JaMarcus Russell spoke to the Oakland media Thursday for the first time since benched, but the Raiders quarterback didn’t sound like a changed man.
As described by Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, Russell was his usual “off-hand self,” not showing any outward frustration about, well, anything. Russell was definitive, however, when asked about possibly reworking his contract.
“Oh, no. That’s over and done with. I don’t even consider that as a part of it,” Russell said.
He admitted that he was embarrassed by the benching, yet seemed hesitant to give much credit to Bruce Gradkowski for the team’s latest success. Russell was asked what Gradkowski was doing well:
“Now it’s just all around. Guys are just making plays around him,” Russell said. “In the Dallas game after you go out and win in Cincinnati there weren’t plays really made the whole game, you know what I mean.
“Going into Pittsburgh, guys were making plays for him. That’s what a
quarterback needs, his surrounding players. That’s what was going on.”
It was a theme Russell hammered over and over. This was Russell’s response when asked to grade his performance this year:
“Uh, kind of hard because there was times where you try to get guys a
chance to make plays and at the early part of the year, it wasn’t
happening. So the quarterback job, I say he looks for more help around from
everybody because he can’t do it himself. It wasn’t so well, but at
times it was. When we look at film, it don’t be as bad as it seems on
the field always.”
So, basically, it’s not about the quarterback. It’s about the receivers.
It doesn’t appear that Russell’s benching has snapped him out of whatever world he’s living in. But he promises a different player when he gets back on the field.
“A totally different JaMarcus. People going to have their opinion, and I
really don’t pay too much attention to that. I worry about JaMarcus and
You don’t say.