Looking at the Raiders roster, they have talent. They have one of the best defensive lineman in the NFL in Richard Seymour, a talented linebacker crew, and arguably one of the best defensive players in football in Nnamdi Asomugha.
So why does this team continue to struggle? It all starts with the quarterback.
Since the day he was drafted, JaMarcus Russell has not shown he has what it takes to be a championship-caliber NFL quarterback.
Its been a long time since Russell made that amazing Hail Mary throw while at LSU to beat Kentucky.
Russell has been nothing but unwilling to make the extra effort needed to be a starting NFL quarterback.
As a rookie, Russell had one of the longest holdouts in NFL history. The holdout lasted months and essentially ruined Russell's rookie season.
That season Russell cost then Head Coach Lane Kiffin his job. Kiffin was opposed to drafting the LSU star with the No. 1 pick, while tyrant owner Al Davis said Russell was the best player hands down.
As Kiffin was fired, Davis wrote Kiffin a letter which included a section on how Kiffin was wrong in not wanting to draft Russell. Davis is quoted as saying, "JaMarcus is a great player. Get over it."
Apparently, Kiffin is having the last laugh on that one.
Then there was the 300 pound rumor about Russell. Granted Russell is a mammoth of a player at his listed size (6'6" 260lbs), but a 300lb quarterback? I don't think that sounds too successful.
The Raiders have used draft picks on players they don't even need in an effort to help Russell succeed.
Darren McFadden was drafted with the No. 4 overall pick to help give Russell another deadly weapon out the backfield but McFadden has yet to live up to expectations.
Then there is Darrius Heyward-Bay, one of the most baffling top 10 picks of all time.
DHB was a combine star in the 40 yard dash but disappeared in the ACC against some top talent but was drafted with the No. 7 pick and given a signing bonus way out of the rookie slotting, causing a headache for all teams in the surrounding area, and especially Michael Crabtree.
Isn't this the same player who took his receivers for a week to go get some extra work running routes and catching passes? It really doesnt look like it.
Looking at Russell's numbers this year, Tom Cable may have better success behind center.
Russell has two games throwing over 200 yards; one of those include an 86 yard touchdown which was much of the doing of TE Zach Miller as well as WR Louis Murphy who made some great blocks on the run.
Russell has two games throwing over a 60 percent completion percentage and three games under 40 percent passing.
Russel has completed more than 12 passes just once this season. During his career he has thrown more than 20 completions just twice.
How can anyone expect the Raiders to win any games in a season when their quarterback play has been one of the worst, if not the worst, in the NFL.
He has a 47.2 quarterback rating for gods sake!
Russell has two touchdown passes this year and the one to Miller should be credited to him and Murphy, who made that play, and not Russell who made the wide open pass.
One can only feel bad for Russell. He is young and immature and part of an organization that is trying to win but its owner its holding them back.
Maybe Russell should take some of the credit for his poor play. Have you seen his recent interview after the Jets game where Russell asked a reporter if he thought Russell was the problem with the offense?
Hello, have you not seen yourself making careless throws time after time? Making wrong reads play after play? Not giving your team a real chance to succeed and only holding them back?
Too bad Jeff Garcia isn't still in the black and silver because he would win this team some games.
Tom Cable, please make your quarterback accountable for his actions and abysmal play because he is not only making a joke of you, but also the Raiders' proud and die-hard fans as well as the organization.
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