This JaMarcus Russell Interview Is Soul-Crushing

Every morning, the fine folks at Sports Radio Interviews sift through the a.m. drive-time chatter to bring you the best interviews with coaches, players, and personalities across the sports landscape. Today: ex-Raider and substance abuser JaMarcus Russell.

Russell joined KILT in Houston to talk about where he is at currently in his personal life, how he would handle the Oakland Raiders situation differently, and why the public is supposed to believe him that this time around is going to be different.

Where he is at currently in his personal life:
Right now it is at a point where I had a few losses in my family, my godmother, two of my uncles and one of my close friends. All that happened within a year and that kind of took a lot out of me from the beginning of the year and John came through and we sat down and talked. He's kind of been through a lot of similar things in his life so that brings us here today. We have known each other for two months and it's been like I have been knowing him all of my life now.

His thoughts on getting over substance abuse and getting treatment:
Actually that really wasn't the reason that I came here. I just so happened to get caught up in a situation where it wasn't about me. I was kind of caught up in the middle of it, but that is definitely not why I am here. He came to find me after he had heard about my uncles passing or whatever. He wanted to be that guy in my life to help me go from right from wrong. But it was never really about no substance abuse.

What some of the bad situations he was in over the last couple of years:
Bad situations? That is the thing that came up recently. That was kind of it outside of football. It was never an issue with any other thing.

How he would handle the Oakland Raiders situation differently:
From day one, training camp. That is the business side of football and I had to go through that until week two of the season. The thing is they weren't negotiating my contract until training camp started. So it kind of slowed the process, but just by not being there that first training camp I think I missed a lot.

Why the public is supposed to believe him that this time around is going to be different:

I think I have a lot left inside of me to show the NFL and the people out there that I can do it. From the grace of God I didn't get chosen #1 just because. Obviously there was some good things being done that I still have inside of me that has yet to come out.

What the biggest difference was in the jump from college to the NFL and why he wasn't able to make the plays he made in college in the pros:
I would say that the guys that you have around. Dwayne Bowe, Early Doucet, Buster Davis and that young guy, Brandon LaFell, and the tight end, Rickie Dixson, who we had, Justin Vincent as the running back and the front line as a whole. When you have guys that have played that long together, and kind of know each other, and making plays for you that makes your job a lot easier.

What some of the major differences were between college and the NFL:
Instead of going to class every day you are at work all day. In school you would have to go to class, football practice and then study hall. Study hall in the NFL would be practice throughout the day, film time, film session on your own, so it is kind of everybody knows what they are doing because this is their job and this is what they are entitled to.

Whether the pressure to be #1 was reason for his collapse or whether it was the team and offensive system he was in:
I don't think I was down, down like that but there is a lot that comes with being number one. About being a young guy, I was 21-22 when I got drafted, just knowing that this young guy is supposed to be able to take care of everyone on the team because if you look at it as a quarterback, your hand is in everybody's life, whether it is the receiver, the long snapper, the equipment guy, the owner, the head coach, everybody is on you to do your job right and to come out. If it doesn't happen that way then who knows what the offensive coordinator be working on. These other guys are working and that is kind of how it goes as being a quarterback.

This post, written by Tim Gunter, appears courtesy of Sports Radio Interviews. For the complete highlights of the interview, as well as audio, click here.

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