Posts Tagged ‘Raiders’

Is it time to call Jamarcus Russell a bust?

October 5, 2009

It’s becoming a common occurrence for the 2009 Raiders — Russell drops back, spots a streaking Receiver running a deep slant and fires a dart that would put German WWII era 88mm tank guns to shame. Instead of reaching its intended target however, the ball winds up being either dramatically behind or over the head of the frustrated WR.

Russell definitely has the physical abilities, those have never been in doubt, but his on the field success and consistency is quickly becoming representative of the Raider organization as a whole. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he’s had 2 head coaches and 3 offensive coordinators during his short career. Or, that he hasn’t had the benefit of consistent experience at the WR position. Those things haven’t exactly helped his cause but, whatever the case, he’s on the hairy edge of having the “bust” label tattooed on his ever growing stomach.

He was drafted #1 for his ability to throw deep, yet a quarter of the way through the ’09 season, he remains near the bottom of the league in completions for both 20+ and 40+ yards. And, that’s to say nothing of his league worst passer rating and completion percentage. Sure, you can place part of the blame on inexperienced receivers or coaching, but when Russell constantly displays his unique ability to badly miss even the simplest of passes, it makes it pointing the finger anywhere else pretty difficult.

The buzz on Russell so far seems to be his lack of discipline — he seems entirely uninterested in doing the things that are necessary in order to succeed in the NFL. One needs only a casual look at his thighs and waistline to realize that things like healthy eating aren’t exactly high on his list of priorities. He hosted two passing camps for Raider QB’s and WR’s between OTA’s and training camp, which gave fans of the silver and black a glimmer of hope, but sadly, any positives to come out of those have yet to translate to on the field success.

Earlier this month, Forbes Magazine ranked the Raiders the least most valuable team in the NFL, hardly consistent with Davis’s “Just win baby” mentality. Jamarcus Russell is not exactly helping the organization change its ranking. Perhaps it’s too early to call him a bust. It could be that once Chaz Schilens, the Raider standout WR in the ’09 preseason,  gets back into the mix, Russell will gain the consistency and experience at the WR position that he so desperately needs. Pehaps more time with Cable will further build the base that he needs in order to fulfill the hype that surrounded him earlier in his career. Or, perhaps he’s just too darn lazy to be even a servicable quarterback in the NFL. If the later is the case, he needs to do the Raiders and the NFL a favor by voiding his contract and heading back to the homestead in Louisiana.

The NFL is a better when the Raiders are competitive and, at this point, the Raiders would be better with another quarterback behind center, even if those quarterbacks happen to have the last names of Frye or Gradkowski.