Sweet Home Alabama, Where Russell Took His Crew

Panty Raider AKA Big RaidCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 30: JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the Kansas City Chiefs during an NFL game on November 30, 2008 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

After much speculation hesitation and exasperation, Raider fans have their first glimpse a first true word as to which receivers followed their leader third year Quarterback Jamarcus Russell down to sweet home Alabama for a week of pass catch and chat. The receiver not there, Raiders 1st round draft pick and hopeful down field threat Darrius Heyward-Bey. DHB spoke with pro football weekly about his absence. Heyward-Bey explained to PFW that he was unable to attend the workouts while he continues recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him out of almost all of mini camps and OTAs.I highly doubt that the Raider organization would have allowed Bey to risk further injury on a non-sanctioned camp anyway.

Bey has a positive outlook on his current situtaion stating the injury has allowed him to get the undivided one on one attention of his position coach.

“I look at (the injury) as a blessing in disguise,” he said. “I have a chance to work more with my wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal, and be here at the (Raiders') complex and really work on the things that I need to work on and get that one-on-one attention that every young receiver needs.”

That to me is a testament to Bey's character, making the most of his situation. He is 100% correct. The time he is spent with Lal will mean a great deal more than being at Russell's Pass catch and chat this season due to his injury. Spending the time with Lal while rehabbing going over the playbook, learning terminology expectations etc as well as building a bond with his position coach will have as much to do with him hitting the field catching and running touchdowns as would his attending Russell's " annual" pass catch and chat. Hint Hint Jamarcus..

Who did attend? Good question. We're all aware of the NFL live on air shot at Russell's leadership having only a couple rookies, and a single returning non-starter attend his camp. The comment based on a leak showed how successful Jamarcus and the Raiders were in keeping the media out of their plans and out of their faces. However according to Heward-Bey, there is no need for worry, no cause for concern.. In his interview with Profootball Weekly (http://www.profootballweekly.com/2009/07/18/injury-keeps-heyward-bey-from-russells-workouts) Bey makes the statement that I trust and believe in after all his is on the team..
“I have been here in Oakland rehabbing, but the rest of the guys are out there linking up … to make sure we get that chemistry going,” said Bey.

If NFL Live can run with the ridiculous idea that Russell's leadership is at question from only a small lead on 3 players who attended Russell's camp. I am going to go with the idea that "ALL" needed skill players that were physically able to were there since word from an ACTUAL member of The Raider organization said so..

The pieces of the puzzle are coming together, notice has been served.