Time for Raiders Russell to Prove His Worth

Leadership can come from many places in the game of football. Ownership takes the lead for the entire organization. The head coach gives the team direction Monday thru Saturday. He puts in the game plan and coaches his assistants. He deals with the media.

But on Sunday afternoon the players can only look to themselves for direction, focus, and leadership. The veterans of the team are usually looked to for this type of leadership. In the case of the Raiders this role must fall upon on one man, JaMarcus Russell.

After having been taken by the Raiders as the number one overall pick two years ago Russell has been brought along very slowly. This was not helped by the fact that Russell had to be held out of training camp as contract negotiations dragged on right up to the beginning of his rookie campaign. Once the contract was completed Russell’s development was further slowed by the fact that Lane Kiffin was not willing to put the young quarterback into game situations until JaMarcus had complete command of the playbook.

Where this leaves JaMarcus Russell as he enters his third year in the NFL is that it is his responsibility to step up and become the leader of this football team. During this off season the Raiders have been very systematic in upgrading their roster by resigning their own free agent players, and bringing in new players that may not become stars but will certainly bring depth and competition to a team that has lack both over the last few years.

Leaders come in many shapes and sizes. They can be vocal or they can be soft spoken that does not matter. What is important is that when the 4th quarter comes and you are down by four with only one time out and the clock in ticking down, your teammates must be able to look you in the eyes and know that you are in command of the situation and that through you the job is going to get done.

Yes, JaMarcus is going to need to get protection from his offensive line but he must be the one to inspire his teammates to lay it on the line for him in order to get that done. He must know the playbook and not only know his own responsibilities but also those of his teammates. He must show courage in the face of adversity.

He must play when others would not be willing to play. When you step on the field your contract does not matter. What does matter is that you are playing for each other. On a football team if you cannot count on the guy that lines up next to you than you are lost. This especially applies to the position of quarterback.

Leadership is not something that can be taught by a coach. It is something that a parent passes on to a child by personal example.

The Raiders have now given this team tools that it can work with to became successful. The coach has given this team a direction a focus and a unity.

It is now time for JaMarcus Russell to step out of the shadows and into the light. This is his team and his time. Let us hope that he is ready but most of all willing to become the leader of this football team as we enter into the 2009 football season.

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4 Responses to “Time for Raiders Russell to Prove His Worth”

  1. Raidmann says:

    Your right.. As long as he has the best line in football,the best running game,the best wr’s,the best D,gr8 specail teams,gr8 coaching,laces out when the ball is hiked,the media off his back,and he loses the will to fumble all the time,have the ball slip out of his man hands,(nfl record),reads his playbook,tries to learn how to read a td,becomes a leader,learns how to throw a ball to the left,or not go down before the hit..(6-7 300lbs???) learn how to throw a 30 yard pass,since NO PASSES in the NFL go 80 yards in the air,and avoid any kind of pressure!!! If he gets all that down he may be ok,tell he’s traded!!!! Can’t believe we passed up on peterson for this fool!!!!!!

  2. Aaronraider13 says:

    Raidmann is a moron. How many 23 year old Qb’s have been to the probowl? Zero. Russell is going to be throwing touchdown passes 6 or 7 years after Peterson is out of the league due to injuries. I am so sick of so called raider fans bashing our young quarterback. The kid is going to be very good if not great. He was the youngest starting quarterback in the league last year. How come that is never mentioned? How did Elway or Marino or Montana look at 23? Pretty pathetic. Raidman is just another mindless idiot getting his opinion from the blohards at BSPN instead of thinking for himself. I don’t know what games he was watching last year, but apparently it was not any Raider games. Russell has this year and next to prove he is the real deal. I am sure he is going to prove Raidman and the fools at SI and BSPN are the dumbasses that we knew they were.

  3. Black Hole Fan says:

    Yes, he must do all of those things, but what happens if our defense is still last against the run – what happens if the owner does something crazy – what happens if the receivers drop passes – will you write another article like this ignoring those realities and blaming Russell for his team’s record?

    When Matt Stafford enters his 3rd year, the Lions will still be in the process of putting together a team will you blame Stafford for all of their problems or will you be more patient with him?

    Just wondering why people like you even write articles without any context?

  4. Black & Silver Jinx says:

    I think Black Hole Fan has misunderstood the point of the article. In my humble and newbie opinion, Mr. Warren seems to be saying that it takes great leadership to command the Raiders and lead them to victory. Will Mr. Russell accept the responsibility of his position and become the badly needed leader of this current team? Can he drop any ego he may have to blend into the the sea of black and silver only emerging as the “head” to the whole body of the Raiders?

    The cliche is true. There is no “I” in “TEAM”, each man in that 53 man roster must accept Jamarcus Russell as the man sent to guide this team to triumph over the opponents. The squad has an obligation to the whole, working together to prevail over the opposing teams they will face.

    Again, the point is leadership. The subject of Black Hole Fan’s rebuttal are issues facing all teams. All teams must tackle; all teams must catch the ball; and all defenses must stop their opponents.