When QB JaMarcus Russell didn’t turn up at the first day of the Raiders’ voluntary offseason workouts Monday, it created a buzz. As it turns out, Russell had been excused to tend to personal business.
Russell showed up , the team confirmed, although his “new” body couldn’t be seen because the Raiders aren’t making him available to the media.
Raiders director of squad development Willie Brown told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area during an interview Monday that Russell was closing on a new home in Alabama and promised that when he did show up on Tuesday, a different quarterback would appear.
“You’ll be surprised when you see him,” Brown told Raiders play-by-play announcer Greg Papa on Chronicle Live. “It’s quite a bit of weight that he’s lost. … I don’t want to pin it down and say how much he lost, but it will be a significant difference when you see him compared to last year. The most important thing is he’s getting in shape. Not only losing weight but getting in shape.”
Brown also confirmed an earlier report that Russell has been working out at the Athletes’ Performance training facility in Tempe, Ariz., while also noting that the Raiders assigned a former player who has been with him to monitor his progress.
“A lot of people don’t understand what JaMarcus has gone through in the last year,” Brown said. “JaMarcus has done all the right things. … I guarantee you this: He’s totally different from last year because of the things he went through.