Who was the 3rd youngest NFL Quarterback to start this past week?
Joe Flacco ?
Kevin Kolb ?
The Correct answer : Jamarcus Russell
Well all the haters should, mainly because it is far too early to label him a bust. Take in to consideration that this is only his second season as a starter in the NFL, and he clearly went in to the most dysfunctional sports organization in the NFL. Some may even argue the world. From the long contract holdout his rookie campaign, to the Lane Kiffin Dog and Pony Show in his first season as an NFL starter. So here is The Good, Bad, & The Ugly of Russell in his 3rd NFL Season.
Russell can handle the pressure. When the game is on the line, Russell is clearly at his best. Look back at both of the games this season, versus San Diego, Russell started off pretty sluggish, but brought the Raiders back and gave them the lead late in the 4th Quarter. Again on the road versus Kansas City in Russell's worse game in his past 5 starts, he brought the Raiders back and gave them the lead late in the 4th Quarter. No Matter what anyone says that is a quality that can not be taught, either you have it,(Big Ben, Brady, Elway) or you don't (Romo, Hasselbeck, Kosar).
Russell has the ability to keep the raiders in games, by all means the game against Kansas City should have been a blow-out. Russell played terrible, and the Raiders still won the game. Players, especially quarterbacks tend to play better as the season goes on. The Raiders had no business beating the Chiefs on Sunday, but they snuck out of there with a W anyway, young teams usually don't do that.
His accuracy PERIOD. Whoa Mama!! This is his Achilles heel, Russell can throw laser beams, but what good are those if they're never on target. Russell is even over throwing screens, which some would argue are the easiest to complete. This problem however can be solved. Will it ? Now that depends on Russell, his Wr's, and the Oakland coaching staff. Looking at Russell's games last year he noticeably improved as the year progressed, The Raider's will be praying for a similar progression this season.
All the intangibles Jamarcus can't change, but will take the blame for. Quite frankly because that's his job, and that's what happens when your getting paid top dollar. From Cornell Green jumping offsides every chance he gets, to our young wr's who have great potential, but lack NFL route running experience. Russell has no ability to change the situation he was put into, his success rides in rookie wr's hands. Also with the broken leg suffered to Robert Gallery, that leaves an already questionable offensive line in jeopardy.
What does the future hold?
That remains to be seen. If the Oakland Coaching staff can work on Russell's accuracy, and get him to stop staring at his targets the Raiders could go on to shock some people this season. However if Russell continues to play like he did in Kansas City then this will be another long year for Raider Fans, but on small ray of hope could be placed on Wr Chaz Schilens (On of Russell's favorite targets), who returns to the line-up this week versus Denver.
This weeks prediction Raiders 21- Broncos 17