While the JaMarcus Russell watch continues, that is the watching to see if he’s benched before Tom Cable is fired, the roster in the locker room continues to believe in their leader(s). At least, that’s what they are saying.
While the fan base and the rest of the world can already see that this marriage between Russell and Cable is bound for divorce at some time in the near future, the rest of the team isn’t letting on that they see the same picture. Maybe, just maybe, that’s the problem.
I’ve been watching the DIY Network quite a bit recently while I await taking ownership of a fixer of my own soon. One thing that I’ve noticed is that it’s much easier to tear down a room than it is to build it–much like it is to write about the Raiders right now.
There’s no doubt that you’ve read plenty of negative stories dealing with the Raiders, and unfortunately there will be more in the coming weeks if they don’t find a way to start winning. It’s the nature of the beast. When you’re winning, you become God-like, and when you’re losing you are beaten into a pulp.
Losing by a historic margin in front of a historic low attendance has a way of beating you down as well. When your starting quarterback comes out and can’t remember his checkdowns on the first play of the game, well you would think that his teammates would lose a little faith too…wouldn’t you?
Go on down the line to the players being asked if they have confidence in Russell. Rookie wide receiver Louis Murphy said, “I’m confident in his play,” Monday following the 38-0 whipping by the Jets. When Cable was asked if Russell gave the Raiders their best chance to win, he bluntly said, “Sure, absolutely.”
Jay Richardson admitted for the team, “We all have confidence in him and confidence in our scheme and what we’re doing.” So to have players on offense, defense, and the head coach in his corner has to give Russell enough confidence to go out and play his game. Doesn’t it?
After the Raiders’ loss, Russell stated that some of his problems since becoming a pro have been ups and downs. Due to his understatement, he was pressed if he meant ups and downs by him or the team. He responded, “I don’t think it’s me personally I really don’t. It’s a bad combination of one guy doesn’t do something right one time. Personally I don’t think so. Do you?”
I’m not sure, but I do think that Russell’s inability to be an average starting quarterback in his third season is mostly on him. Don’t you?