(P A Patterson Photo)
JaMarcus Russell has not yet arrived at the Alameda training facility for the voluntary workouts. Given his track record, it should not surprise anyone.
Welcome our new guest writer Bret Armstrong as he points out that Russell is on the fast track to success in 2010 is hurting himself by not showing up.
Bret has agreed to share his own Dark Thoughts with us on the Oakland Raiders. Like us, he is opinionated, and he will be providing his unique take on that which is happening around the Silver and Black.
Enjoy his take on JaMarcus Russell being conspicuous by his absence, and give him a nice warm welcome in the comment box, if so inclined.
Where's JaMarcus Russell?
I hope nobody was expecting JaMarcus Russell to show up for the Oakland Raiders' scheduled voluntary workouts. It seems that Russell is too busy to make use of the teams state of the art equipment or try to re-establish a relationship with his teammates after almost completely shattering anything resembling a relationship that he had created prior to the '09 season.
Maybe it's too early to write off the quarterback, but this brings to mind lyrics from a certain Queen song when I see this kind of thing. No, not "We are the Champions," but rather "Another One Bites the Dust."
With so many spectators calling him the next Ryan Leaf or referring to him as the biggest draft bust to ever suit up in the NFL, a person might be tempted to believe that showing up for something like this would show that this guy is on the path to recovery.
His teammates don't appear to be too fond of the situation either. When asked if they expected to see Russell in Alameda today, one unnamed starter said, "That's a horror show." Another unnamed starter responded by saying, "Don't hold your breath."
JaMarcus is looking to be on the fast-track to super stardom and he is certainly starting off on the right foot in 2010. Obviously this is a case in which he was at the facility so early that he completed his workout and film study and was out the door before the offensive linemen showed up at 8 a.m. That, my friends, is what we call "sarcasm."
Seriously though, he had to know that people would be watching this situation. Waiting to see if he would be there and wondering what type of repercussions there would be if he showed up and got fined for being overweight again. Everyone was wondering how he would respond to losing his starting job last season.
His counterpart, Bruce Gradkowski, has been working out at the team headquarters for almost the entire off season. Even third string quarterback, Charlie Frye, showed up today after signing his original pick tender offered by the team.
Even if Russell is getting in shape in Arizona, as rumored, his improved physique and fundamentals will be for naught if he doesn't have faith and trust from his teammates. If he fails to report all week, he is really only hurting himself.
Russell needs all the support he can get and he needs to be working with the Raiders coaches. He should be studying the playbook, watching film of his upcoming opponents, and bonding with his teammates.
Granted these workouts are voluntary, but it doesn't shed any positive light on the guy to not show up.--Bret Armstrong. TFDS Guest Contributor