Tom Cable has spoken.
Charlie Frye will replace the injured Bruce Gradkowski for the Oakland Raiders this Sunday in Denver.
The Frye guy becomes the second journeyman signal caller to move ahead of JaMarcus Russell on the depth chart this season.
Coach Cable is making quite a statement not only to Russell but also to owner Al Davis. If Davis is still holding to his “JaMarcus is going to be a great player, get over it” routine then he must be fuming at the thought of $60-million going the way of DeAngelo Hall, Javon Walker and Gibril Wilson to name a few of Al’s misspent fortune.
Russell is unwilling to restructure his deal in order to remain in the East Bay. One can hardly blame the youngster for wanting to take the money and run. That’s exactly what most of Al’s pampered projects seem to do these days.
He undoubtedly has a terrible work ethic. Still, the blame ultimately falls squarely on the shoulders of the front office for this entire debacle. How did they not know of his less-than-stellar approach to his craft prior to selecting him number one overall in 2007? Why was he simply handed the job when clearly he wasn’t ready for it? If Russell was two more years away then sit him down, rebuild the roster and let the process occur.
Russell was given excuse after excuse by the owner who then in turn did little to surround his franchise QB with stability of any kind and clearly did not have a plan for his development. In addition, Russell was simply handed the starting job and continued to hold onto it while the team took a nose dive in the first half of the season.
Thanks to the stubborn devotion to Russell, an entire season has gone down the drain and all in the name of giving JaMarcus a big pat on the back.
That’s Al Davis working hard for you, Raider Nation.
After three years of unfulfilled promise, JaMarcus and the Raider organization have reached the crossroads.
This might not be the end of days for Russell but it certainly would indicate the end of his 2009 campaign.
For anybody who thinks Russell could rebound in Vince Young fashion, I offer this: Young was a proven winner with a hunger to be the best. He actually led his team to the playoffs prior to losing his job in part due to injury. JaMarcus, on the other hand, doesn’t show any competitive fire and would appear incapable of leading his team to the playoffs on Madden 10. Not to mention Russell has twice lost his job – without injury – to the second and third string quarterbacks on the roster respectively.
Russell now has a choice.
He can roll over and beg for his release, hoping to catch on with another team at a highly reduced rate. Or he can step up to the challenge and stick it to doubters like me by making the most of what could be his final three weeks in Oakland.
Either way, this is the final call for JaMarcus Russell.
From what we know of young JaMarcus, he’ll take this as more of an insult than a challenge and will point the blame at others instead of looking inward to diagnose the issue. Therein lies the problem. He’s been enabled by Davis from day one.
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