Want to start a fight in the Black Hole? Just mention the name JaMarcus Russell.
There is no more divisive a topic among Raider faithful than the differing opinions of the third year signal caller in Oakland.
As a life long Raider fan, and stubborn believer in JaMarcus Russell, I feel it is my duty to help calm the storm if even for just a few moments. Here are 5 things to keep in perspective when rooting for or against JaMarcus.
5. Watch game tape of Ryan Leaf – No matter how bad things might get, no quarterback could ever be as big a bust as Cryin’ Leaf. The fact that those bandwagon fans in San Diego were forced to root for him should never be lost on Raider Nation.
4. Follow Lane Kiffin at Tennessee – Every time you’re ready to throw Russell under the bus just tune in to an SEC clash involving the University of Tennessee. That punk of a coach on the Knoxville sideline with his mother’s breast milk still on the tip of his tongue and the scent of Summer’s Eve following him everywhere he goes was actually the man responsible for developing JaMarcus into the face of the franchise. That alone stunted Russell’s growth worse than forcing a toddler to pump iron for 8 hours a day.
3. Remember this is the AFC Worst – Look around the division. 8-8 was good enough for not only a playoff berth but a divisional title and home field in the first round in 2008. Aside from Philip Rivers, they aren’t any other quarterbacks in the AFC West that scream out franchise potential. Kyle Orton played behind Rex Grossman, nuff said there. Matt Cassel has to prove he can still ball without the aid of either Randy Moss or the Hoodie’s camcorder.
2. Russell can’t do it alone – The quarterback is always the one who we look to first in either a win or a loss. However, no quarterback wins alone. Tom Cable needs to find creative ways to get Darren McFadden, Michael Bush, Zach Miller, Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey involved so Russell is not being asked to do it all on his lonesome. Even though the defense is much improved, that last drive against San Diego still looms large. Also, don’t overlook the fact that Russell and the injured Chaz Schilens were really developing a chemistry. The injury to Schilens was a crushing blow to Russell and his progression in the preseason.
1. Don’t tune in until the 4th quarter – As bad as Russell has looked at times, you can’t deny his clutch ability. In week one he returned from a fourth quarter injury to instantly read San Diego’s broken coverage on a crucial fourth down and threw a beautiful 57-yard bomb to Louis Murphy that gave the Raiders a lead late in the game. After three painful quarters in Kansas City, Russell shook off his poor play by engineering a game winning drive including converting a 3rd and 15 to keep the hope of victory alive.
The facts are that Russell is still very young and will be given every chance to prove himself as evidence by Cable’s unwillingness to bench him in Kansas City this past Sunday. JaMarcus needs to learn on the job, that is the only way in the NFL. For better or for worse, he is our quarterback Raider Nation. I’m not saying you have to like it, but you’d better make your peace with it now because Al Davis will make sure that he’s here to stay.
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Topics: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured, Chaz Schilens, Darren McFadden, Darrius Heyward-Bey, JaMarcus Russell, Kyle Orton, Lane Kiffin, Louis Murphy, Matt Cassel, Michael Bush, Philip Rivers, Randy Moss, Rex Grossman, Ryan Leaf, Zach Miller