“Life Coach” gives up on JaMarcus Russell

Oakland Raiders quarterbacks Bruce Gradkowski (L) and JaMarcus Russell are shown sitting on the bench against the New York Jets during their NFL football game in Oakland, California October 25, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)

You know things are bad when your life coach gives up on you. My life coach still won’t return my calls and to this day, getting to sleep at night doesn’t come without a great degree of difficulty.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Jason Cole, JaMarcus Russell’s “life coach” John Lucas has cut ties with the biggest bust in NFL history. Lucas was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1976 NBA draft and is renowned for helping athletes with addiction and personal problems. But apparently even he has thrown his hands up when it comes to Russell.

Russell, 25, and Lucas had been working together since September in hopes of getting Russell into shape for a return to the NFL. The aforementioned sources say Russell, released by the Oakland Raiders last May, initially worked hard, but quickly lost motivation. Recently Lucas tired of trying to get Russell, the top pick in 2007, to respond to instruction and assistance.

In addition to Lucas, TNT analyst and former NBA star Charles Barkley tried to motivate Russell, according to one of the sources. Both Barkley and Russell are from Alabama, prompting the Hall of Famer to take an interest in Russell.

“The title of your article should be, ‘It’s Over,’ ” the same source said. “It’s just amazing that you could say that about somebody who is 25 years old and just got drafted four years ago. But it’s been almost a year since he got cut and there’s no interest. Even before the lockout, nobody wanted to get near the kid.”

It’s funny, if this kid couldn’t throw the ball 70 yards nobody would give a damn about his career. It’s admirable that John Lucas devotes his time to helping athletes but as we all come to realize in life, some people just aren’t worth the trouble. I’m not trying to be cruel here. I just think that if people aren’t willing to help themselves and then they spit on the efforts of others who are trying to help them then why bother?

Did anybody stop to think whether or not Russell really wanted a life in the NFL? Just because he was blessed with a rocket launcher for an arm doesn’t mean he wanted to be a football player. We all shake our head and call him a waste of talent but it’s pretty clear that whatever is in guys like Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, clearly isn’t in Russell. He just doesn’t want it, so let him go drink cough syrup or whatever he else he does in his free time and move on.

If Russell had a serious problem and was a danger to himself or others, I would be singing a different tune. But as far as I can tell, he’s just another lazy person who doesn’t want to work for anything. Sadly, he’s not the only one who is like this and he won’t be the last.

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Al Davis puts down Calvin Johnson

Listen, don’t talk to Al Davis about no Calvin Johnson. Because while drafting JaMarcus Russell may have been a mistake, it’s not like that lousy Megatron has helped the Lions win many games over the years.

Or so says Davis.

From Mlive.com:

Here’s what Davis said about Oakland’s recent draft success:

“I think we’ve been very successful the last four. I think we’re always pretty good. The thing that hurt, is the question someone asked, JaMarcus hurt a great deal. But the ones they wanted to take instead of JaMarcus, Brady Quinn, hasn’t played yet.

“There was some talk of Calvin Johnson. But you can take a look at Calvin up at Detroit. How many games did they win this year, Detroit, do you know? Six? Yeah. But up until now, Calvin hadn’t done anything for them. He had been eulogized, but he hadn’t made a lot of indelible impression on the won and lost. Listen, someone asked the question, it’s there. The JaMarcus thing hurt.”

Oh, brother. Only Al Davis could admit to a mistake but then try to rectify it by saying something stupid.

Hey, I blew it by drafting JaMarcus Russell but it’s not like anyone else that we wanted panned out – especially that Calvin Johnson kid. After all, football is a one-man sport and Johnson only helped the Lions win six games last year so it’s not like he would have helped. And don’t forget people, we drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey two drafts later so we got our own Calvin Johnson eventually.

Johnson has 4,191 yards and 33 touchdowns thus far in his promising career. Russell is out of the league already. Big difference.

Redskins working out JaMarcus Russell – yes, that JaMarcus Russell

Dec 13, 2009; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell (2) reacts after a sack as Washington Redskins defensive tackle Kedric Golston (64) and defensive lineman Lorenzo Alexander (79) look on at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Redskins defeated the Raiders 34-13. Photo via Newscom

The Washington Redskins’ quarterback situation has gone from interesting, to absurd, to ludicrous in the past 72 hours.

With just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter against the Lions on Sunday, head coach Mike Shanahan benched Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman despite the Skins only being down one score. On Monday, Shanahan said that McNabb didn’t have enough “cardiovascular endurance” to run his two-minute offense, which is why he went with Grossman.

Today, Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston is reporting that the Redskins will work out free agent JaMarcus Russell, who has been working out in Texas in hopes of returning to the NFL. This is the same Russell who just had codeine possession charges dropped last week.

Now, Russell may be in the best shape of his life but he’s still JaMarcus Russell. He may have seen the error of his ways and has now committed himself to the game of football, but he’s still JaMarcus Russell.

I know the Skins haven’t officially signed him yet, but why? Why JaMarcus Russell?

Maybe I’m looking too much into this, but it’s clear that Shanahan’s confidence in McNabb is disintegrating. He said that McNabb is still his starter, but you don’t bench your starter with the game on the line in favor of Rex Grossman and then turn around and work out one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history during your bye week. Again, maybe I’m reading too much into the situation and there’s a possibility that McNabb’s health status is in question but how good is Donovan feeling about his current situation? He hasn’t fully picked up Shanahan’s offense yet, but it’s only been seven games.

Michael Wilbon wrote yesterday that this will be McNabb’s first and last year in D.C. Seeing as how Shanahan is about to bring JaMarcus Russell in for a work out, I’m not going to question Wilbon’s theory.

JaMarcus Russell is still clueless

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders walks off the field against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Former No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell recently appeared on Showtime’s Inside the NFL and admitted that he made some mistakes that led to the Raiders’ releasing him last May.

Of course, he doesn’t know what those mistakes were, but he’s taking full responsibility for them.

From USA Today:

“Now looking back on it, I could have went about certain things different,” Russell said.

What specifically did he do wrong?

“I am not sure,” Russell told Showtime interviewer Josina Anderson. “I don’t know where they went wrong. But the things that did go wrong I take full blame for whatever was my fault, and the things that did happen. Being drafted No. 1 there are so much that they want you to do at a snap of a finger. It didn’t happen that way which brings us to today.”

That doesn’t sound like a guy who knows he messed up and is now taking the appropriate steps to ensure he doesn’t make the same mistakes twice. This sounds like someone who is trying to tell everyone what he thinks they want to hear in order to get what he wants (i.e. another chance at the NFL). Just based on his statement above, it seems like Russell doesn’t have the faintest idea how he got to the position he is today.

Here’s the real kicker:

The former LSU product told Fox he knows “for a fact” that he will return to the NFL. “I can’t say when, but until it happens I am going to stay here in Houston and continue to work out each and every day no matter how long it takes,” he said.

Russell told Showtime he will not consider playing in the UFL and brushed off a question about whether he would consider playing a position other than QB.

“I am not going to speak on that,” he said. “I am a quarterback.”

He knows he screwed up and that teams want nothing to do with him because they know he’s a malcontent, yet he basically says he’s above playing for the UFL and switching positions.

Good luck, JaMarcus. You’re going to need it.

Freeman: Russell may have used the syrup to ease the pain of being a bust

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 15:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders looks on against the Kansas City Chiefs during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 15, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Mike Freeman of CBS Sports writes that maybe the reason JaMarcus Russell used/drank codeine syrup was for relief of the criticism he often faced from the media and fans while playing in the NFL.

My experience covering the NFL for two decades is that players use drugs or their facsimiles for the same reason non-athletes do: for some sort of relief.

Russell was a bust, a terrible bust, and totally unprepared for the rigors of NFL life, but he was still human. Russell likely heard what was said about him by media and fans (much of it deserved). His plunge into eternal bust-dom might’ve led to Russell easing the pain with this cheap drink while believing the chances of getting caught were small.

“The subjective effects [of using codeine] are quite hard to describe beyond the word euphoria,” writes the site Opioids.com. “The sedation associated with codeine is quite a lot less than that experienced with morphine or other stronger opiates. A strong feeling of contentment is usually also experienced. Most people enter a phase where you become quite content and tend to lose interest in their surroundings.”

Wouldn’t you want to lose interest in your surroundings if you played for the Raiders?

I couldn’t disagree more. I think Russell sipped on syrup because he’s a massive idiot and not because he sought some form of relief. Nobody should feel sorry for this clown, who made more money than most of us will make in a lifetime for doing nothing. He’s unmotivated, he’s lazy and he used his God-given talents to become rich. And while I’m the first to admit that I often refer to the Raiders’ organization as a “circus,” most fans would love the opportunity to play for a NFL franchise – any NFL franchise.

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