JaMarcus Russell, Don't Try to Be Peyton Manning: Try to Be a Raider

Raider Card Addict@RaidercardadictSenior Writer IMay 27, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 25: The Raider Nation in the famous black hole cheer on their Oakland Raiders as the Oakland Raiders host the Detroit Lions at McAfee Stadium on August 25, 2006 in Oakland, California. (Photo by David Paul Morris /Getty Images)

During the last couple weeks, a lot has been said about JaMarcus Russell.

Some complain because he doesn't show the dedication to play. Some complain because he looks overweight. Some complain because he's not Brady Quinn, and some, well...just complain because he's with the Raiders, and they hate the Raiders.

Well, let's get to the heart of the matter.

First of all, unless you are his roommate, how much of his work ethic is known? Do you stalk him? If you do, I don't want to know.

Secondly, his weight as always been a question, and unless you recently talked him onto a scale, you have no idea how much he weighs. I just wonder if this is how Daunte Culpepper's first couple seasons went—people asking more about your weight than if you were ready to go throw the ball deep.

Third, complaining about him not being Brady Quinn is a real simple solution. It's water under the bridge. Unless you suddenly think Brady is going to be traded to Oakland, about the only hope you have is being a Browns fan.

And if the two teams play against each other, don't grimace too much on sacks.

Lastly, to the haters—I've got a better target for you to hate: Josh McDaniels, the new head coach in Denver. We hated Mike Shanahan. I'd like to see an equal feeling of disgust in his replacement.

Now, back to our quarterback. Russell, for everyone's opinion, was drafted to lead the team. Nowhere in the contract does it say to imitate Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or even Kurt Warner.

Be JaMarcus Russell. Win is probably in there somewhere too.

How does being a Raider fit into all of this?

Go back and look at the stats for three of our greatest QBs, Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett, and Daryle Lamonica. These are our three greatest QBs by longevity.

For the teams they played with, they didn't have huge numbers.

Jim Plunkett had more INTs than TDs.

Ken Stabler had 150 TDs and 143 INTs.

And Lamonica had 148 TDs against 115 INTs with no rings but an AFL championship.

Russell, for all his skills, needs to do two things.

First of all, he needs to win. Win big, win close. Heck, we'll take ugly wins.

Secondly, he needs to become a point to rally around, inspire the players, and become the second coach on the team. If things are getting difficult, he needs to call up a new play, find the open player, and make that throw.

The team, his team right now is being built around him.

Right now he has two options:

Rise to the occasion...or step aside and prove the critics right.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.