. Said Oakland strong safety James Trapp, "I got so sick of seeing that damn salute on film." Trapp punctuated one sideline tackle of Davis with a salute of his own. So did Turner following his dramatic runback, which came with the Broncos threatening to increase their 17-14 lead late in the third quarter. Turner had plenty of help on the play: from Johnstone, who popped the ball from Elway's grasp after Elway stepped up in the pocket; from McGlockton, who knocked the ball forward while keeping Elway from recovering it; and from Trapp, who made a nice block on Davis inside the 20. Said Trapp, "We finally came together."
The spirit of togetherness was at least partially triggered by what some Raiders viewed as a teammate's selfishness. Cornerback Larry Brown, a colossal bust since signing with Oakland in the wake of his MVP performance for the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX, was suspended indefinitely after jawing with Bugel in practice on Oct. 13. The suspension may not stick—Brown filed a grievance through the NFL Players Association last week—but his teammates aren't eager to get him back. According to witnesses, Brown, playing on the scout team against Tim Brown, was admonished by Bugel after taking only a couple of half-hearted steps to cover his man, something that several teammates said had happened a number of times before.
"Come on, Larry, give us a look," Bugel said.
"I am giving you a look," Larry said.
Witnesses say Bugel responded, "If you're going to pull that crap, get the hell off the field." Brown did, claiming his Achilles tendon was sore. Oakland would love to cut him, but it would cost about $2.1 million against next year's salary cap.
Other than Brown's outburst, the Raiders were quiet, except for another prescient prediction from backup safety Lorenzo (the Greek) Lynch. It was Lynch who, after Oakland's 24-19 loss at Denver last Dec. 15, guaranteed that the Broncos, despite their top seeding in the AFC, would lose their first playoff game—which they did, to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Last week Lynch was at it again, proclaiming that the Broncos had a "glass chin" and could be beaten if a team matched their intensity. After the Raiders made him look prophetic, Lynch said, "You've got to stand up to these guys, just like Holyfield did to Tyson. You can't be intimidated."
Perhaps Lynch had been inspired by a Bugel speech during a team meeting last Saturday night in which Bugel slapped his fist into his hand and said, "This game will be a donnybrook. That's an old Irish term for when two guys are in a bar, getting drunk and talking stuff, and then they go outside and go toe-to-toe."