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MM: What a difference a year makes with JaMarcus Russell

During minicamps last year I went out on a ledge and wrote an article “Not time to press the panic button on JaMarcus Russell.” He was struggling in camp, but after his season ending improvement in 2008 it seemed like there was still a chance for him to improve.

By all accounts, including my own two eyes, JaMarcus Russell had a rough camp. He was inaccurate with his deep throws, and had problems connecting on the short routes. Whilst the temptation is to see this as a foreboding of the 2006 offensive debacle, don’t.

OK, it was a foreboding of something worse than 2006 when Russell was on the field, but who’s counting?

Actually, my closing in that article pretty much covered what did end up happening:

The key to Russell’s success will be emulating the tenacity and work ethic of his backup Jeff Garcia. It also rests on his learning from quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett who is considered among the best in the business.

If JaMarcus Russell is still making these kinds of errors once training camp is in full swing, then it will be time to be very concerned.

Training camp arrived and Russell was still having issues. In the preseason games Russell was having issues. Once the regular season started, it was all downhill. A key to mention is that his work ethic has been under constant fire for the past year. He didn’t learn from his time as a teammate to Garcia.

He skipped out on the last OTA. He was fined for showing up to training camp overweight. He was outplayed by both Bruce Gradkowsi and Charlie Frye in the preseason and the regular season, and to cap it all off he skipped out on the final team meeting to go to Las Vegas.

Frankly, and benefit of the doubt he once had is evaporated. 2009 was his third in the NFL, which is normally considered a make or break year. He has earned the reputation of being a bust and there have been rumors of the Raiders being interested in everyone from Jason Campbell to Donovan McNabb to Ben Roethlisberger.


Speaking of Big Ben, the world will know the length of his suspension soon. I honestly have mixed feelings about it. He was not convicted of any crimes, nor was he even charged. The US is based on the concept of innocent until proven guilty. However, this is the second time that he has been accused of sexual assault, so there is also a sense of where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

We’ll know soon how long, I am guessing 4. Any more than that seems a bit excessive when there were no charges filed.


Comment of the week: On the post ESPN Schatz: “Sorry Oakland, you have the worst warroom

Unlike most of my Monday Mumblings post, I am not going to copy and past the one comment here, because I give the award to the entire thread. It is quite entertaining.


Classic movie of the week: The Goonies

Starring: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, and featuring John Matuszak

Nearly everyone of a certain age remembers this movie as a part of growing up. This was the story of a group of kids who were outcasts, “The Goonies”, who went on a treasure hunt to save their homes. It captures the wide-eyed innocence of youth and that longing for adventure, and that feeling of being with your group of best friends who can do anything together. Rather than pirate’s treasure, they find themselves tangling with some bank robbers. It is a collaberation between Stephen Spielberg and Richard Donner.



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