Mario has Russell’s back


News and notes from Saturday’s interview sessions:

If JaMarcus Russell is bothered by the growing national perception that he’s an underachiever and approaching bust status, he hides it well.

When Russell met with the media Friday, he talked about the demands of being a starting NFL quarterback and No. 1 overall pick and appeared to understand that some of the criticism would be over the top.

The heat Russell takes seemed to bother left tackle Mario Henderson more than it did Russell. Henderson, responsible for Russell’s blind side on the field, has his back off the field.

“I can be sitting at home watching TV and hear that, ‘JaMarcus hasn’t done this, he hasn’t done that,” ” Henderson said. “People don’t know that he has made such great strides since coming into the league, it’s amazing.

“He came into camp late, he only played the last three or four games our rookie year, last year technically was his rookie year, so the strides he has made are amazing. He’s more of a vocal leader and it’s a great feeling to see how he has matured.”

Russell conceded to being a little heavy, but Henderson doesn’t see a problem in that area, either.

“He could have been one of those guys who said, ‘Everyone’s against me,’ he could have been one of the guys who didn’t work hard,” Henderson said. “Yet, he took all the negativity a nd what people are saying and made it a positive.

“He did a great job getting his weight down. JaMarcus is a big guy. Somebody sees JaMarcus and they say, ‘Yeah, JaMarcus looks like he’s out of shape.’ He’s 6-5, you know what I’m saying? He’s a big guy but he’s not (fat).”

Wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins sees a difference in the way Russell carries himself.

“He’s more vocal. He’s more animated. He’s more into reads,” Higgins said. “If he does something wrong, he’ll say `My bad.’ If you do something bad he’ll tell you. It’s more of a relationship.”

— Ricky Brown, the terminally mild-mannered linebacker who has a bit of an edge once he’s in the middle of things, surmises things may be a little different Monday after being asked why he hasn’t gotten into any scrapes.

“I am sure when shoulder pads come on something will happen,” Brown said. “Get those chemicals mixing around.”

— Although Brown as on the field with Thomas Howard and Jon Alston during one goal line sequence, he believes he and Kirk Morrison will eventually be middle linebackers on the eventual goal line unit.

— Cable continued to stress first- and second team designations mean little during the four days of dress rehearsals

“There’s really no competition like that going on,” Cable said. “So, that’s a good question again for next weekend.”

— It was all hush-hush a year ago when Lane Kiffin warned reporters not to let on that Darren McFadden was being used in the Wildcat formation, even though it was an open secret a handful of teams were doing it and that McFadden had done it at Arkansas.

So we can probably assume there will be some Wildcat this year, but it hasn’t been shown yet.

“I think there’s a whole package of that you can do,” Cable said. “Right now what I want to do is just get our base installation in and then the situations taught, which is where we’re at right now, and then from there, that’s down the road. That’s kind of extra.”

Another solid theory _ layer in the fundamental plays and offense before getting clever.

Will check in with a brief post following the second practice . . .


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Florida Pete

    i am cautiously optimistic…

    i still say Russell reminds me of Elway…

    i think we’re goning to be fine on offense… especially if Fargas starts the year as our number 3 back…

    i think our defense against the pass will be very good…


    who is gonna stop the run???

  • real talk?? Wanna Laugh?? My daughter and niece (7 year olds) go dumb when ever Hammer’s cant touch this comes on… Thats their slap… its hella funny..

  • armond

    good to see u back on. thats meesed up 408 got banned for callin jerry lazy.its been the same ol sheit. people bitchin about the same thing. thats why these games gotta hurry up and start. u lookin more right about that draft ish man. i thought u was crazy for callin craptree fools gold but u look like u were right. will the punkass media get on the 9ers with his holdout like they did us with jamarcus? he aint practiced and he wants top 5 money at #10. he actin like a biotch already. to think i wanted us to draft him too.

  • hey pete Ill make my yearly Super Bowl prediction.. Ok seriously I think we will shock teams that sleep on the Big Bad Oakland RAIDERS!!

  • armond

    i wouldnt worry about the run defense too much. it is what it is until we see improvement. im lookin forward to the offense more. i want to see mario get stronger on running plays. im more confident with his pass blocking that some on here.

  • Dhitz

    This is what its all about. Training Camp. All offseason all this yapping Fat Jruss….He cant throw short passes out of the backfield, he lacks touch. All this yadda yadda for nothing. The Results of our beloved Raiders starting budding on Monday when the pads hit. Its time for everyone to get on the bus with JRuss he has a str8 CANNON if he can harness it which is a possibility I dont wanna here any MF jocking him for his newfound greatness. The kid is for ONCE getting a chance and the TEAM is actually building a team around HIM. So I say wait for all your belly aching and give him some rope to hang himself or to lasso opponents on Sundays. Its time we think better of our organization although weve fallen greatly!!! LETS GO RAIDERS PHUCK ALL THE REST!!!!

  • armond

    nice pics of matt stafford and no media is talking about that. skanks everywhere and hes sporting a nice middle finger for the camera. even has a nice lil gut growin there. jruss haters whatcha think about that?

  • I think Stafford will be a star qb in about 3 years,…hes got it all, I watch alot of SEC, he was way better then Tebow, not even close.

  • Destrilogy

    Im with AZ! post #9

    Here i go!!
    chug chug chug chug GULP!

    whats happening to my body… ??? What ????grrrrr….$%^^$%!! RAIDERS!!!!!!!!


  • armond

    anyone who wants to trash heyward bey as a reach just look at jarvis moss with the donkeys. dude is already considering retirement afte a couple of seasons. 3.5 sacks in 2 years. they traded up to take him and now this. guess al davis isnt so bad after all. wonder how the media will spin this. they make a big deal out sulak getting cut but theyll let this slde.

  • Nnamdi21

    Truth be told, the Raiders NEEDED this type of foucs on fundamentals.

    Hope it pays off…

  • Nnamdi21

    Bey looks really fast, especially off the line.

  • Raiders 10-6 walker cut before season starts!!!!

  • AR

    JR is not a media darling. Maybe if he sucked up to the press more, they would show him more love. He has a Nike contract but turns down commercials because, according to him, “commercials ain’t gonna make me a better ballplayer.” He could be plastered all over the tube, but that would only make people hate him more. Once the wins start flowing, then he will get his due.

  • He Hate Me

    “As tedious as it can be to watch for an outsider (and for you to read about)”

    Hey Jerry, you just keep calling it as you see it.
    If a practice is dull and boring?, so what. I dont need sensationalism, I read regardless. As a reader, I dont want you to feel like you have to make nothing into something. This is the process of Cables training camp. Im ok with that as a fan. Soon we’ll be hootin n hollerin about wins, this is just the start. Keep bloggin Bro.

  • Trace Vittitow

    I am a long time Raider fan. So much to the point I am a Raider. Here is what I suggest… Al. If your listening. Go after Mike Vick. Put him in the back field with either of our other 2 good running backs. Play him as a halfback option passer. This would cause all kinds of trouble for opposing defenses.

    Trace Vittitow

  • RogRiaderfan

    so very nice to see postive raider fans thats what i call real fansJRuss is young has long has he keeps progressing like at the end of last year im goofd with him tom cabl could be the blessing in disguise,been a raider fan since 1990 and its always been the same thing stupid mistakes and dumb penalties, i think this will be a well discipline team

  • RogRiader

    To all the russell haters :qb class of 2007
    2008 stats
    russell 13tds 8ints
    edwards 11tds 10ints
    quinn 2tds 2ints
    beck 1td 3ints(career stats)
    stanton 1td 0ints
    kolb 0tds 3ints not hating on any of these QBs but i’ll take JRuss any day