The paper reported that Russell was not at the team’s facility Monday. Even worse, the paper quoted an unnamed player as saying Russell's situation is “a horror show.”
This year is Russell’s last chance in Oakland after he was replaced last year as the starter by Bruce Gradkowski.
Actually, my biggest problem is not that Russell skipped the first day of the conditioning program. My issue is how it is affecting his teammates. It is clear they don’t believe in him.
It is amazing how the offense responded to Gradkowski’s leadership when he took over last November.
Physically, his absence may not be a huge deal. Russell has been working on his weight and his quarterback fundamentals in Arizona. No matter where he works, he needs to get better.
But, ultimately, if Russell’s teammates don’t believe in him, an improved body and fundamentals will mean little.
I won’t be surprised if Russell eventually shows up this spring for the offseason program. Russell’s biggest task will be to convince his teammates they can win with him.
He didn’t help himself in that cause Monday.