JaMarcus Russell today refuted Boomer Esiason's weekend report that the Raiders quarterback had been fined by the team for missing meetings.
"Not at all," Russell told reporters this morning when asked if he had indeed been fined.
Asked if he was aware of Esiason's comments, Russell, making his first media appearance of the week, shrugged.
"Actually I haven't heard it," he said. "That's a first for me. I don't really play into that and I don't have any truth to missing a lot of meetings because I'm the guy that needs to be in there and know what it takes for the guys around, so I don't really play into all of that."
Russell was also asked if it hurt him to have such purportedly erroneous reports floating around.
"People have their own opinion and decide to say whatever it is they want," Russell said. "That's those guys. I don't really have anything to say about it. People do their thing and you can't stop it. You can't stop what a person says about you. The only thing you can do if you know it's not true is use it to make yourself better. So I don't really play into all that."
Earlier in the week, coach Tom Cable was asked about the report and offered a non-denial denial.
"I'm not going to talk about our internal stuff that way," Cable said Monday.
But here's something sure to get Russell's growing legion of critics in a tizzy: the 33rd-ranked QB in the 32-team NFL (yes, Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson have enough attempts in Cleveland to both be ranked) STILL won't fully own his 42.2 passer rating, or his league-worst 39.8 percent passing efficiency (the next lowest percentage is Marc Bulger's 51.5%).
"As far as decision-making, I really haven't made any bad decisions," Russell said told Cable called his game Sunday at Houston his best effort of the season. "I know where to go with the ball. It's just a matter of executing and wanting to get there.
"You never know what's the cause of us being off together. It's a team effort. If we can't meet up at the end of the stick, that's sometimes where you see the ball thrown away, or the ball thrown short or wide, or a guy sometimes might not be in the right spot. It's all of us. It's things that we can fix. That's what we continue to do each and every week when we come out here every day to practice."