Raider Fans I am frustrated, just as many of you are. I'm tired of losing, i'm tired of our team spending money on players that won't help us win. I'm tired of everyone putting our woes on Jamarcus Russell. This is a 53 man Roster, and 1 guy is getting all the heat.
Part of me wishes that the Raiders release Russell so he can go play on a real Pro Football team. I love my Raiders, but i'm honest with myself, we suck for a reason, and it isn't Jamarcus. You can't draft a 22 year old Junior, that scouts said was a Raw talent and needed developed, and expect him to turn a franchise around that has bigger problems than QB and doesn't know how to develop players.
The Raiders failed in developing Russell. You can't give a young QB a different head coach every year, and about 3 different playcallers every year. That isn't how you make him better.
You can't not draft on offensive lineman to protect your young QB when your offensive line is a huge problem.
You can't pass up on a guy like Crabtree, for a guy with suspect hands that can run fast. You can't pass up an offensive lineman like Ryan Clady for a running back that runs fast.
You can't start 2 rookie wide recievers and use a playbook from the 1970's and expect him to develop in his crucial third year.
You can't hire a coach like Tom Cable and expect Russell to succeed. The problem with Russell now is that he has had too many people trying to teach him how to play every year.
People can talk about the holdout and the money, but come on get real. This is a business and these players need to get as much money as they can for what they do. How is it that the NFL, the best league in the country, has one of the worst salary structures out of all the leagues? The league that is most popular, and puts their players through the worst physical punishment out of any other league? Its a business, don't hate on any player trying to get his money.
The Contract wasn't Russells fault, it was what was due to him. If you look at the trends in the draft, and what players were paid per position drafted and position played, it fit the bill. If you are a QB, and are drafted number 1, you are going to get paid. The issue is with the Rookie Pay Scale, the NFL pays on Potential, that is why rookies, who have never played a down in the NFL, get paid more than veterans who have proved themselves and produced.
This may be a game to all of us, but this is a Job for these players. So if Russell does get, "Fired" and the fans get their wish, whats going to happen when we are still a terrible team?
I guess blaming Darren Mcfadden would be next on our list, then Heyward-Bey. Here is another sad statistic, the Raiders won more games with Russell under center since 2002, than they have with any other starter, that includes Kerry Collins, Dante Culpepper and Aaron Brooks.
This problem is deeper than Russell, but everyone needs a scapegoat. Sure Gradkowski gave us "Energy" and he won 2 games, and could of easily won 3 had Heyward-Bey not given the Chiefs the ball, but at the same time we were a lucky fumble away from losing to the Bengals, and a Steelers defensive collapse from losing that game. It seems like we forgot about the Cowboys game that we couldn't get a first down to save our lives, but at least we had energy.
My opinion would be to start over. Let Russell play for a real team that has stability, move to L.A, where fans will show up, and players will want to come and play. No player wants to come to Oakland. But that will be for my next article.