Talent Versus Skill: A Message To JaMarcus Russell From Will (Smith)

GoldieContributor IIMarch 12, 2010

This is neither a congratulatory article for JaMarcus nor is it a critical one. It's more of a letter that hopefully JaMarcus or someone close to him will read. Being from Mobile, AL myself, I was proud of the fact that one of our own was selected not only in the draft but also as a number one pick (even though I didn't want the Raiders to pick a QB). Just like the rest of the Raider Nation, I had high hopes (and still do) for the kid with the rocket arm. Though he hasn't proved himself to be worth a #1 pick or even a first round pick yet, I hope that he is using the off-season to put in the extra work needed to not only regain his starting role but also to be the leader that the team needs.

I won't bother renumerating all the great things people have said of his talent and his potential, because we all know that the guy has the talent. What JaMarcus seems to lack, however, is the skill. I was browsing through my facebook friends and I came across a video that one of my frat brothers found very inspiring. It was a video montage of Will Smith speaking about being successful. As he spoke, I became very reflective of my own life but also thought about the position that JaMarcus is in right now. You can see the video by clicking here. The most important thing that JaMarcus should take from the video was when Will said, "The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft..." and, "...there's no easy way around it. No matter how talented you are, your talent is going to fail you if you're not skilled. If you don't study, if you don't work really hard and dedicate yourself to being better every single day, you'll never be able to communicate with people with your artistry the way you want."

Many of us have said on numerous occasions that JaMarcus lacks the work ethic to be a good NFL quarterback. Will smith said that he never considered himself to be very talented but where he excelled was ridiculous work ethic. If JaMarcus could take a page out of Will Smith's book and combine his god given talent with great work ethic to develop his skill, he could be a truly dangerous weapon in the NFL.

Can someone please get through to this brother?