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JaMarcus Russell: Where’s the Passion?

NFL: Falcons vs Raiders NOV 2

Many have commented on Raiders first round pick quarterback JaMarcus Russell over the past few years. Some have pointed out strength’s but many have pointed out his faults ever since he failed sign his contract until September (Much like Michael Crabtree this year).

Personally I’ve wondered if Russell has the talent around him to be anything more then the average quarterback he’s been so far. Then again what else would expect from a player that really had his first full season in the pro’s last year.

JaMarcus has been plagued by receivers that have talent but aren’t quite ready to produce at this level and an offensive line that is average at best in pass protection.

Tom Cable Named Raiders Head Coach

Beyond the problems on the field he also had to deal with his head coach (Lane Kiffen) situation a season ago and the fact that he wasn’t happy about having Russell on the team. This lead to the now famous press meeting that owner Al Davis had where he openly ripped his coach for the poor job he felt he had done.

Where’s the Passion?

To be a great player in the NFL the athlete needs to have the ability to rise above their issues around them and lead their teammates to success. In the coming years it won’t necessarily be Russell stats that will define him in my mind but his ability to make the offense run well and lead the team.

Leadership and passion is what is needed to be a starting quarterback in pro football and your teammates need to have trust in you.

With that being said it is these quality’s that has seem to be lacking from Russell so far in his time with the Raiders. Beyond all the stats I believe if Russell doesn’t turn this perception around, it will be these quality’s that will have people in the media calling for his job as the Raiders starter.

In the NFL today we have seen Matt Linart and Vince Young pulled out of the starting jobs not just because of their poor production but their inability to gain trust in the team around them.

This young immaturity has lead to veterans like Kerry Collins and Kurt Warner having great success on those very teams. In the case of Collins he hasn’t put up stats that will blow you away but he is a good leader and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.

AFC Wild Card Game: Tennessee Titans v San Diego Chargers

The Oakland Raiders have a veteran behind Russell with the same leadership quality’s of the veterans listed above and that man is Jeff Garcia. While many have questioned Russell fire and passion for the game, no one would question Garcia as he is extremely passionate and a solid leader.

Raiders vs Cowboys Preseason Game

Tomorrow I will be watching the Raiders vs Cowboys preseason game on TV and I will be interested to see how or if JaMarcus has command in his offense. I probably won’t be able to tell for the long haul if Russell will be a good leader or not based on this one game but it will be interesting none the less.

NFL: Oakland Raiders OTA

In the long run we will know and probably by the middle of this year if Russell has the leadership quality’s to be a success in this league.

Fantasy Football Information on JaMarcus Russell

If Russell can prove his doubters wrong he will be helped by is talented receivers in Johnny Lee Higgins, Chaz Schillins and Darrious Heyward-Bey to work with over the next few seasons. At this time JaMarcus is a player you should stay away from in fantasy football as the Raiders are primed to have a heavy run offense.

It is better to have a quarterback that is in an offense that likes to at least come close to passing as much as they run in play calling.

We all need to see if Russell can deliver on his high expectations and lead this team to being a winner before he is truly ready to have fantasy relevance in his career.

Fantasy Football Information Writer Sean E. Douglas: fantasy-info.com

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