This is rich: former Raiders quarterback-turned-CBS-analyst Rich Gannon (HE'S NOT A HATER!) offered some interesting thoughts on the state of the Al Davis All-Stars a few days ahead of the New England-Oakland game, and most of them were about second-year quarterback JaMarcus Russell.
Specifically, he's a little worried about the big guy:
"The other thing that concerns me is when the coach comes out and says that the [Russell] needs to . . . come to work every day and do the work it takes to be successful. To me, that's mind-boggling, how, in this day and age, whether it be a coordinator or a position coach or a head coach, wouldn't demand that the guy come in on Tuesdays and do the work. ...
"If your quarterback is not the hardest working guy in the building, you have a problem. I don't know that he's quite there yet, and that's not a shot at him. I think you learn to do that, you learn to be that type of guy. If you're not the first one in and the last to leave, as an owner, or as a head coach or as a play-caller, I'd be very concerned."
Wait, how is that not Russell's fault? Granted, it's inexcusable to think that the Raiders coaches wouldn't mandate that he show up on Tuesdays, but just because he chooses not to doesn't magically absolve him of being lazy.
Now, if Russell said, "you know what, this place is a mad house and I can't stand coming to work," nobody would blame him. But he didn't (at least publicly). Meanwhile, he's the team's 23-year-old franchise quarterback with a whopping 13 starts in two years. And given how he "played" against the Chargers last week, I'm guessing he hasn't yet mastered the position.
Of course, in the scheme of things, Russell's slow progress is the least of Oakland's worries. So in that respect, it hardly merits a mention.
Rich Gannon Questions JaMarcus Russell's Work Ethic, Sorta Blames Raiders Coaches originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Thu, 11 Dec 2008 14:45:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.