Raiders coach Hue Jackson acknowledged some of the issues raised by JaMarcus Russell during his three-year stay in Oakland, while at the same time saying they weren't the reason he was waived.

Russell told Sports Illustrated he had trouble staying awake during meetings because of sleep apnea and that he had 11 friends or relatives die during his time with the Raiders. He said he felt he didn't get support from his teammates or former coach Tom Cable.

Jackson was named Raiders offensive coordinator in late January 2010, with Russell being released on May 6, fewer than two weeks after Jason Campbell was acquired from Washington.

Jackson said he was told by Russell of the sleep apnea and "some of the things he'd gone through, but that's not the reason he's not here. I think there were several other factors, things that we don't need to get into."

Raiders owner Al Davis, who died Oct. 8, made the decision to waive Russell, later alluding to "personal problems" at the news conference announcing Jackson's hiring as head coach Jan. 17 this year.

Jackson called Russell a "good young man," hoped he would get another chance to play in the NFL and said he saw improvement in their time together.

"I thought he got better, but was he as good as he needed to be?" Jackson said. "Obviously not, because we made the decision to move forward. I wish him nothing but the best."


Advertisement

  • Jackson attempted to impart some common sense to any players who were of a mind to get wild and crazy during their bye week. Several players were headed to the airport for four days of rest, relaxation and whatever that entails.

    Players were told, "You represent this organization and this team and don't do anything stupid that will cost you not to be a member of this football team, that's first and foremost."

    Jackson also told players to spend time with friends and to think about their individual and team goals with the Raiders in the thick of the AFC West race at 4-3.

    "It's a pivotal point for the team," defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. "We can build upon some things that we did, and also learn what we need to do to get better."

  • Running back Darren McFadden and free safety Michael Huff are among players expected to remain in the area to rehab injuries.

    Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy, placed on injured reserve last week with a shoulder injury, said on his Twitter account he was having surgery.