Russell has become the poster dude for lethargy, a condition waiting to be clinically approved.
—San Francisco Chronicle
During his time in Oakland, Russell's work ethic was considerably less than exemplary. Most damning were reports that he fell asleep during team meetings. "In the NFL, my first year, I had to be there at 6:30 before practice and be on the treadmill for an hour," he says. "Then meetings come, I sit down, eat my fruit. We watch film, and maybe I got tired. Coach Flip [quarterback coach John DeFilippo] pulled me aside and said, 'What are you doing for night life?' I said, 'Coach, I'm just chilling.' He said, 'I need to get you checked out.' I did the sleep test, and they said I had apnea."
JaMarcus Russell is so fat he eats out of a satellite dish. He sweats gravy.
—comment at National Football Post
During Russell's time with the Raiders his weight fluctuated, not least when he returned to the Gulf Coast in the off-season and indulged in various deep-fried specialties. "I put weight on easy, and I can take it off easy. Do I look fat now?" If Russell were a steak, you might say he's heavily marbled. But fat? No. He's not in NFL shape, but he's doesn't look far off.
JaMarcus Russell: Purple Drank Connoisseur
Over the long Fourth of July weekend in 2010, Mobile police, acting on a tip, raided Russell's mansion near Mobile Bay. Next to Russell's bed they found a cup containing a codeine-laced liquid—allegedly an orange-colored version of Purple Drank, a.k.a. "syzzurp," a recreational drug that has especially found favor in hip-hop circles in the South. Russell, who did not have a prescription, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. His slim chance of returning to the NFL diminished even further after this episode.
Though Russell admits he failed a drug test for codeine while he was in the NFL, he says he was taking cough syrup at the time to combat his sleep apnea. As for the Mobile arrest, a friend of Russell's who was in the house at the time of the raid claimed the drink was his. The charge against Russell was dropped. "I don't have a drug problem," he says. "What I do have is police trailing every car I got like I'm some dope dealer."