Our beloved Oakland Raiders are sitiing at 1-1 tied for second place is the AFC West. After storming out of the gates against what the "experts" proclaimed was a superbowl bound team in San Diego, we managed to lose the game in typical Raider fashion. Although the loss was disheartening, the Raider faithful were left with a feeling of hope and pride for how well our team played for 4 quarters. The mentality and attitude of the football team had apparently shifted to resemble that of many great Raider teams that have since become but a distant memory. We hit the bed heartbroken and excited for what the season had in store.
Then came week 2. The tough, physical offensive and defensive line play that characterized our team in week 1 disappeared. It seemed as if Trevor Scott and Greg Ellis were the only men who showed up to play on the Raider Defensive front. Both lines were dominated by a tough Kansas City Chiefs team, who quite frankly acted like they wanted it more. It seemed as if one week of being a Raider made Richard Seymour play more like Warren Sapp than the posessed man that showed up in San Diego last Monday. It was as if he moved right into the old locker of the ex-big-mouthed bafoon and immediately adapted his work ethic.
There were some bright spots: Primarily the play of Michael Huff, who after a 3 year hibernation and almost being cut in camp this year, finally figured out how to be in the right place at the right time. Michael Bush proved to be more effective that Darren McFadden and continues to make his case for carrying a larger work load than the nimble back from Arkansas. Cornell Green managed played a much better game this week and made his fortay just getting beat instead of getting beat, false starting and holding. So there is some definite progress there.
And now for the painful reality that no one is talking about. It became extremely apparent to me and anyone else who knows the game of football, that Jamarcus Russell sure looks like he may never be an elite quarterback. He has been through 2 full training camps, and started 17 games in the National Football League and still hasn't learned not to lock onto his recievers. He does not scan the field prior to the snap, or during his 3-5 step drop...he merely locks onto his target and throws into double and triple coverage time and time again. Paul Hackett is an excellent quarterbacks coach and if Jamarcus is still locking onto recievers, it's only because he is too stupid not to. He lacks touch on short passes and he has horrible pocket presence, almost never sensing the rush and stepping up in the pocket to make an accurate throw. Further he hasn't figured out how to throw the ball away when he doesn't have anyone open down field.
While the Silver and Black celebrated there victory at Arrowhead, the real Raider faithful know, unless we find a way to play with the passion that was evident against San Diego in our Monday night opener, it could be a very long season. Louis Murphy and Chaz Schillens will be an electric duo at wide reciever but Jamarcus must settle in and deliver. Somebody better sit Jamarcus down and have a long talk about his future and what kind of player he wants to be remembered as, because he is running out of time quickly