I must be feeling a little masochistic today. This will be a slideshow comparing JaMarcus Russell's first two years as a starting quarterback against the first two years of some other successful NFL quarterbacks.
I think it may give credence as to why I still have hope for his future. When bashing me later, remember to keep my mom and my dog out of it. They're both pretty cool!
Also, for statistical purposes, in two years as a starter, Russell has thrown for 16 touchdowns and 19 interceptions, while losing 13 fumbles. His passer rating in year one was 77.1 and 50.0 in year two.
Hall of Famer Aikman is the first in a list of quarterbacks turned announcers. Before winning Super Bowls and landing a spot in Canton, Ohio, Aikman threw 20 touchdowns and 36 interceptions in his first two years as a starter. He also lost 11 fumbles on his way to posting passer ratings of 55.7 and 66.6, respectively.
Simms, like Russell, brought out plenty of boo birds while throwing 33 picks against 28 touchdowns in his first two years with the Giants. He had passer ratings of 66.0 and 58.9 and lost 15 fumbles.
Young looked nothing like a player who would go on to win a Super Bowl and get his jersey retired while he playing for bad Tampa Bay teams in his first two NFL seasons. He managed 11 touchdowns and 21 picks while fumbling 15 times. He compiled passer ratings of 56.9 and 65.5.
Our run of announcers closes with Bradshaw. To say Bradshaw struggled his first two years would be a huge understatement. He threw 19 touchdowns and 46 interceptions, while compiling passer ratings of 30.4 and 59.7. His first year was particularly brutal, as he managed only six touchdowns while throwing a whopping 24 interceptions!
I had to throw in Testaverde for longevity alone. He shook off his first two full years in which he threw a combined 57 picks and fumbled 12 times before going on to have a long and occasionally brilliant career. Think about that, folks: 69 turnovers in two years!
I sure wish this guy would have stayed the course of his first three seasons. Elway never managed a passer rating higher than the 77.1 Russell put up in 2008. In fact, he had 29 interceptions and 20 fumbles his first two years while only throwing 25 touchdowns. Unfortunately for us Raider fans, he managed to get a little better down the road!
Last but not least, let's go with Raider legend Plunkett. Plunkett struggled mightily early in his career before eventually leading the Raiders to two Super Bowl victories.
The funny thing is that Plunkett's first two years most resemble those of Russell. In his first year starting, Plunkett threw 19 touchdowns against 16 interceptions, while having a passer rating of 68.6.
He then regressed badly in his second year, throwing 25 picks and only eight touchdowns. Sound familiar?
Plunkett eventually had his career resurrected with a change of scenery.
I hope that doesn't happen with Russell!