JaMarcus Russell: “I think I have a lot left inside of me to show the NFL and the people out there that I can do it.”

October 27, 2010 – 10:15 am by timgunter

Every April, one college player is selected as the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft, but not all of them exactly pan out.  As is the case with former Oakland Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell,  who lasted through three lackluster seasons before being run out of town, which by the way was the shortest tenure ever with the drafting team among quarterbacks taken number one overall in the NFL draft.  He came in each year overweight, looked as though he was in over his head and didn’t know how to read defenses, and quite frankly, I don’t think he ever did.

Russell was drafted out of LSU because of his size and arm strength, along with his knack for making dramatic, big plays, not because he made good decisions with the football.  As we all know, Al Davis is known for drafting players based upon their size and “upside”, not necessarily whether their game translates to the NFL.  Now after being released by Oakland this past offseason and getting arrested for possession of codeine syrup without a valid prescription, Russell is trying to get his life back on track and vowed to complete a career comeback that ends with him back in the NFL.  He is now working out in Houston with former NBA coach John Lucas, who wanted to help Russell and has become some sort of mentor to him.  Maybe, the second time around he can get it right?

JaMarcus Russell and John Lucas on KILT in Houston to talk about where he is at currently in his personal life, how he would handle the Oakland Raiders situation differently, and why the public is supposed to believe him that this time around is going to be different.

Where he is at currently in his personal life:

“Right now it is at a point where I had a few losses in my family, my godmother, two of my uncles and one of my close friends.  All that happened within a year and that kind of took a lot out of me from the beginning of the year and John came through and we sat down and talked.  He’s kind of been through a lot of similar things in his life so that brings us here today.  We have known each other for two months and it’s been like I have been knowing him all of my life now.”

What John Lucas told him about what people think of him in terms of getting himself back:

“People are going to talk, people are entitled to their opinion.  The thing is that should be something to drive you to get back to be better than you were at one point in time.  He doesn’t sugarcoat anything.  He is always going to be straightforward and straight up with you and that is what I like about him.”

His thoughts on getting over substance abuse and getting treatment:

“Actually that really wasn’t the reason that I came here.  I just so happened to get caught up in a situation where it wasn’t about me.  I was kind of caught up in the middle of it, but that is definitely not why I am here.  He came to find me after he had heard about my uncles passing or whatever.  He wanted to be that guy in my life to help me go from right from wrong.  But it was never really about no substance abuse.”

What some of the bad situations he was in over the last couple of years:

“Bad situations?  That is the thing that came up recently.  That was kind of it outside of football.  It was never an issue with any other thing.”

How he would handle the Oakland Raiders situation differently:

“From day one, training camp.  That is the business side of football and I had to go through that until week two of the season.  The thing is they weren’t negotiating my contract until training camp started.  So it kind of slowed the process, but just by not being there that first training camp I think I missed a lot.”

Why the public is supposed to believe him that this time around is going to be different:

“I think I have a lot left inside of me to show the NFL and the people out there that I can do it.  From the grace of God I didn’t get chosen #1 just because.  Obviously there was some good things being done that I still have inside of me that has yet to come out.”

What the biggest difference was in the jump from college to the NFL and why he wasn’t able to make the plays he made in college in the pros:

“I would say that the guys that you have around.  Dwayne Bowe, Early Doucet, Buster Davis and that young guy, Brandon LaFell, and the tight end, Rickie Dixson, who we had, Justin Vincent as the running back and the front line as a whole.  When you have guys that have played that long together, and kind of know each other, and making plays for you that makes your job a lot easier.”

What some of the major differences were between college and the NFL:

“Instead of going to class every day you are at work all day.  In school you would have to go to class, football practice and then study hall.  Study hall in the NFL would be practice throughout the day, film time, film session on your own, so it is kind of everybody knows what they are doing because this is their job and this is what they are entitled to.”

Whether the pressure to be #1 was reason for his collapse or whether it was the team and offensive system he was in:

“I don’t think I was down, down like that but there is a lot that comes with being number one.  About being a young guy, I was 21-22 when I got drafted, just knowing that this young guy is supposed to be able to take care of everyone on the team because if you look at it as a quarterback, your hand is in everybody’s life, whether it is the receiver, the long snapper, the equipment guy, the owner, the head coach, everybody is on you to do your job right and to come out.  If it doesn’t happen that way then who knows what the offensive coordinator be working on.  These other guys are working and that is kind of how it goes as being a quarterback.”

John Lucas: What made him want to reach out to JaMarcus:

“I just saw so much talent and skill and I saw his family, I got a chance to talk to his mother and grandmother and I just saw myself 30 years ago when I left Houston and I went out to the Bay area and it wasn’t the Bay area.  I just left my family and relatives.  JaMarcus had two big losses in his family and sometimes when you are the number one pick everything goes in such a blur, and I think for JaMarcus having all of the weight upon him, plus being so highly touted since coming out of school that I just saw such potential and as you get to know JaMarcus you’ll see his personality come out, he is really a leader and I just think he has to have more emergence in his self.”

JaMarcus Russell and John Lucas on KILT in Houston with Marc and John

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

  1. 5 Responses to “JaMarcus Russell: “I think I have a lot left inside of me to show the NFL and the people out there that I can do it.””

  2. He stole my money for 3 years. If he was trying I would have given him all the time in the World. When he was turned on by the Fans in Oakland I was still in his corner.

    But then when I finally figured out that he did not care, making millions while he was at it I gave up.

    It was not just one thing, it looked like the team would give up when he came in to the game. He never could figure out how to let the ball go in anticipation of where the receiver would be. You cannot get by if you have to wait until a guy comes open. Could not read a D and had 0 pocket awareness and just looked like he could care less.

    Al Davis if he thinks you have it in you will hold onto a player forever. It must be really bad if in 3 years Al Davis gave up on the kid.

    I hope he does well but I do not think he will ever make an elite QB. He had the World in the palm of his hand in Oakland and he &^%$ all over it and his team mates, what a waste.

    By Sonny on Oct 27, 2010

  3. POS, end of story. More concerned with money, cheeseburgers, and looking the role of gangsta. He is right where he belongs, out of the NFL.

    By Ramon on Oct 28, 2010

  4. What a Chump!

    Shoulda, woulda, coulda… “This times it’s different”…

    He’ll NEVER be good. Thanks for ruining the past three years for every single Raider fan. You’re worse than Ryan Leaf.

    By Jimmy on Oct 28, 2010

  1. 2 Trackback(s)

  2. Oct 28, 2010: In Case You Missed It: JaMarcus Russell Speaks | The NFL Chick
  3. Oct 30, 2010: JaMarcus: “Ainda tenho muito a mostrar” « BLOG TOUCHDOWN

Post a Comment