No sign of JaMarcus Russell. No surprise.
It’s not the way the Raiders operate, urging players to be available during open locker room sessions, and it’s never the way Russell has handled himself since he arrived as the first pick of the 2007 NFL draft.
More than just the media is watching Russell closely now. In the aftermath of Sunday’s 38-0 loss to the New York Jets, and a pointed critique from coach Tom Cable, Russell essentially shrugged his shoulders and said he had no idea what his coach was talking about.
He didn’t have time to checkdown, the first interception came when a defender crosses his face and the one in the end zone intended for Todd Watkins was giving the wide receiver a chance to make a play.
Russell didn’t sound as if wanted any of his decisions or plays back.
Here’s what a face of the franchise does after a bad game:
He plants himself in front of the locker and takes on all questions. He takes responsibility for the bad plays, analyzes what went wrong, and not just for the sake of the media.
Russell does it so his teammates don’t have to alibi for him. He does it so his teammates realize he’s taking it to heart.
A good P.R. staff points out the ancillary benefit of Russell taking on all comers on Monday. Once Russell deals with his struggles on the first day of the week, then the story is cycled through the news and morphs into something else as the week goes on.
They urge the quarterback to get it out of the way now, put it behind him, and focus on the next opponent.
Assuming Russell, as per his custom this season, doesn’t talk until Thursday, the quarterback issue essenially remains on the table through Friday’s papers, when his responses reach print.
More to come following Tom Cable’s press conference . . .