I'll never forget the worst news conference I think I've ever witnessed and it involved Allen Iverson. It involved a player with all the skills in the world not understanding that practicing could actually be a good thing in helping not only himself but the team, something foreign to the traditionally selfish Iverson. He continually ripped on being late or even going to practice. That it's just practice. That as long as he's there for the game is all that matters. Practice is nothing according to Allen Iverson.
As an Oakland Raiders fan, I believe I've been witnessing our "future stud" QB acting like Allen Iverson in the fact he shows up at camp way out of shape and doesn't put in the film time necessary to be a good QB. Jamarcus Russell has all the tools in the world to be a stud NFL QB and could be an All Pro if he worked like a Peyton Manning or Drew Brees does, but for some reason Russell doesn't have the same drive? You would think over $30 mil guaranteed would be plenty of enough reasons to have the drive to come into work at 6 in the morning and be the last one out the door, especially as a 24 year old single young man with no kids.
While at LSU when Russell had to work for something, he kept his body weight in check around 255 lbs and studied like crazy. He had a rock solid relationship with his OC Jimbo Fisher. Fisher learned to make Russell do homework and turn in assignments to make sure he was prepared to play his Pro Style offense. Russell's junior year at LSU he ran the offense to perfection and had a 68% completion percentage. When Russell is conditioned properly, his mechanics are far better and this helps dramatically with his accuracy. The more weight he adds there's a inverse relationship with his completion percentage. When he studies he understands what the defense is bringing him.
It's never been a secret that Russell doesn't like to practice. Russell's never been known to be the first player in and the last to leave. Instead he's always preferred the traditional 9 to 5 shift like most of the players. Last season after Russell's first benching, Charlie Frye was amazed to see Russell in at 7:30 and people thought this was a good sign. Meanwhile Frye were and Bruce Gradkowski were usually in the building between 6 and 6:30. Until Russell learns to "love" practice and is able to devote his time to the team and studying as much tape as the OC, he's never going to become the All Pro QB we all expected him to be upon being drafted number one overall in '07.
The team can step up and do their job, but unless Jamarcus Russell stops Allen Iverson'ing it, he's never going to be a good QB in the NFL. Practice in the NFL is important Russell, please don't be like Allen anymore and improve yourself and this team.