JaMarcus Russell is a bust and that stench is starting to carry over to Darren McFadden and others….
October 8, 2009
This is really the s*#$ that got me mad….
You should not take this as “The Too Old Crew has give up on the Raiders…” Far from that. I am just tired of the losing. The Raiders have lost 11 or more games for the last6 years and it is wearing on me personally. Not enough to give them up, but enough to be mad and call for change. (Note, I am typing this while drinking out of my Black Raiders Aluminum Water Bottle, because I care about the Raiders and the environment.)
Here is the Raiders record over the last six years. It’s not pretty and things have to change.
2003 2003 NFL AFC West 3rd 4 12 0 2004 2004 NFL AFC West 4th 5 11 0 2005 2005 NFL AFC West 4th 4 12 0 2006 2006 NFL AFC West 4th 2 14 0 2007 2007 NFL AFC West 4th 4 12 0 2008 2008 NFL AFC West 3rd 5 11 0 2009 2009 NFL AFC West TBD 1 3 0
Having some of the top picks were designed to get us out of this rut. Instead, the drafting of JaMarcus Russell has seemingly set the franchise back another five years from being relevant. This is not the comments of a spurned fan. This is what I said during the draft. My hopes were pinned on either taking Calvin Johnson or trading the pick and getting some proven talent. Instead, we drafted a QB that wasn’t ready for prime time. Yahoo explains the mistake that we made.
It was never a secret that Russell was going to be a player who needed stability and a nurturing environment. As Savage points out now – and other personnel men said in 2007 – the most remarkable part of Russell’s growth as a quarterback had just begun during his junior season at LSU. He was a player who needed his senior season in college. And any team willing to take him had to know in lieu of that experience, Russell was going to need consistent coaching, consistent talent, and a team that didn’t need him to step in and be a leader.
Instead, he got the Raiders – a franchise that one former high ranking NFL executive described to Yahoo! Sports as “like being on a school bus with a crazy driver. You didn’t know where you were going, when it was going to stop, and where you were going to end up. You hear it all the time – people go there and after a few days, they’re more interested in how they are going to get out.”
Listen to the kids high pitched scream. That is what kids today need, is a foot up their a$$ when they misbehave.
Or this bus driver….I totally agree with him…
You don’t hear that every day, an NFL franchise likened to a school bus from Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome. However, that’s not to say Russell doesn’t deserve a large chunk of the blame. He’s clearly had performance-hindering weight issues, and his level of commitment is hardly beyond reproach. That was made clear when former LSU teammate and current Kansas City Chief Dwayne Bowe(notes) came out in September, and relayed to reporters a story of how he recently told Russell that he needed to put in the extra time required to be great.
“I told him he’s got to be more [of a leader],” Bowe said. “Not screaming in guys’ faces, but going to the side, tell them what they did wrong or afterwards, stay an extra hour or focus to improve your game and he said he’s going to start that up.”
Let’s dissect that statement for a moment. You have Bowe, who was temporarily demoted to third string in August because of his penchant for coasting in practice, giving Russell advice on putting in extra work. And then you had Russell allegedly saying he’s “going to start that up”. Mind you, this is Russell’s third season. And while he’s only 24, that’s still slightly tardy when it comes to recognizing that you have to work harder and focus more – especially when Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan(notes) has been doing things like having the coaches fax him each week’s game plan the day before it is given to the rest of the team. Ryan has been doing that since his first week as a rookie.
Some QB’s have it, others don’t. You might wonder what “it” is? It is the ability to lead others and have them follow and wait on your every word. You have to be able to come in and verbally undress someone who isn’t getting the job done. BUT, and this is a big but, you have to put in the time to EARN that ability to command others. It takes a guy who was demoted to the third string WR for the Chiefs to tell JaMarcus something that he should be able to figure out now on his own. He is a man, he is 24.
This reminds me of my senior year of high school. We had a talented team that was ready to make the next leap. My freshman year, we had a talented cast of players, lead by Andre Wells. As a QB, others looked up to him and would listen to what he had to say. we lost to El Cerrito during the regular season 48-7. But, we played them for all the marbles at the Oakland Coliseum and got it done, 18-16. It wasn’t that we weren’t that same team that got blown out, Andre and others were not going to let us lose again.
That senior year started off 0-2, losing to good teams that we were better than. The coach made a switch at QB, starting a green sophomore over the senior and moving him out to WR. While we still didn’t make the playoffs that year (we lost to DeLaSalle at home 24-21 in a great, hard fought game that was for our playoff berth) it was because we made the switch to someone that others would follow. (The addendum to the story is the very next year, they made it to the North Coast Section Championship game and won…) JaMarcus doesn’t inspire or have that leadership ability. Yahoo continues…
“When they decided to let [JaMarcus] come out in the draft, you just looked at the top of the board, and it was Oakland, Detroit, and then us in Cleveland,” said Savage, who has known Russell since the Raiders quarterback attended one of Savage’s Mobile, Ala. football camps at the age of 14. “It was like, man, on one hand it would be a tremendous honor to be the first pick, but is that really the best thing?”
The first quarter of Russell’s third NFL season continues to provide the resounding – and painful – answer to that question. When he lines up against the New York Giants this week, he’ll be carrying the league’s worst completion percentage (39.8), yards per attempt (4.7) and quarterback rating (42.4) of any NFL starter. Its erosion has gotten so bad, Oakland’s road games almost seem inviting for the ability to get him away from a fan base that is approaching anarchy during his home starts.
When you can’t go home again, that is when it is time to cut loose ends and begin again. His inability to control the offense is killing others around him. Darren McFadden was a running back we were high on coming out of the draft, although at the time, I wanted Glenn Dorsey, since I thought the the combo of Huggy Bear Jr. and Michael Bush would get the job done. Looking at the production of McFadden and the fact that he is injured (again) shows that the stench of his failure is rubbing off on McFadden. Why should others practice hard and put time in the weight room, when people are showing up just to get paid? How do we know this? Jeff Garcia…
“It was to a point where I felt like guys who walked through those doors that just were there to collect a check and not really interested in putting everything that they had within themselves on to the football field,” he said. “And that was the frustrating thing for me to see.
“There were a lot of good young guys in that locker room who really want to do whatever it takes to win, but unfortunately it’s not everybody,” Garcia added. “In order to compete at this level in this game, everybody needs to be on board.”
“Maybe it’s because how things have been for a number of years now out there and they just don’t see the hope,” he said.
Garcia, who has started 116 games in 10 seasons, signed a one-year deal with the Raiders in April and said then that the idea of backing up anyone didn’t sit well.
“There was some talk about how he would fit but the best way for me to approach it is the other two played so well and we are committed to JaMarcus as our starter,” Raiders coach Tom Cable said shortly after Garcia’s release. “Whether or not [Garcia] was comfortable in a role as a backup, it is what it is.”
Garcia said Friday that he attempted to infuse a different outlook and a “fresh new start” into his Raiders teammates.
“To see the reality of the situation and realize what I may be up against staying here for the entire year, it hurt me, it broke my heart to do that to step up,” Garcia said. “But I just felt like it was something I really didn’t want to put myself through anymore.”
It’s not going to get better until we have a QB in a leadership position that can take charge. JaMarcus is not that one. I waited until this year to officially say what I have been dreading since the pick was made. We drafted Jeff George. (although we didnt draft him before, we gave him a trunkload of money 27 million over 5 to come in and not do much)
If you were JaMarcus Russell, and you wanted to miss the first week of the Raiders’ offseason workout program (I know, it’s voluntary but starting quarterbacks simply don’t skip out on these things), would you worry about whether it might trigger your head coach’s disapproval? I wouldn’t, given that Raiders owner Al Davis, in the infamous overhead-projector-aided press conference he conducted after dismissing Russell’s previous head coach, cited Lane Kiffin’s lack of faith in the young quarterback as a justification for firing Kiffin “with cause.” In other words, the mere act of questioning Russell’s impending greatness, even in private, is a sin of such immense proportions that it can (in Davis’ singular universe) cost someone millions. Can you blame Russell for feeling as though he’s untouchable?
He is untouchable and Al needs to do something about that. You have to work hard….This the NFL. It’s the AFC West. It isn’t flag football….