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Raiders doing Russell no favors

JaMarcus Russell was back in town. Sleek, dedicated, ready to play.

Hey, if Greg Papa can tell from a video that Russell’s face is thinner, who are we to disagree?

That’s what Papa gleaned from the Comcast SportsNet Bay Area “exclusive” in which poor Kate Longworth and a camera man were reduced to chasing alongside Russell to sneak in a few questions about his first offseason conditioning session.

This came a day after Willie Brown talked about the quarterback’s “significant” weight loss and newfound dedication after a difficult 2009.

The Raiders official company line?

No comment. Russell won’t be made available for the team for anything substantial until minicamp.

Seems to me if you’re convinced Russell is a new man, you waste no time shouting it from the rooftops, arranging interviews and photo opportunities to placate a fan base that voiced their displeasure in the form of boos a year ago. Some of these people are on the fence about renewing their season tickets and a little off-season optimism might push them back in the direction of the Coliseum.

There are only two reasons why the Raiders keep Russell under wraps:

1) They’re not convinced. Russell has a lot to make up for, and dropping a few pounds is only just a start. Let him win back his teammates for a few weeks and demonstrate something beyond merely showing up.

This story will play out over time and Russell needs to prove himself before he opens his mouth, although the Longworth interview had worthwhile comic elements.

2) To hell with the media, a longstanding Al Davis tradition. You cover the Raiders long enough, you get to know a lot of former employees in and around the media relations department who are eager to tell you how their hands were tied by a team philosophy. Don’t do anything to help them do the media do their jobs.

As a media member, you get used to it and work around it. But there are times when it does a disservice to the players.

If scenario No. 1 is the reason for keeping Russell away from public view, then why would Brown be on Comcast SportsNet with Papa, who serves as both the team’s voice and pro-Al mouthpiece?

The second scenario is the one that hurts a player like Russell whose public image in the Bay Area in particular could use some shrewd handling.

Take, for example, Russell’s disastrous 2009 season and how it was dealt with.

If it seemed that every game was preceded by a week-long examination of the quarterback position and it’s failings, part of it has to do with the routine of an NFL season and how the the Raiders failed to understand how it works.

Every season I’ve covered the Raiders, quarterbacks have seemed to have an understanding on how to best deal with the publicity demands of the position.

Especially after a bad game, every one of them _ without exception _ would plant themselves in front of their locker on Monday and take questions.

Although he didn’t lose that often, Rich Gannon’s expression was almost defiant, as if to say, `Here I am. Take your best shot.”

Kerry Collins did it, as did Josh McCown, Andrew Walter, Bruce Gradkowski and whoever else had the job.

It wasn’t because they wanted to relive the experience.

They did it because they learned at previous stops that the best way to put a bad game to bed was to be done with it on Monday.

By doing so, their midweek press commitment (usually on Wednesday) became about looking ahead, rather than behind.

Russell almost never talks on Mondays, and decided to hold his weekly press conference in Thursday.

By doing so, after a poor game, the coverage took a familiar tone. On Monday, Russell’s teammates talk about the poor play at quarterback. The player’s day off on Tuesday has residual notes on the same subject. Wednesday might have something different, but on Thursday, Russell finally spoke and the whole issue is dredged up all over again.

Keeping in mind that for print purposes, Monday is for Tuesday, Tuesday is for Wednesday, etc., that means quarterback play becomes a primary focus for nearly the entire week simply because Russell hides out on Monday and doesn’t speak until Thursday.

No one with any clout has sat Russell down and told him how it works.

The Raiders take the position that they don’t owe the media (and by extension, their fans) anything, and operate in a cone of silence, and it’s as painfully inept as the the one The Chief and Maxwell Smart utilized on“Get Smart.”

Which, of course, doesn’t stop the Raiders from feeling persecuted about how the message is conveyed even though they make no professional attempt in conveying it.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • HayesDaze37

    It’s a great day to be a Raiders fan! Isn’t it?

    Did JaMarcus mature as he slimmed down? Did the football immersion program fire-up the “football smarts” part of his brain? Is he ready to handle things more like a man than a big child? Can he win over his teammates? Is he ready to step up to a microphone when one is presented and deliver the right message (regardless of his public speaking skills, or lack thereof)? Can he handle the media, or will they run all over him?

    Lots of questions…but at least JaMarcus has answered the biggest one so far — the one about his commitment to improve. Football smarts is the next question in my mind.

    Although I can only imagine it happening…if JaMarcus actually knows and plays the game well enough to beat-out Gradkowski this summer, the Raiders will have their QB for the next 10 years.

    Welcome back JaMarcus…and good luck.

  • DKnight007

    Dakota Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 1:46 pm
    bcz24 Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 1:37 pm
    Speaking of Andrews… I will be DVR’ing Dancing with the Stars until Erin Andrews gets eliminated.
    ++++++

    No doubt…and with the outfits those dancers wear, well, we can see what that peeping Tom wanted to see from the comfort of our living rooms, with no threat of prosecution whatsoever….she is a looker:

    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/carls064/freealonzo/erin.jpg

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Erin Andrews = OVERRATED!

    There are blond bimbos that look like her everywhere!

  • DMAC

    If Anderson is helping Russell get in shape, who will teach him the playbook?????

  • RaiderRockstar

    I think 40 times are overrated for MLB’s unless they are going to be floating around in coverage 60 percent of the time, like in Oakland

    how many times have you guys seen Kirk Morrison attack the LOS on a run or pass blitz the past 4 years?

    and Danny Clark before him?

    if Morrison finds a new team then Spoon is the guy to replace him.

    Biekert in Oakland. Rey Lewis, Brian Urlacher, Zach Thomas, Jon Vilma, Mike Peterson, Dan Morgan, Keith Brooking, Barret Ruud, Antonio Pierce, etc. none of these cats have/had blazing speed. just solid tackling skills & leadership

  • inonewordraider

    Jathefatblackkidinoldschool has a bad attitude as was evident when answering media questions about Bruce’s performances last year insinuating the Wr’s made plays for Bruce but not for him. I don’t think he’ll ever be good but people can mature and do a 180 so hopefully he proves me wrong

  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    Keeping in mind that for print purposes, Monday is for Tuesday, Tuesday is for Wednesday, etc., that means quarterback play becomes a primary focus for nearly the entire week simply because Russell hides out on Monday and doesn’t speak until Thursday.

    No one with any clout has sat Russell down and told him how it works.

    The Raiders take the position that they don’t owe the media (and by extension, their fans) anything, and operate in a cone of silence, and it’s as painfully inept as the the one The Chief and Maxwell Smart utilized on“Get Smart.”
    ______________________________________
    The Raiders are sooo gawdamned incompetent it makes me sick.

  • DKnight007

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 1:58 pm
    I think 40 times are overrated for MLB’s unless they are going to be floating around in coverage 60 percent of the time, like in Oakland

    how many times have you guys seen Kirk Morrison attack the LOS on a run or pass blitz the past 4 years?

    and Danny Clark before him?

    if Morrison finds a new team then Spoon is the guy to replace him.

    Biekert in Oakland. Rey Lewis, Brian Urlacher, Zach Thomas, Jon Vilma, Mike Peterson, Dan Morgan, Keith Brooking, Barret Ruud, Antonio Pierce, etc. none of these cats have/had blazing speed. just solid tackling skills & leadership

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Agreed! If Morrison gets signed for a 3rd Rounder…..SPOON would be a PERFECT replacement!

  • RaiderDebo

    djohnnyg Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 11:31 am
    If this TRULY is going to be an open competition for QB, then I don’t see Russell being able to beat out ANYBODY for the job. He is THAT BAD, and the NFL has exposed him to be the charlatan he is.

    I would bet that Russell is investing poorly and is spending way too much of his $, based on the thought he will get another big pay day to make up for it. Guess what? That payday will NEVER come.

    Enjoy while it lasts JaJackass
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Oh, I see. Now you’re an expert on his finances. Shut the fk up.

  • HayesDaze37

    40 times for LB’s aren’t overrated.

    Blitzing requires speed. So does running down RB’s (and others) who are technically faster than you. And, it’s not just Oakland where LB’s are asked to fly around in coverage.

    Slow LB’s = fewer Defensive looks/schemes available to a team, and less pressure from all over the field.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Spoon fits exactly what the Raiders would want from a MLB. not sure who else there is later on in the draft, but sometimes Al is pretty good at grabbing late round guys to fit significant roles (Matt Shaughnessy, Trevor Scott, Tyvon Branch, Chaz Schilens, Louis Murphy, Mike Bush, etc)

    Ricky Brown, Jon Condo, Tommy Kelly & Desmond Bryant weren’t even drafted …

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    What about 33 year old Keith Bulluck? With his injury maybe he could be converted into a MLB on a one year incentive laden deal?

  • RaiderRockstar

    40 times for LB’s aren’t overrated.

    ***

    HD37: not all LB’s – just MLB’s (imo)

  • DMAC

    I mentioned that last time Dakota. I would give Bullock a shot.

  • DMAC

    Later fellas

  • HayesDaze37

    KoolKell Says (quoting JMac):

    Keeping in mind that for print purposes, Monday is for Tuesday, Tuesday is for Wednesday, etc., that means quarterback play becomes a primary focus for nearly the entire week simply because Russell hides out on Monday and doesn’t speak until Thursday.
    ______________________________________
    The Raiders are sooo gawdamned incompetent it makes me sick.

    ————————-

    Ummm, KK — Why did you conveniently leave out the part where JAMARCUS DECIDED, himself, that he would talk to the media on Thursdays?

    You’re one of his biggest apologists. Isn’t it up to JaMarcus to man-up and face the media like the rest of his teammates do? How often has JaMarcus snuck out the back door and LEFT HIS TEAMMATES to answer in his stead?

    That’s not the Raiders’ incompetence, bitter man…that’s immaturity…and JaMarcus’ inability to face the scrutiny. All for one and one for all, right? Ummm…only if they all stick around.

    Al Davis gave JaMarcus the world. It’s time for the payoff…and it won’t be Al’s fault, or the Raiders’ fault, if JaMarcus hasn’t got IT figured this year.

    IT includes handling the off-field responsibilities demanded of an NFL quarterback — and I don’t mean using that naughty boy Ben Roethlisberger as an example.

  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    The Raiders take the position that they don’t owe the media (and by extension, their fans) anything, and operate in a cone of silence, and it’s as painfully inept as the the one The Chief and Maxwell Smart utilized on“Get Smart.”

    Which, of course, doesn’t stop the Raiders from feeling persecuted about how the message is conveyed even though they make no professional attempt in conveying it.
    _____________________________________
    This guy needed to be with a professional organization.

  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    That country Alabama kid needed to be with an organization that could teach him how to be an NFL QB, not the Raiders.

  • HayesDaze37

    KK — Do you have any idea how many people advised him to speak more (or less) to the media? NO. Just another example how you’re the quickest to blame Al for every problem in the universe. That fact alone ruins your credibility.

  • Senior Beeecham

    Krappy, before you start posting your wack-a-doodle nonsense again today, make sure Jhill is on the blog to protect you!

    You admitted yesterday that you can no longer stand up for yourself, so having Jhill – a semi-pro blogger – around to be your Daddy is essential!

    Don’t risk hurting yourself again, old dude!

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    KoolKell Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 2:33 pm
    That country Alabama kid needed to be with an organization that could teach him how to be an NFL QB, not the Raiders.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    You referring to Stabler?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Keith Bullock is only 6’3″ 235 lbs.

    that’d be like having Derrick Brooks play MLB …

    a ton of leadership, but not much else

  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    HayesDaze37 Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 2:36 pm
    KK — Do you have any idea how many people advised him to speak more (or less) to the media? NO. Just another example how you’re the quickest to blame Al for every problem in the universe. That fact alone ruins your credibility.
    ___________________________
    Go whine to Jerry, it’s his story.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Trade DMAC for a ton of leadership!

  • RaiderDebo

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 1:38 pm
    Mistic: Vasher can’t be a worse nickel corner than Routt imo

    worth a look anyways, but might not have the height/weight/speed Al Davis looks for in a DB

    I’d give former first rounder Tye Hill a call too
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Nathan Vasher????? That guy sucks! He’s not half the player that Routt is. What Chicago games were you watching?? Wouldn’t mind taking a look at Hill, but please, no more talk about Vasher.

  • RaiderResurrection

    Nowadays you need you MLB to be 250-260 pounds. Too much size inside

  • RaiderRockstar

    What Chicago games were you watching??

    ***

    none. I just know he’s a former starter & pro bowler from a defense thats been very good over the past 5-10 years that got dumped today

    figured we could use some depth at CB…

  • RaiderRockstar

    5pm in Podunk. later gents!

  • Raiders4eve

    ok, i havent been in here for few days now. I will drop my two cents in the new JR look. JR needs to drop the weight. As we know perception becomes reality in most cases, if your peers see you as a slacker, then u might be one. Also the main important thing is that he wins the competition, cause i seriously think if he misses many passes and looks sloppy as Jerry reported it last year training, then he will get cut. AL Davis thought Andrew Walter was the franchise QB, then what happened, gone!!!
    JR also will get cut, just like him.

    What i dont understand is why aren’t we signing any free agents, we need Mawae, Lilja is gone to the thiefs, Chester Pitts is still available or Bobbie Williams. We need to sign a center and RG. Walker i believe is unrestricted and he doesnt fit ZBS, he only had one good game matter fact one good push in the Broncos game and as usual Raiders fans hype him up. Walker is garbage RT, he cant play RG or LG. I don’t think Chris Morris, Erik Pears and Carslie shouldn’t be in this team. Satele debatable.

  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    Yeah, I think the Center position is shakey, too. But a rookie probably won’t work.

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    Bulluck is too small for that huh, bummer.

  • Raiders4eve

    Potential draft

    1. Trent Williams OT
    2. Brandon Spikes MLB
    3. Linval Joseph NT
    4. Mitch Pietrus G
    5. Roddrick Muckelroy LB
    5. Trindon Holliday WR/KR/PR
    7. Matt Clapp FB

  • Raiders4eve

    You know why SD Chokers released Jamaal Williams? They plan to draft a NT Mt Cody. Guarantee.

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    Tebow has been invited to the NFL draft set…holy smokes, he better bring a sleeping bag because he sure as heck isn’t going in the first round!

  • RaiderDebo

    Raiders4eve Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 3:01 pm
    ok, i havent been in here for few days now. I will drop my two cents in the new JR look. JR needs to drop the weight. As we know perception becomes reality in most cases, if your peers see you as a slacker, then u might be one. Also the main important thing is that he wins the competition, cause i seriously think if he misses many passes and looks sloppy as Jerry reported it last year training, then he will get cut. AL Davis thought Andrew Walter was the franchise QB, then what happened, gone!!!
    JR also will get cut, just like him.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Dude, forget the comparison to Andrew Walter. And when did Al Davis ever say he was the franchise QB? AW never got $40 million. Just forget about JR getting cut. It’s not going to happen.

  • buckeyeraider

    Kell,
    Hostility towards the media has always been part of the way Al Davis operates. They are viewed as the enemy. It’s part of his “us against the world” mentality. Al is always off jousting with windmills. When the Raiders were winning it was part of their “mystique”. Remember Raiders officials cursed at and kicked Irv Cross off the field while he was Live on the air during warmups for SB XVIII!
    When they are losing like they have been the last seven years, the media hits back. Al has called Mortensen and Schefter “rumor mongers” and professional liars. ESPN has responded in kind by piling on the Raiders with mocking derision. The Raiders take 10 times more crap than the Rams, Lions, Chiefs or any other struggling franchises. Everybody lines up to take their shots at the bully when he has fallen.
    A wise man once said don’t get get in a mud slinging contest with people who buy ink by the barrel.

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    Fargas now begging the Saints for a job.

  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    Buckeye,

    Exactly. But, that was then, this is now. I agree with Jerry, it’s counter-productive and unecessary. By doing so, they allow Russell to be unaccountable.

  • RaiderDebo

    buckeyeraider Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 3:17 pm
    Kell,
    Hostility towards the media has always been part of the way Al Davis operates. They are viewed as the enemy. It’s part of his “us against the world” mentality. Al is always off jousting with windmills. When the Raiders were winning it was part of their “mystique”. Remember Raiders officials cursed at and kicked Irv Cross off the field while he was Live on the air during warmups for SB XVIII!
    When they are losing like they have been the last seven years, the media hits back. Al has called Mortensen and Schefter “rumor mongers” and professional liars. ESPN has responded in kind by piling on the Raiders with mocking derision. The Raiders take 10 times more crap than the Rams, Lions, Chiefs or any other struggling franchises. Everybody lines up to take their shots at the bully when he has fallen.
    A wise man once said don’t get get in a mud slinging contest with people who buy ink by the barrel
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Very true. Personally, I like Davis’ approach. The “me against the world” mentality is one of the biggest reasons I’m a Raider fan.

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # KoolKell Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    HayesDaze37 Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 2:36 pm
    KK — Do you have any idea how many people advised him to speak more (or less) to the media? NO. Just another example how you’re the quickest to blame Al for every problem in the universe. That fact alone ruins your credibility.
    ___________________________
    Go whine to Jerry, it’s his story.
    ===============================

    NOT WHAT HE SAID, DOOFUS.

    Jerry reported that JR STUPIDLY WAITS UNTIL THURSDAY.

    Your ignorant ass then comments it’s the Raiders fault.

    HazeInATotalPermanentDaze informed you your dumbass has comprehension problems.

    You, in a permanent state of stupor, verified that comprehension is the least of your problems with the idiot “See Jerry, it’s his story”

    You always thought dropping out in the 3rd grade wouldn’t come back and bite ya…it has…in spades.

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # RaiderDebo Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Very true. Personally, I like Davis’ approach. The “me against the world” mentality is one of the biggest reasons I’m a Raider fan.
    ========================
    Of course you like his approach, Oakglen…you’re an idiot.

    Everything about you screams IDIOT.

    Your ignorant ass is too slow to figure out that it’s a figure of speech..that at the moment Al is everyone’s commode..and everyone is taking a dump on him.

    Oh…and you too, lol…considering you just commented how you’re not a Raider fan, but a “I’m an insecure fat little toad..I hope wearing this silly pirate shirt will stop the girls from kicking my ass”

    Sorry it didn’t work out for you, cross posting loser.

    No…really..I am. :)

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    Kelli?? told ya..I’m worried about ya.

    One listing? And it’s been stagnant for over 6 months?

    And you have nothing else?

    You ever think of getting…like..a newspaper route or something? Help the wife out with paying the bills?

    I know..telemarketer…people prefer women call and with your high pitched squeal of a voice, you’re a shoo-in.

  • inonewordraider

    Chargers gonna snatch Cody all the more reason to get Williams at #8

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    JaMarcus Russell being on the Raiders’ roster IS PROOF that Al Davis cares more about showing people up than he does winning. Al doesn’t want to cut Russell and prove Kiffin right. Come up with a better theory.

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Yamon Figurs…

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    There’s no better reflection of an owner’s sheer want of winning than how much they in fact do win.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Saying Al Davis wants to win more badly than any owner in the game is like saying Louie Anderson wants to be skinny more than any other comedian.

  • Senior Beeecham

    “I agree with Jerry … ”

    - KrappyKell, 3/17/10

    Smart move, Krappy. By meekly agreeing with Jerry (all of sudden), you don’t have to beg Jhill to stand up for you against a blog writer!

    This would be, of course, in the unlikely event Jerry decides to attack your “character”.

    Well done, you racist plagiarsit, you’ve smartly saved yourself from possible further humiliation!

    Is it possible that this late in life you’re finally getting it?

  • DKnight007

    inonewordraider Says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 3:37 pm
    Chargers gonna snatch Cody all the more reason to get Williams at #8

    ^^^^^^^^
    If they pick Dan Williams at 8, then it will be a must to go OT in Round 2 or 3….without a doubt!

    1. DT
    2. OT
    3. LB, RDE, or KR.

    Going OT with the 8 pick may be the better option…

    1. OT
    2. DT
    3. LB, RDE, C, KR
    4. RDE, OT, C KR

    I think there is more depth in the DT positions than elite OT positions this year.

  • Seymour Bush

    Wacky, you back again? Since you “own” the business you can now come here again and troll right? hahahahaha! What a worthless lying POS!

  • Seymour Bush

    What wack-o-cheeit means when he says he owns the business is he lives with his mom and his step dad, and he sleeps on a cot in the garage.