So why has Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell been playing so poorly?
Apparently, he has still yet to embrace the reality of being an NFL quarterback.
Coach Tom Cable called Russell out in the offseason, hoping to push him to take his job more seriously. The team then brought in Jeff Garcia, presumably to nudge Russell toward a higher level of commitment.
And none of it is working.
Boomer Esiason of CBS provided insight regarding the depth of the challenge that the Raiders face.
“I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but it’s come to my attention
that he has been fined heavily already for being overweight and for
being late to meetings,” Esiason said, via Jerry McDonald of the Contra Costa Times. “And, he’s already missed one meeting. I’m
telling you right now, the other 52 guys on that roster are looking at
Tom Cable. They’re looking at Al Davis, and they’re saying we deserve
better than this.
“That’s why every time he goes on the field, what’s
the quarterback’s job — to be the leader of the other men on the field
with them; to inspire them to greater heights. Right now, he is holding
them back. Even though there’s not a great alternative, there has to be
a change at quarterback, especially if he plays poorly today against a
banged up Houston defense.”
Amen to that.
It meshes with Garcia’s recent comments on FOX Sports Radio, and it’s right on the money.
As Peter King said during our visit with Jimmy Roberts at halftime of the Washington-Notre Dame game (and I’m still waiting for that damn latte), if the Raiders are serious about winning this season, they need to call Garcia now and give him the starting job.
As King pointed out off the air, this weekend’s Giants game becomes instantly competitive if Garcia is the quarterback.
Next weekend’s visit from the Eagles would become a lot more intriguing, too.