Monday, June 29, 2009

JaMarcus Russell, backsliding...

It takes more than a strong arm and pinpoint accuracy to succeed as an NFL quarterback. Above all else, it takes leadership. You must inspire your teammates to follow you, and they must be convinced you've got their back when the going gets tough.

JaMarcus Russell is blessed with all the natural talent necessary to excel as an elite NFL passer. But he fails miserably as a leader. Which is why he will be neither a winner, nor fantasy relevant, until that changes.

After raising eyebrows (in a positive way) by calling his own minicamp exclusively for Raiders QBs and receivers, ostensibly to form deep bonds that would prepare them for a rigorous 2009 campaign, Russell went AWOL before the final day. So far, no explanation of his whereabouts has been revealed.

It's like I tell my kids: You can do 10 things perfectly, but when you screw up once, it can ruin everything you've worked so hard for.

Russell is rapidly heading toward the dust bin of NFL Draft history, yet another epic first-round QB bust like Heath Shuler, Tim Couch and Ryan Leaf. There's still time for him to turn it around, but the clock is ticking. And when you play in Oakland, midnight strikes fast.

Fool's prediction: Jeff Garcia will be the starting Raider QB by Week 6.

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