Earlybird JaMarcus promises better days


It was enough to make Charlie Frye sit up and take notice, provided he was fully awake at the time.

Frye got to work at 6:30 a.m., and was pleasantly surprised to be joined by starting quarterback JaMarcus Russell two days after the worst day of his professional life.

“He got in here Wednesday, earliest he’s ever been,” Frye said. “I think he was in here at 6:30. That’s step one. The things he continues to need to do is stay the course and just maybe do a little bit more.”

Frye’s input is significant because Russell listens to him. When quizzed by the media Thursday about his benching, his development and a series of question regarding his work ethic that have come just about every week, Russell named Frye as someone he talks to for advice.

“He’s a guy that’s been in the game longer than I have and always get tips and reminders or whatever it is from him,” Russell said.

Last season, Frye became the first NFL quarterback to be named starter for the opener and be traded the following week, going from Cleveland to Seattle.

“I went through the same thing that he’s going through right now, being booed, being benched, and it’s tough,” Frye said. `And if you don’t have somebody there that you can talk to or just vent. You can’t hold things in.

“You have to work through this. This is probably one of the toughest parts of his life. If he can get through this, it will make him a much stronger person. I’m much stronger for what I went through.”

Frye said Russell comes in along with backup Bruce Gradkowski every Tuesday as well, but was particularly impressed to see him there early Wednesday about 90 minutes before the quarterback meeting at 8 p.m.

“There’s a lot of time spent in here,” Frye said. “For what had happened to him and for his attitude to get there that early Wednesday morning is impressive. That’s him taking the first step to fix what’s going on.”

The natural inference is that Russell is only now starting to work hard, instead of taking his job more seriously during the offseason and through training camp.

“I just think it clicks differently for different guys,” Frye said. “Some guys it happens really fast for them and some guys it takes a little bit longer. I think it took me to be able to go out there in Seattle and just sit back away from it and see how this thing really works.

“Some guys learn better through playing, through experience, other guys through film work. I know one thing, when the light switch does come on, you notice it really quickly. It’s just different for everybody.”

Russell seemed to concede there was some error in his play against against the Jets, something he was unwilling to do immediately after the game.

“There were mistakes out there,” Russell said. “Everybody saw that.”

Russell repeated that he simply wanted to be a “cheerleader” and do whatever he could to help after being removed. He said he’s talked with Al Davis during the season and had a conversation similar to the one Davis had with a reporter from USA Today during the owner’s meetings. The message was that he wasn’t first young quarterback to struggle and that things would get better.

He said Davis also told him “how we could change things around, some of the things we could do to do it better.”

Taking Davis’ message to heart, Russell said, “It’s gonna be OK, I promise. Just take my word. I can’t tell you when, but I know they are.”

He calmly took exception to a question about whether it sent the right message to be courtside at the Warriors’ opener Wednesday night.

“What I do in my personal life is not really what’s going on here,” Russell said. “So now you’re trying to tell me I can’t go enjoy my life. Going to a basketball game . . . I want to go see those guys play, hey, that was just something in my off time I wanted to do. I don’t think that was bad.”

Russell has a point. Also in attendance were Kirk Morrison, Tommy Kelly and Thomas Howard, and probably others.

Russell reiterated that judging him on his sideline demeanor would be a mistake. He’s said several times a high school coach taught him not to get too high or too low, to keep an even keel at all times. He said his teammates understand “a fire burns” within him.

Defensive end Greg Ellis compared Russell to quarterback Tony Romo, his teammate in Dallas.

“Tony Romo was not a take charge guy. If Tony were here right now, you’d all be mad at him because he’d be sitting here with a smile on his face,” Ellis said. “That doesn’t mean he’s not trying to win a football game.

“Some guys they take over. Troy Aikman was one of those guys that took assertiveness and was like a coach on the field. Tony Romo is one of those guys that is even keeled and pats receivers on the back and says, ‘Ok guys, that’s all right. Catch it next time.’ Where Troy is like saying some words you probably don’t want to repeat to the guys. Both ways can be successful.

“One way is not wrong, one way is not right. You just have to make sure you’re doing all you can do as a player to help your team.”

Ellis said he thought Russell “had too many people in his ear” and echoed the same sentiment most everyone does with the quarterback or one time or another. Ultimately, Russell’s success or failure will be because of Russell.

“God blessed him with a lot of talent. If he does everything, unturns every stone, then eventually he’ll be one of those great quarterbacks in the NFL,” Ellis said. “On the flip side, if he looks in the mirror and says, ‘I’m really not doing everything I can do to be the best I can be,’ then that’s on him.”

Frye’s message: “I think as you’re in this league more you see how things equal themselves out as the season continues to go on. It can’t be bad the whole time. And a lot of bad stuff has happened. But I think as the season progresses, I think it will even out with some good things.”

More to come . . .


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    testing 1 2 3

  • What a concept!!!

    If your behind in your work, and need to get caught up, get to work early.

    Didn’t know JaGrandslam even owned an alarm clock..

  • LA to TheBay

    Baby steps.

  • DMAC

    Early bird gets the worm and doughnuts!

  • raideringeorgia

    Why did the light finally click on for him? I mean for any job if you think you are NOT getting things done, you stay later, come in early, talk to your boss, and get more help. Damn if I am paid that much, I think I could figure it out.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Anyone see -avid -hites interview with JR? It won’t let me post his name or link. Go to his site.

  • LA to TheBay

    Ellis is by far the best free agent we’ve signed in years.

  • The Big Banana

    So how much more losing does does this team have to endure for him to completely apply himself. What a friggin joke!!

  • Russell must have read the scathing comments in here about him and took it to heart…good job Raider Nation!


  • David White?

  • raideralex99

    What a loser … three years later he figures it out.

    ““What I do in my personal life is not really what’s going on here,” Russell said. “So now you’re trying to tell me I can’t go enjoy my life.”
    LOL now we know why he is so dumb. I bet he had the same attitude going to school … I don’t have to do my homework … I have a life.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    He did an interview 2 hrs ago with J.R.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 2:41 pm
    David White?
    6 times I tried posting the link and his name without anything. I thought I was BANNED. LOL That’s why the 1 2 3 in post 1


    “You know, that was mistakes out there,” Russell said Thursday. “Everybody saw that. Good or bad, take that in stride and learn from it, no matter what it is, and time you go back and put the small things into details, you know, you can just learn from the mistakes and on from them.”

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/raiders/index#ixzz0VMVZSeMf

    this is the voice of the franchise.

    i don’t know he kind of sounds like george bush. and he was president maybe there is hope……. NAH WERE DOOMED!!!!!!

  • exla…

    I just read those words of wisdom from Russell over on that sfgate page.

    All I can say is: WTF?

  • Mistabrown

    Oakglen, is a HUGE Browns fan I wonder if he sparked this protest?

    # 24 Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Browns fans to walk in late for game


  • Mistabrown

    Lets Russell play maybe a blitzing LB will knock some sense into him.

  • inonewordraider

    Let’s start Charlie Frye!



  • Trolls 35 Raiders 0

    Frye’s input is significant because Russell listens to him. When quizzed by the media Thursday about his benching, his development and a series of question regarding his work ethic that have come just about every week, Russell named Frye as someone he talks to for advice.

    Is this ❓ like the blind leading the blind 😆

  • LA to TheBay

    Call me crazy, but I believe him.

    He has to want it for himself though, not attempt to put in work because everyone else says he needs to. Otherwise, he’s just spinning his wheels and ours too.

  • jhill

    Is the guy coming in at 6:30 a good thing or not?

    Most of you say he has the talent but doesn’t put in the work.

    You all know #2 isn’t going ANYWHERE so get over yourselves. Geeze!

    Maybe Seymour, Warren, and some of the other guys kicked his fuggin ass after the game last night? Out with the boys last night and STILL made it in at 6:30?

    Better late that never that the light switch MIGHT be coming on since we are stuck with the guy.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Do you think JaMarcus has the 1st quarter of the playbook yet? Maybe if you tell him it’s a cookbook, he’ll read it.

  • jhill

    I agree with starting Frye. If #2 and Frye have the “connection”, then let Frye start and then see if #2 can take the job from him.


  • Mistabrown

    Jhill, did you Oak & Priest get those sweaters from Jerry yet?

  • The Big Banana

    Russell is leaning on Frye for advice. LOL! Now I’ve heard it all.

  • With the 3rd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select……Taylor Mays, S, USC.

  • raideralex99

    Seriously … is JaMarcus really that dumb?

    Two weeks ago there were reports of him being fined and late for meetings were denied by him … a couple of days later he admits they were true.

    Last week he denies making misreads and bad choices … a couple of days later he admits they were true.

    Holy crap no wonder he can’t make reads on the field … it takes him a couple of days to process it.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    3rd repost due to word press:

    JaMarcus must have found out 6:30 a.m. is when they bring in the doughnuts for the cleaning crew.

  • Trolls 35 Raiders 0

    Mistabrown Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 3:15 pm
    Jhill, did you Oak & Priest get those sweaters from Jerry yet?

    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Haven’t paid there dues to Jerry yet 😆

  • crister

    you’d swear that how he and everyone else talks, russell’s some sort of rookie. the man’s half way through his third professional season already.

    shape up for crying out loud.

  • LA to TheBay

    LMAO! @ Dakota.

  • Here’s some good news!

    We are FIRST in the NFL with….

    Thirty One.

    Three and OUTS.

    Just go Vertical Baby!

  • Mistabrown

    Jhill, when you Oak & Priest put those matching sweaters on I bet you’ll look like Alvin & The Chipmunks.

  • I GUARANTEE we will not lose in week 9.

  • Where the hell are Alisgod and Silver-n-smack? Those guys only post when things go their way or something?

  • Trolls 35 Raiders 0

    Dakota Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 3:37 pm
    I GUARANTEE we will not lose in week 9.

    I 😎 don’t see you 😳 guaranteeing a win 😆

  • the510

    Good for the kid. It could all be gone before he realizes what he had.

  • raidermarty

    He may be Jamarcus but he’s our Jamarcus. He is a RAIDER so I will continue to support him even though he’s freakin killing me!! I know we understand he’s still learning how to be an NFL quarterback but does he understand we RAIDER fans are fed up with losing and wanna get back to WINNING?????

  • Montman

    Let’s face it. It doesnt matter what time this guy comes to work. He will never be a great QB.

    Great QB’s are always good communicators and leaders. Russell seems to be niether. He has never even shown me a hint of either ability.

    Could you imagine if this guy had to do a press conferance every week? How embarasing would that be?

    Love my Raiders, but I didnt like the pick from day one. My wife went out and purchased his jersey right away and was giving me crap for not supporting him. Let me just say she has changed her tune finally. 🙂 ha ha ha, right again! 😉

  • r8drfan247

    Ok.. so we are going into week eight and he just now gets to work early.. You’ve got to be kidding me!!!! I bet he was the first to leave though.. lol

  • NorthernD

    Boston cream, honey cruller, chocolate dipped, french swirls, chocolate eclaires…mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    They’re so much better at 6:30 because they’re still fresh and warm.
    Eat up JaMarcus. Get ’em in ya.

  • NorthernD

    Was he coming in early? Or was he still up from the previous night? Still partying from his “Ride the pine” bash at the JRUSS estate? (B.Y.O.B.—TC not invited)

  • NorthernD

    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 3:08 pm
    Do you think JaMarcus has the 1st quarter of the playbook yet? Maybe if you tell him it’s a cookbook, he’ll read it.
    Maybe if it were a COOKIE book, he might pay more attention.

  • PrideNPoise

    So, here’s my question for Raider Nation… How many more years of abject failure are we supposed to endure as Al’s $32million “project” decides to finally take his responsibilities seriously? I hate to beat a dead horse but the bottom line in my mind is that Al Davis’s ability to assess talent at the draft has been a mess since 2002. We’ve not only given away picks on guys who either can’t play or simply don’t have the desire to – or we’ve just been really unlucky. By this point the Raiders should have enough high picks to be perennial playoff contenders, not “hey, maybe we should look at Tebow?” in 2010…
    Sorry Al, but a familiar mantra comes to mind “Hire a GM”… Parcells, are u out there?

  • JamarcusFork

    HAMarcus Leaf is fat and lazy. Nuff said.