JaMarcus Russell could learn from Michael Vick

Here’s a shock: Michael Vick didn’t work hard when he was a member of the Falcons, or so he admitted in a radio interview with 790AM The Zone in Atlanta.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“There was a lot more I could have done off the field and in the film room that could have elevated my game to a different level,” Vick said. “I was complacent at the time, somewhat lazy, and I settled for mediocrity. I thought what I was doing was enough.”

“Just imagine what I could have been doing if I really would have been applying myself. That’s a regret I have.”

Considering that he’s complacent, somewhat lazy and is settling for mediocrity, I can envision JaMarcus Russell saying the same things about himself in the next couple years when he’s looking for a job outside of the NFL.

Russell’s on-field problems have been well documented. He doesn’t have good mechanics, his decision-making is horrendous and he has never been an accurate passer. But that doesn’t mean he lacks the athletic tools to become a decent starter. If he only applied himself more, then maybe he could make something out of the talent he does have.

The problem is that he’s just like Vick was in Atlanta. He has had everything handed to him in life and he’s never had to work for something he truly wants. He’s lazy, unmotivated and he settles for being a lush because he knows Al Davis will support him no matter how bad he is on the field. But if he would heed what Vick said in the interview, maybe he would take this offseason to try and turn his career around.

Personally, I wouldn’t bet on Russell succeeding. I don’t think he has the work ethic to become a good player and worse yet, I don’t think he cares. I agree that he’s not in the best environment in Oakland, but at some point you have to stop blaming other people and look in the mirror.

But maybe he’ll prove everyone wrong and take this offseason seriously. It took Vick going to jail to realize the opportunity he pissed away in Atlanta, but maybe Russell (who is only 24 mind you) won’t need a life-changing experience to turn his career around in Oakland.

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Russell’s work ethic called into question again

According to a report by the National Football Post’s Michael Lombardi, Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell’s work ethic continues to be called into question.

2. The work ethic of quarterback JaMarcus Russell is still being questioned by many who have worked with him in the past and are working with him now. After he issued a call to his teammates to practice and finish the OTA days strong, he then disappeared and was AWOL on the last day. Russell must learn that talent alone is not going to make him successful. Dedication to becoming a better player is what he needs.

Assuming this report is true (I’m not at Oakland’s practice facility everyday), Russell is in for a wake up call soon enough. I guarantee you if Russell isn’t busting his ass, Jeff Garcia (who the Raiders signed in the offseason) is. Garcia might be an aging vet and limited on the field in terms of arm strength, but he’s incredibly feisty and wants to play.

Russell isn’t long for the NFL if he won’t work. It’ll be interesting to see if more reports like Lombardi’s come to light over the summer once training camp begins.

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