Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/26/11

Former top overall NFL pick JaMarcus Russell blamed his coach, teammates and sleep apnea for his failures as a quarterback.

In this week's issue of Sports Illustrated, Russell targeted former Raiders coach Tom Cable, unimaginative play-calling and the team's defense for his inability to succeed.

"I did the sleep test, and they said I had apnea," Russell told the magazine. "Things weren’t going right, and it felt sometimes like everything fell back on me."

The top pick in the 2007 draft, Russell was 7-18 as a starter with the Raiders before being released in 2010 before the expiration of his first NFL contract.

"I may have missed a throw, but I didn’t give up 42 points, I didn’t miss a block," Russell said.

Russell also said he didn't understand why his support for Cable wasn't mutual.

"I stuck my neck out for (Cable)," he told the magazine. "Didn’t complain when he benched me as the starter. Didn’t complain when he called the same plays five damn times. Didn’t (disparage) him to other coaches.

"When the (media) asks me, I say, ‘He’s a good coach, a good guy.’ Then I hear he says I was 'the worst thing ever happened to the Raiders, if it weren’t for him we’d be in the playoffs'?"

In July 2010, Russell was arrested on charges of illegal possession of codeine syrup but a grand jury in Mobile, Ala., declined to indict him.

In April, life coach and former NBA player John Lucas ended his relationship with Russell, claiming the former quarterback had "deteriorating work habits."

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