JaMarcus Russell Is Stepping Up His Game, On and Off the Field

Paula LehmanCorrespondent IJune 29, 2009

ALAMEDA, CA - MAY 08:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders drops back to pass the ball during the Raiders minicamp at the team's permanent training facility on May 8, 2009 in Alameda, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Oakland Tribune reported this morning that JaMarcus Russell has called his fellow QBs, along with the team's wide receivers and tight ends, to a special practice preceding training camp in Napa.

Russell wants to make sure the offense is on the same page going into the 2009 season.

But perhaps it's more than that. Russell is definitely in a defensive position with veteran Jeff Garcia vying for a starting position. Or maybe Russell is simply living up to the expectations set upon him when he was drafted in 2007.

Many doubted Russell's ability, while physically prepared, to translate his college game into NFL prowess when he was drafted. But now in his third season, Russell is showing signs of taking the reins and pushing his team forward.

With the potential of signing new draftees Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Mitchell, and Russell's continual progress in strength and accuracy, the stars seem to be aligning in favor of the 2009 Raiders.

What they need now is management, discipline, and leadership. New head coach Tom Cable should help in all three departments, but now it appears Russell is taking steps to get his team in shape as well.