Raiders leave early hoping to end East Coast curse

Raiders leave early hoping to end East Coast curse
September 4, 2014, 8:15 am
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The Raiders have lost 14 consecutive games in the Eastern Time Zone, the last eight under Dennis Allen. (USATSI)

Editor's note: Stay logged on to as Scott Bair reports from Raiders practice in New York on Friday, and leading up to the opener against the Jets on Sunday   

The Raiders boarded a plane bound for New York on Thursday morning, a day earlier than typical road trips. Head coach Dennis Allen’s motivation was simple.

He wanted his team as ready as possible to break a long losing streak. The Raiders have lost 14 straight games in the Eastern Time Zone. Allen has been in charge for the final eight, something that must change if the Raiders are to start fast.

They play at the New York Jets on Sunday, at New England on Sept. 21 and against the Miami Dolphins in London the following week.

The Raiders will arrive in New York/New Jersey on Thursday afternoon, which has become an off/travel day. They’ll practice out east on Friday and hold a walk-through on Saturday before the regular-season opener.

“I wanted to do something different to give us an opportunity to maybe get our bodies right for Eastern Time,” Allen said. “I also think that going there just as a group and having an opportunity to kind of bond in the hotel was a good idea.”

Jet lag generally isn’t a major source of trouble for teams, though West Coast teams tend to struggled with 10 a.m. PST kickoffs.

In Allen’s mind, trying something different couldn’t hurt.

“The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,” Allen said. “To me, it’s something different; it’s trying something new. We’re trying to find every small little advantage we can that will give us an opportunity to play well. We’ll see how it goes.”

Even if it works -- it’ll be tough to single out early travel anyway -- early travel could be a one-time thing. It’s easier in Week 1, with an extra practice day and an adjustable day off for players, but Allen wouldn’t eliminate the possibility if it produces good mojo.

“Certainly, if it’s effective,” Allen said, “that’s something we could consider later in the year.”