Four years later, he has turned into the franchises worst nightmare. Poor mobility, poor accuracy, poor decision making, and a poor attitude have all contributed to his failures as a starting quarterback.
Following Bruce Gradkowski's success late in the 2009 season, the writing may be on the wall for the JaMarcus as a starter, or even as a backup. Not only does JaMarcus make terrible decisions, but the offense works better around Gradkowski and falls flat around Russell.
Its clear that Russell has had a horrible start to his career, but can resurrect it in Oakland or elsewhere. Look at Alex Smith, the 49er's first choice in the 2005 NFL Draft. After years of failure, Smith finally got another chance and made the most of it.
He certainly hasn't turned into the stud QB as hoped, but he has turned his career in the right direction.
But can JaMarcus Russell do the same?
Believe it or not, it is possible. It all depends on whether Russell puts his mind to it. He has all the necessary talents from the neck down (well, except weight).
However, Russell has one of the worst attitudes of a starting quarterback since Ryan Leaf or Jeff George.
He clearly has no interest in improving himself or his game. He has shown this attitudes since day one. From his lengthy contract holdout, poor offseason habits, and his selfishness in interviews, Russell appears to be a lost cause.
But he hasn't gone past the point of no return. There is still time to turn his career around, but it all depends on whether he really wants to. If he continues to hold a destructive attitude, he isn't going to last much longer in the league.
While the phrase "you can do anything if you put your mind to it" doesn't always hold water, it certainly applies here.