Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell said Thursday he welcomes the advice of Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and conceded he was taken aback by the booing his last home appearance, a 23-3 loss to Denver.
“By being fans, you wish they could be more supportive,” Russell said. “We’re already down in the dumps and that doesn’t make it any better. The best thing for that is just have them come together with us. Who knows? I really don’t.
“It was crazy for me. I had never really been in that situation before you just have to pull out of it. A lot of people are fed up over the course of a year but the only thing we can do this week is make some plays and hopefully it will go the other way.”
McNabb said he looked forward to seeking out Russell before the game. Russell will make himself easy to find.
“He’s been around the game a long time, been in some ups and downs so he kind of knows how to push through things,” Russell said. “That’ll always be good to get some advice.”
Russell compared it to the first time he met Peyton, Eli and Archie Manning at the Mannings’ football camp and then finding himself on the same field in the NFL.
He echoed the mantra of coach Tom Cable and insisted the Raiders are merely a few details from turning ineffective plays into big ones.
“It’s the small things. When we break it down or watch film, it’s never that we’re a ways away from making it happen,” Russell said. “Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can keep you from excelling to the next level. Everything that’s been said, people say that, but on the inside as a team we really accept the challenge of being accountable for one another and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Asked about his three lost fumbles against New York and inability to “feel” a pass rush, Russell said, `You do but most of the time you’re looking away and it sneaks up on you. Those guys have a full-fledged running start straight at you, and sometimes guys hit you but most of the time guys go right for the ball, so if you’re looking away sometimes you can’t clench up for it. I have to get better with that and clench up a little earlier I think. That’s the head start they have on us as a quarterback. Most of the time you’re looking upfield to make something happen when that happens.”
Greg Ellis had the following advice for fans who are quick to boo Russell:
“I say to them, if they’re true football fans, they need to look back at Troy Aikman. Troy wasn’t always the greatest quarterback that ever played football. When he started out, (his) first year they were 1-15, didn’t win but one game. Eli Manning, another quarterback who’s kind of in the era right now, Eli started out, and they were talking about, ‘Man, did we do the right thing by drafting this guy?’ And there’s other quarterbacks, I’m pretty sure, that fall in that same category.
“ JaMarcus came here with a unique situation. He came here, he wasn’t allowed the opportunity to sit down and watch and learn from somebody. That’s the way the business works in the NFL right now. So, now what JaMarcus has to do – and JaMarcus is doing it – is to get in there and find out, what does it take to be an NFL quarterback? People may say, ‘Well, can he do that in one night and figure it out?’ The answer to that is, obviously, no. You can ask Eli Manning. You can ask any quarterback that’s pretty good in this league. Ask them about it.
“But, he has to continue to be diligent on working on figuring all that stuff out, the coverages out and all that stuff. And if he wants that bad enough, then he’ll be a great quarterback in this league.”
More to come later . . .