Friday, May 21, 2010

Saints Nation: I'm Glad Sean Payton Shot Down Russell to Saints Talk

Most of you know by now that I'm a big LSU fan. During his time at LSU, I thought Russell was a similar player to what he's been labeled as in the NFL. Overweight, lazy, severely limited in the intangibles departed, and supremely talented. He's so talented, in fact, that he's fooled many into looking past the warning signs. I know Russell had a lot of success at LSU, but his stint with the Raiders is further proof that NFL rookie contracts are ridiculous. I've always hoped he would play well, as a former Tiger, but there's no way I would ever want him on the Saints. In my opinion, the guy is not salvageable. Some people suggested he'd be a great fit for the Saints as a backup, learning under the tutelage of Drew Brees and Sean Payton. The theory is that if anyone get cultivate his talent, it's the Saints. Well, I for one am glad Payton shot that theory down fast enough so that we don't have to discuss it.

Russell's character, pure and simple, does not fit with the Saints' philosophy. If the guy can't get motivated for what, at the time, was the biggest rookie contract in NFL history, how is he going to get motivated by the NFL minimum? Let's face it, that's all a team is going to risk on the guy at this point. If I was Russell, I would ride on into the sunset and retire. Unless he needs more money, somehow. Then, sure, play on a team stupid enough to hand you $300,000 a year to hold a clipboard. Otherwise, what's the point? The guy doesn't really care about playing football, and he's never going to put in the work to be that good. He's gotten by his whole career leading up to the pros playing on his talent alone and it's finally caught up to him. Even if he had a change of heart, who's going to invest in him again and believe in him? He's already demonstrated he has no leadership skills. Sometimes falling in love with a physical specimen is a very dangerous game to play. Just ask Jim Haslett about the time he went out and got TeBucky Jones. A fast safety with size and hitting ability that had no idea how to play football, wrap up on a tackle or catch a football. What a liability he was for the Saints' defense, and at a hefty price. The Saints have gotten to a point where they're an elite team that sports character players with tremendous ability. Pet projects are not something they need to be wasting their time on, because the negatives of adding Russell by far outweigh any positive. You know how far Russell's stock has dropped when I say I'd rather give Chase Daniel a chance. And yes, you heard me correctly. Given the choice between the two, at this point, and at the same price, I'd pick Daniel. You can't teach work ethic and Russell has none. I wish him the best but I believe he is an utter waste of time and I'm glad the Saints feel the same way.