JM Steps Up As Coach Serves Kool Aid

Stewart UptonContributor IDecember 19, 2008

Well, it's starting to happen. 

This week during media interviews that JaMarcus Russell showed up to, he mentioned that he was going to be talking to the interim head coach Tom Cable about the playing time of Darren McFadden

Cable, who serves-up Kool Aid regularly to the media since taking over, explained that the absence of McFadden from the first half of last Sunday's game was because he wasn't in the 'script' the coaching staff had written. 

OK, let me just point something out here. 

Bill Walsh scripted the first couple sets of downs for his San Francisco 49ers offense, Mike Shannahan does it for the Denver Broncos and now you see how effectively it works for Mike Smith and the Atlanta Falcons offense. 

Someone needs to explain to Cable that when you reference a script for the opening of an NFL game it requires that you actually have the team come to practice and physically run through the plays rather than taking a week off in-between the San Diego and New England game. 

McFadden, when healthy, is a game changer on the field and defenses must account for him. This alone should have had him in Cable's Kool Aid script. 

Russell is in charge and responsible for the offense; his salary and position dictate this. 

You didn’t see Dan Reeves sticking around Denver when John Elway didn’t want him. You want to know who the next coach of the Raiders is going to be…someone who gets along with JaMarcus (oh, and ahhh Mr. Al Davis as well of-course). 

With Russell finally stepping up to be the leader on the offense, he will provide the continuity needed. 

Russell is still a long way from becoming Payton Manning or even his Brother Eli Manning in dissecting the opponents’ defense, but he is improving and he is going to reach the point in the next couple of years that will make the determination upon which he is judged a success or failure. 

Next we need to see Russell getting in the face of false-start linemen and wide receivers that either don't run their proper routes or lack the heart needed on the field and on game day. 

Russell must also start putting the ball within reach of the receivers and stop hanging his receivers out to dry on some of the passes he throws as future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzales of the Kansas City Chiefs pointed out to Raiders' Tight End Zach Miller. 

Russell has no choice but to start stepping up in his words and actions or he will simply become a bad draft choice who should not have gone at No. 1. 

Not putting the time in watching tape or with your receivers as well as continuing to be overweight are not good signs.