Tag Archives: JaMarcus Russell

ESPN: Jamarcus Russell – Waking Up

 

The one-time savior of the Oakland Raiders and the first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft floundered for three painful seasons, but nobody knew why he was struggling. They didn’t know because Russell didn’t tell them. For the first time, JaMarcus Russell speaks about his life as an Oakland Raider and his life away from football. Tom Rinaldi tells us about the awakening of JaMarcus Russell and his second chance to come back and play in the NFL. 

It’s My Fault

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I was watching America’s Game today, the episode on the 1980-81 Superbowl Champion San Francisco 49ers.  Randy Cross, Dwight Clark, and Ronnie Lott were all talking about how everything was Joe Montana’s fault.  A bad snap, Joe Montana would say, “I pulled out too early”.  An interception where the receiver was in the wrong place and Joe would say, “I made a bad pass”.  Everything was Joe Montana’s fault.  Now the coaches knew the truth but the players would do anything for a guy who would take the blame for their mistakes.

Now this isn’t revolutionary, a lot of great players have lived this out and the response is always the same.  Their teammates deeply appreciate it and the effect is the same, when Joe Montana would make a throw that was too high or in the right place, the receivers would fight and scratch to go get it, knock it away from a defender or do whatever they had to do during a game.

18 November 2007:  Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell #2 takes pre-game warmups.  The Vikings defeated the Raiders by a score of 29 to 22 at the H.H.H. Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota. My question is why along the way have the JaMarcus Russell, Jay Cutler, and Jeff George’s of the world never learned this.  Over their career, they have constantly tossed offensive linemen, receivers, and running backs under the bus with confrontations on the sidelines or as JaMarcus Russell did this year, blame them for his lack of success.

They have agents, advisors, coaches, and teammates and you have to think that one of them said, “Hey, stop glaring at your receivers when they drop a pass.  It makes them look bad and embarrasses them.”  Despite that, many have no idea that team sports are won and lost as a team and their lack of emotional intelligence hurts their team and their careers.

How many QB’s won Super Bowls who had teammates who hated them?  Even the wild and out of control Raiders of the 70s and 80s liked each other.

One of the things that the New England Patriots reportedly place a high priority on when drafting players in character.  Character makes players coachable, makes them get along with their teammates, helps them handle adversity, and also keeps them out of trouble with the law or NFL rules.  In other words it allows the team to concentrate on football, not the drama that surrounds the players I mentioned.

What I also can’t believe is that there are still franchises who place so little emphasis on these qualities and really think that talent is everything.  It isn’t.  At the same time I can’t believe that agents aren’t getting these guys coached by the greats that have gone before them.  For years some of these stars have gotten along with having more talent then everyone else but now everyone has talent.  It’s now an age of hard work, intelligence, and desire will win you games.  If I was an agent, I would have my client sit down less with rappers and new media consultants and more with guys like Archie Manning, John Elway, Joe Montana, Roger Staubach, and Dan Marino and see what the learned about leading a team, being loyal, and the work it took to play the game.  It was Roger Staubach who called up John Elway and said, “hit the weight room kid if you want to survive playing the way you do.”  With Russell it may as well be, “stay away from the Eggo’s in the morning” but I am sure they would have things to say before he ate away his career.

Contextless Sports Thoughts

The Woods Family Picture :: Tiger, Elin and the kids

  • Interesting article on how IMG is handling the Tiger Woods debacle :: "Specifically," Posner writes, "sources at two of Woods’s corporate sponsors told The Daily Beast that Steinberg has been working furiously to get them to issue public statements demonstrating that they ‘had full faith in Tiger and backed him completely.’" And according to Posner, while Nike is on board with the plan, Gillette and Gatorade are not, and Accenture is wavering. :: I personally think Woods is done as a marketing pitchman and his ability to pitch will be very limited from here on in.  Like Wendy said after reading a news report that said that Tag Heuer was dropping Tiger from it’s latest ad campaign, how do I show her a pamphlet with Tiger Woods on the front and say, “You can give me one of those for Christmas”.  Also, he just didn’t have an affair, he had affairs with women whose lifestyle is not exactly what most Tag Heuer owners ascribe to.  That and the Tiger Woods Tag Heuer watch is one ugly watch.
  • Jay Cutler Dan Pompei has a story on how Jay Cutler needs to grow up and stop being a baby.  He’s another QB that needs to grow up quick or risk having a career trajectory similar to Jeff George.   Mike Shanahan couldn’t get him to grow up, his immaturity lead to him being traded from the Broncos to the Bears (burning bridges as he went) and it ended the honeymoon pretty quickly in Chicago.  We could start a pool on where he ends up next.  Oakland anyone?
  • Pretty big news out of Notre Dame today.  Brian Kelly has been named coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  Let’s hope the Brian Kelly era is nicer to us fans than the heartbreaking Charlie Weis era.  Someone does need to Tweet Charlie Weis and get him to update his Twitter profiles though.  You can follow Coach Kelly on Twitter here.