Q&A: LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell

The start of the 2006 season is just thjree days away. Today, we sit down with LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Russell chats about Hurricane Katrina a year later, getting over an injury and the Tigers' talented wide receiving corps. Check back tomorrow for a story on the LSU offensive line and runn ing back Justin Vincent.


Q: How has it been this year with a normal schedule compared to last year when things were going on with Hurricane Katrina?

Russell: Of course last year, there was a disaster. But this year, thank God, everything is all right. It is a lot more normal. You get to go to school without seeing the National Guard or the helicopters. You can go out and practice, have fun with your teammates.


Q: Have has practice been going this week?

Russell: As a matter of fact, we have had some good days of practice. I think everyone is ready for the season.


Q: Will people notice a difference in the offense this season, compared to last year?

Russell: There is a lot more execution this year. We have been together for a while now and know each other. Everyone's been working hard and we have some good coaches. I think people are going to recognize that.


Q: Will we see a more passing based offense this year with these receivers?

Russell: It could be. I think we will be pretty balanced between the run and the pass. But I have gotten used to the play book, I am pretty deep in it now.


Q: Have you gotten deeper towards running plays or passing plays?

Russell: (Laughs) Can't really say.


Q: How special is it for you to be named offensive captain?

Russell: It shows a lot of how everyone has been pushing me in practice. It shows the defense has been pushing me hard to do my best.


Q: How has the adjustment process been in getting used to a new center?

Russell: I think Brett (Helms) is doing a great job. I am very comfortable with him. Before practice, we really work on center-quarterback exchange and I feel real good with him.


Q: Is Early Doucet ready to have that breakout year?

Russell: Heaven forbid Dwayne or Buster go down, but if they did he would be the next big thing. I am going to expect a lot out of him this year. I am sure the coaches are too. He and I have worked on a lot of things ourselves and we have gotten a good rhythm down.


Q: What about Brandon LaFell?

Russell: He is the fourth guy in the rotation. He has done a nice job. He brings a little bit of everything. He has great hands and great ability ot make things happen.


Q: How talented is this freshman class of receivers?

Russell: They are some good guys. Being so young, they already know a lot of what's going on. They still have some things to learn like everybody, but once they get in here, they are going to be really good. People can look forward to them.


Q: Have you had to change your throwing motion to (5-5 wide receiver) Trindon Holliday?

Russell: Not really. I try and keep my throwing motion the same. I guess I will get it to him the best I can.


Q: Have you had trouble seeing him sometimes because he is so short?

Russell: It all depends on if you have a blitz coming at you, from that side and he is in the slot. He can be very hard to see.


Q: Have you seen a change in Justin Vincent since he came back from the injury?

Russell: You can tell his spirit is up and the way he runs that he is doing a lot better. He is running with confidence. The offensive line is giving him some good holes to run through and he is doing a great job.



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