Cable wants Russell to work harder

March, 24, 2009
3/24/09
9:24
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

DANA POINT, Calif. -- Among the best excerpts of the Tom Cable availability session at the NFL owners' meeting Tuesday were his thoughts on Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

Cable wants to see Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, take the next step in his career. It was obvious from watching Russell's first season as a starter in 2008 that improvement needs to be made and Cable will make it a priority. It seems Cable wants to see Russell's work ethic improve.

"If he can accept the responsibility of being an NFL quarterback, I think that's working more, working harder, working longer than everybody else, accepting the responsibility that his teammates look to him as the face of the organization, that he has to go above and beyond almost on a daily basis, I think that comes with that position," Cable said when asked about what he wants to see from his quarterback. "Whether that's right or wrong, that's what it is, if he can accept that and becomes that, he'll be fine. He'll be great, I think. Has he done that? I think during the last six weeks he started to, during the season."

Cable said Tuesday that Russell has been spending more time at the Raiders' facility watching tape and studying.

"I think he has to embrace that, though, for him to be what he should be," Cable said.

Cable has confidence in Russell because he believes he wants to be great.

"He's very driven," Cable said. "I think he's a very passionate guy. He's certainly very motivated to not be a failure, to not be the kid from Mobile that couldn't get it done, all the hoopla, all the this and that. He doesn't want to be that. He wants to be the guy."

It seems that Cable is committed to working with Russell to help him become great. Cable's words may come off as harsh, but if Russell is going to turn the corner, he is going to have to face his issues and improve. And it appears his coach is ready to work with him.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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