I've always maintained that quarterbacks develop at all different paces. Some guys get it immediately. Some guys take time. Some never get it.
I was nearly convinced JaMarcus was about to fall into the never gets it group. I was prepared to move on. I was thrilled with the acquisition of Jason Campbell. Now, I'm not so sure.
JaMarcus lit it up the other day in practice. He completed 21-25 passes and by most accounts looked like the best quarterback on the field. He showed a hustle and desire he's always seemed to lack and a willingness to work and learn. Oh, by the way, he also showed up in shape!
If this way 2009 I would be ecstatic. It's 2010, however, and I think I'm going to throw up!
Why do I feel this way? Should it matter to me who the Raiders quarterback is as long as he plays at a high level? Should it matter that after cheating us (Raider fans) for the last three years JaMarcus may once again be our guy? Is this all a bad dream? Can I possibly be naive enough to once again buy in to JaMarcus Russell?
You see, folks, I am an Al Davis loyalist. I will back that crazy old man until the end of time. I'll spin his story and his actions, no matter how foolish it might make me look, until I can rationalize nearly anything! I drank the Kool-Aid a long, long time ago and it still drives me today!
"Just Win Baby" is still the most important thing. If that means Jason Campbell at quarterback than so be it. If you feel for the old man (Al Davis) though, you'd know winning with Russell would be that much sweeter!
If JaMarcus led us to the playoffs, or God forbid, the Super Bowl you might see heads explode all over the mainstream media. Al Davis would be vindicated one last time.
I could see it happening something like this. Mel Kiper: "You know I had him No. 1 on my big board for a reason. I knew all along if you surrounded this kid with talent he'd make it!" Right Mel!
John Clayton: " You know I've always respected Al Davis and the Raiders' way of doing things" Sure John!
Adam Schefter: "This just in, according to sources Tom Cable will stay on as coach of the Raiders!" Thanks again for the wonderful cutting edge news Adam!
Come on guys admit it! We all know it probably won't go down this way, but wouldn't it be fun? Al Davis sticking it to the man once again. Isn't that at least part of the reason we're fans to begin with?
So, JaMarcus, it's up to you now! Make it happen big fella and I'll forget about these last three years of hell you've put us through and we'll call it even. My memory is short, probably due to the increase in drinking you've caused in me during your short, less than stellar career. I'm willing to forgive!
One thing the Raiders have always been built on is second chances. This is it for Russell. I hope he makes the most of it, not only for himself, but for the fans and most of all Al Davis.