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JaMarcus Russell: A Fire Without a Blaze?

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders in action  against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Josh BroudyCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2010

I don't know what JaMarcus Russell is like off the field. He may have a good personality, I don't know. 

But we all know what he's like on the field. That's why JaMarcus deserves the title of Least Valuable Player .

Why is JaMarcus deserving of that title? 

Not only is he a terrible starting quarterback at this point, he shows no intensity. He shows no fire. I've never seen him really get mad on the field. I've never seen him show the competitiveness that he needs to show.

He hasn't bashed himself like he should. Instead, he's turned to his teammates.

He showed his youth and immaturity by publicly blaming his teammates for dropping balls and not giving him any help what so ever—partly true. Later that season, he publicly stated that he wouldn't take a pay cut to remain with the team.

You just don't publicly bash your teammates. That's how you lose support in the locker room. If you lose the locker room as a quarterback, you're done. That's it.

That's how it was for JaMarcus Russell. It shouldn't have happened, though.

When you are the quarterback, and things are going less than stellar on the field, you have to be mentally strong. If the crowd is booing you like they've never booed before, dig deep. If they are screaming expletives, dig deeper. 

That's the problem. Russell never digs deep mentally. He never overcomes his failures. A lot of his issues are his fundamentals.

But much of it is his persona and how he leads his team.

Russell doesn't have any swagger to him. When I watch him in the game I don't see the starting QB of the Oakland Raiders.

I see a guy who doesn't know what he's doing out there. I see a guy who doesn't take control of his huddle. Most of all, I see a guy who doesn't have an identity.

All the great quarterbacks bring something special to the table. Phillip Rivers is known for his arrogance. Peyton Manning is know for his command. Tom Brady brings his relatively quiet confidence.

But what does JaMarcus Russell bring? 

Relatively nothing.

All he is at this point in his career is a large athlete. He's not a QB.

Not yet, at least.

Remember, you still need some substance to start fire. Then, you have to keep it lit.

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