Oakland Raiders: Did Paul Hackett Even Try With JaMarcus Russell?

Ramone BrownSenior Writer IOctober 13, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders throws a pass against the New York Giants on October 11, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

JaMarcus Russell is starting his third year in the NFL and second year as a starter, yet, in his third year he seemed to have regressed to the ability of a sloppy rookie.

His footwork his ugly as ever. His accuracy is often off and too many passes are too high for receivers. His pocket presence is horrible as he often locks on to receivers and looks unaware of the pass rush as if he actually expects his make-shift offensive line to do there job.

So aside from Russell, who is to blame for this? How about the QB coach? Is it not Paul Hackett'd job to coach footwork, accuracy, and pocket presence?

With Russell's footwork accuracy and pocket presence looking even worse than last year, I doubt Hackett even tried to coach Russell.

And why would he? He already had two of his own guys on the roster. Both Bruce Gradkowski and Jeff Garcia spent the last few years under Hackett's mentorship.

What I'm suggesting is Hackett had his ulterior motives from the beginning and never cared about Russell's development enough to properly coach him. He had and wanted his old No. 1 and 2 QBs—Garcia and Gradkowski.

Hackett's plan would have worked perfectly, except Al Davis saw what was happening and like he always does—intervened with his team.

To counter Hackett's plan, Al Davis signed Charlie Frye and released Jeff Garcia. Frye actually spoke personally with Al Davis prior to his signing, which is very rare even with proven veterans.

JaMarcus Russell's struggles are the result of two stubborn old men who can't agree on the direction of this team.

Had Hackett actually done his job this offseason and coached JaMarcus Russell, he would not be the worst QB in the NFL. Had Davis just let Hackett's plan play out, we would still have Garcia, and Russell would be the No. 3 behind Gradkowski.

So, who is right in this situation? Conventional wisdom would say both are in the wrong. But, this is still Al Davis's team and what Al says goes.

So in my opinion, the blame for this big mess falls all on the coaching staff. Not Al Davis, not JaMarcus Russell, but the coaches.


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