Kirk Morrison Calls JaMarcus Russell the Team Leader

Today on ESPN’s Jim Rome is Burning, Kirk Morrison delivered a dagger to the hearts of bloggers and sports talk radio hosts nationwide by proclaiming JaMarcus Russell as the leader of the Oakland Raiders.

The statement is in stark contrast to many of the reports and articles written about Russell recently with the newest issue revolving around Russell’s absence from the final day of the last OTA.

Keyshawn Johnson was filling in for a vacationing Jim Rome and did his best to give Morrison every opportunity to stir the pot and each time Morrison proved to be every bit the professional that Meshawn never was.

When Johnson attempted to get a laugh out of Morrison for the Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Mitchell selections, Morrison quickly reminded Key that he was a former third round pick who proved his worth in the NFL. Kirk went on to explain that both of the newest Raiders arrive with a chip on their shoulder and are eager to disprove the criticism.

When Johnson argued that Tom Cable only led the Raiders to 4 wins in 12 games last season, Morrison interjected that Cable got the team on track by season’s end including that dramatic victory over a Tampa Bay team seeking a playoff berth.

Perhaps Keyshawn was just trying to get a ratings spike in Rome’s absence but in the end he looked like a novice show host who offered very little insight and only made Raider fans even more proud to have #52 wearing silver and black.

Morrison is in a contract year so he was asked the obligatory question of what his future plans are. A Bay Area native, Morrison expressed his desire to remain in Oakland while being quick to go to the “this is a business” card.

With all the money committed to Nnamdi Asomugha, JaMarcus Russell and a looming contractual hold out for Mario Henderson, it would appear that keeping Morrison in the fold will take some very creative accounting. At the end of the day, much will be decided by how the team performs in 2009.

While Johnson’s feeble attempts to get a sound bite from Morrison were sophomoric at best, Raider fans should be nervous about Keyshawn’s assessment of Heyward-Bey. After all, who better than Keyshawn would know more about being the first receiver picked in the draft and becoming a bust?


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Tags: Darrius Heyward-Bey JaMarcus Russell Jim Rome Keyshawn Johnson Kirk Morrison Mario Henderson Michael Mitchell Nnamdi Asomugha Tom Cable

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