JaMarcus Russell: I Want a 60-Million-Dollar Handoff Man!

Bret ArmstrongAnalyst ISeptember 29, 2009

I want a guy who can take a snap and hand the ball off to the most talented trio of halfbacks in the NFL.

Why am I looking for this guy?  Because that guy won some games last year.  Five of them, which is way more than one.

On Sep. 14, 2008 this guy handed the ball off 37 times.  He only threw it 17 times, and the Raiders won the football game, 23-9.

On Oct. 19, 2008, my handoff guy put the ball in the hands of the halfbacks 36 times.  Sure, he threw it 30, but his team won the game in overtime, 16-13.

The 23rd day of November, the 6'6", 260-pound man I am looking for handed the ball off 34 times.  Oakland won that game, 31-10.  This guy only threw the ball 11 times in that game.

Dec. 21, 2008, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, CA—my guy throws 25 passes, and hands off 34 times.  The Oakland Raiders win the game, 27-16.
Three days after Christmas in '08, the Raiders deliver their second consecutive victory for the first time since Dec. 2, 2007.  JaMarcus Russell hands the ball off 33 times and only throws 21 passes.
What happened to this JaMarcus, who only throws when necessary?  What happened to play calling that made sense?
It's a simple formula really—run to set up the pass.  First and 10, you run the ball.  Second and seven, you run the ball.  Third and four, run the ball.  Get it, got it, good.
The only reason why JaMarcus Russell should throw the ball is if it is third and seven or longer.  Otherwise, you run the damn ball!

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