Ken Stabler Weighs in On the Progress of Jamarcus Russell

Al's WingmanAnalyst IMay 22, 2009

It’s still early but based on mini-camp reports and OTAs (Organized Team Activities) thus far, it is no secret Jamarcus Russell’s passing is horrendous.


By now the cat's out of the bag.  Jamarcus Russell is an inconsistent QB.  He's going to have some good days but by and large, he struggles.


He struggles with accuracy.  He struggles with the playbook.  He's not the locker room leader a QB needs to be (no matter how much he's getting paid, that's a QB's job).


Jamarcus has been an inconsistent passer his entire stretch as a pro.  Not all of it is his fault.  The offensive line has been less than adequate, most of the receivers have been shaky, and the game planning as well as coaching has been questionable.


Still, we know the guy can play.  He did not sit on his hands as a collegiate star at LSU.  His task to “become great” (as are the expectations of being an Oakland Raider QB), however, have been slow and clumsy.


What does it mean to have qualities of Raider quarterback greatness?  Well, let’s start with making your throws.  Jamarcus has arm strength but that does not make him accurate or game savvy.  If he can learn to make his throws, he will gain a lot more confidence in himself and from his teammates and coaches, not to mention Raider fans.


In a recent interview with reporter Cam Inman, Raider great Ken Stabler had this to say regarding the progress of Jamarcus Russell,


“He has all the tools," Stabler said. "He's big, strong, can move around and has a big arm. But from what I understand, the game doesn't come easy to him.


"It came easy to me. I played in much simpler times. Once I learned the system and the great players around me, it was 'go play,' and things came easy for me. Things don't come easy to JaMarcus."


We can always count on Snake for straight shooting.


Jamarcus has a personality as cool as a cucumber.  The problem is he is soaking or rather, basking in his comfortable lifestyle of wealth and really seems to consider football as a secondary hobby right now rather than showing a commitment to showing progress as a professional athlete.


Snake could get away with hardly training at all.  Snake could get away with partying all night, getting no sleep even and coming out the next day and winning a game.  When the game’s on the line, Snake knew he could get it done and most of the time, he lived up to his high confidence level


"I didn't really work at the game. I didn't have to," Stabler added. "The game came easy to me. Once we learned the system, we could play, but you have to look at the people in the system. We had four Hall of Famers on offense.


"I'm the last one to tell somebody about work ethic," Stabler said. "On the field, I worked hard and understood the system. It was old-school, simple football—just go play."


Jamarcus is nowhere near Snake's level in being able to just go out and play, expecting to win. Though, he is demonstrating he likes to party, as evidenced by photos of Jamarcus partying in action currently circulating on the Internet.


Jamarcus also doesn’t have any Hall of Famers around him to lend support to his becoming great.  A “just go play” approach can only take you so far.


Stabler says, "It's….an attitude of refusing to lose, that we'll find a way."


Jamarcus has to find a way to win.  The team’s success is riding on his arm and his ability to make his throws.  He’s had a handful of decent games thus far but unless he takes that weight of winning on his shoulders, it’s going to be another disappointing season for the silver and black in ’09.