So the prince of the purple drank has opened up to Sports Illustrated. All of a sudden we’re all supposed to feel bad for JaMarcus Russell because he had to struggle with sleep apnea while pocketing more than $30-million? Are we really expected to act as if Tom Cable throwing Russell under the bus was some sin committed against humanity?
Let’s get something straight. I celebrated when the Raiders drafted Russell. I screamed obscenities at Lane Kiffin when he refused to let JaMarcus take the field when the team had nothing to play for. I hung my hopes on every brief glimpse of brilliance Russell flashed which was not often.
I’m not a Russell hater. I just take issue with anybody who disrespects the Silver and Black. If that makes me a Russell hater then I’ll just continue to hate on.
What Russell fails to comprehend to this day is what he never understood in the NFL.
Being a quarterback means being a leader no matter what.
A leader takes the blame even when it is not their fault. A leader sets the example for the entire team to follow. A leader does whatever it takes to accomplish their goals including sacrificing for the betterment of those around them.
To be sure there is no way you can blame Russell for all of Oakland’s woes during his brief tenure in the East Bay. Al Davis shares blame for the uncertain coaching situation he pushed a young QB into. Lane Kiffin takes blame for not being a man and just making the most of the hand he was dealt. The team as a whole shares blame for not holding their supposed leader accountable.
But none of that accounts for Russell’s complete lack of interest in putting in the work necessary to be the best. None of that excuses JaMarcus for balking at the idea of taking a pay cut. Tom Brady took less cash so his team could improve. That’s what a leader does.
A leader doesn’t deflect blame. He takes it publicly and then takes it out on his team privately. But to do that you’d have to already be setting the example.
Russell’s rants on Coach Cable and the franchise in general are laughable. He still doesn’t get it. All dude has to do is check how Aaron Rodgers went about his business when he was being ignored by Brett Favre. All Russell needed to do was pay attention to how his former teammate Jason Campbell has handled himself throughout his career. Safe to say few QBs have experienced the total disrespect and bad luck Campbell has. But that doesn’t stop him from being the first in and last to leave everyday.
Russell still insists on an NFL-or-bust mentality. He shuns lesser football leagues as if he’s already proven himself worthy of being a member of football’s most exclusive fraternity.
Yeah, you can call me a Russell hater. That doesn’t bother me at all. I support any and every man that wears the Silver and Black proudly. Russell never did that. The only color he ever cared about was green…well…purple too.
JaMarcus Russell will never grow into his talent because he is his own worst enemy. Sure, he was dealt a bad hand but he’s not the only one. Nobody did Rich Gannon any favors. Jim Plunkett had to pick himself off the bust carpet and prove the haters wrong.
The only person JaMarcus has ever proven wrong is himself for his overinflated sense of worth.
Time to come to Jesus, JaMarcus.
The Raiders have moved on. Jason Campbell knows that and he’s saying nothing but good things even if he’s as furious as every human being that ever bought a #2 Raider jersey. Carson Palmer one day will have to face that same reality too. It happens to every QB that plays this game. At some point the team that told you how great you were finds someone else to stroke.
Your time came and went, JaMarcus. Nobody cares about your excuses because all you ever had were excuses. Time to move on.