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Jimbo Fisher remembers a different JaMarcus Russell

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher coached a different JaMarcus Russell when they were together at LSU.

“I never knew that guy,” Fisher said on ESPN 760, talking about the lazy player Russell has become.  “His work ethic for us — everything I ever asked him to do, he did.  He was smart, he carried three and four play packages at the line of scrimmage.”

Fisher, like others, pointed to the passing of Russell’s mentor and Uncle Ray as a possible obstacle Russell struggled to get over.

“He is very talented and he is very intelligent,” Fisher said.  “Intelligence isn’t an issue with him.”

Based on the pre-draft reports we remember, Russell’s football smarts were never a question.

Russell’s failure goes beyond football.  There is simply no way to know how a 21-year old will react to $40 million, no matter how many tests we give them. 

And we don’t really know how a 24-year-old will react to losing his job, and becoming a punchline.

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63 Responses to “Jimbo Fisher remembers a different JaMarcus Russell”
  1. JoeSixPack says: May 6, 2010 8:25 PM

    “And we don’t really know how a 24-year-old will react to losing his job, and becoming a punchline.”
    Good point. Let’s hope you’re not being prophetic.

  2. Junior says: May 6, 2010 8:29 PM

    Something to consider before labeling Russell the biggest bust ever.
    The Chargers gave up 2- first round picks, 1- second round pick, Patrick Sapp and Eric Metcalf to move up 1 spot to #2 in order to pick Leaf.
    The Raiders picked Russell as a position of need, and most “draft experts” called him the best QB of the draft.
    Unfortunately, as Gregg pointed out there is just now way to know what happens when you give a kid that kind of money.

  3. The Wishbone says: May 6, 2010 8:31 PM

    @ Rosenthal,
    “no matter how many tests we give them. ”
    How many tests did you give JaMarcus Russell?
    He was given one test, by the Raiders, and he failed it.

  4. efangule says: May 6, 2010 8:33 PM

    ” no matter how many tests we give them.  ”

    I’m sorry. I must have missed this one. When did *you* give him a test?

  5. hsf09 says: May 6, 2010 8:35 PM

    While we sit around the interwebz and share our JaMarcus Russell memories/stories, remember the pre-draft hype of “This guy can throw 60 yards on his knees!” Heh. B-U-S-T Bust Bust Bust!

  6. nerd says: May 6, 2010 8:38 PM

    And Farve was never the same after the passing of Big Irv. TRUE PACKERS STILL LOVE YOU, BIG IRV!

  7. ikemac says: May 6, 2010 8:41 PM

    I know Russell is oh……oh……so close, to becoming Ryan Leaf. But leaf is still in a class all his own……besides from being a bust, no one ever gave us more press conference breakdowns!!!!
    But anyway before we throw in the towel and write Russell off, let’s keep one word in mind!!!!
    OAKLAND

  8. iusedtobeteddybayer says: May 6, 2010 8:43 PM

    Give me $40 million at that ageand you’d have to make an appointment to make an appointment. Problem is, contrary to the contract, he should have to earn it!>
    Bring on the rookie wage cap in the NFL and give the proven performers their dough.

  9. jshawaii says: May 6, 2010 8:55 PM

    I wonder what his “wonderlik” score was…
    Sounds also like he spent a lot of time smoking that evil weed between college and the pro’s. I’ve seen more then one person go down rapidly enjoying the green. From greatness to dufuss.
    js

  10. aaronp says: May 6, 2010 8:56 PM

    Geez you don’t think it had anything to do with him obviously not giving a sh*t how he played or if his team won or lost? I mean one good drive in 3 years WTF? Hey Jimbo, maybe its because he looks like he ate a 60 pound kid in between his time at LSU and in Oakland?
    If JaMarcus does get another job he better give 10% to Jimbo for this little comment….Remembers a different Russel? Give me a f*cking break

  11. Mr. Big says: May 6, 2010 8:58 PM

    “He is very talented and he is very intelligent,” Fisher said. “Intelligence isn’t an issue with him.”
    Well, apparantly bear claws and diamonds are an issue.

  12. swervinmervin says: May 6, 2010 9:00 PM

    Lets be honest here – if people questioned Russell’s smarts, they’d be accused of being racist towards a black QB.

  13. CYGNUS X-1 says: May 6, 2010 9:01 PM

    how will he react?like anybody else who won the lottery and never has to work again. as in who cares what you think I got mine,do you realy think he cares about being a punchline with all that money?

  14. Legend says: May 6, 2010 9:03 PM

    Money. Too much money.

  15. the real deal says: May 6, 2010 9:09 PM

    This whole thing is going to get stupid, the media will soon switch sides saying this bust, who is the biggest bust ever deserves another shot.
    The eye in the sky don’t lie, and this guy is terrible. However, because he is black everyone will cry racism.
    Let’s face it this guy sucks, and if he was white all the blacks defending this fat ass would agree.
    Why can’t we just look past skin color and see how terrible the biggest bust of all time is, fat effin bum……

  16. The Shape says: May 6, 2010 9:13 PM

    If he was so smart Jimbo Fisher then why didn’t he succed in the NFL??? Screw you…your just trying to save the guy. Look at his stats moron… he was last in all categorys. Don’t blame the Raiders. He was fat and lazy….plain and simple.

  17. LearningAboutCuba says: May 6, 2010 9:17 PM

    “And we don’t really know how a 24-year-old will react to losing his job, and becoming a punchline.”
    He’ll probably laugh all the way to the bank … and then to the all-you-can-eat buffet.

  18. KoolKell says: May 6, 2010 9:18 PM

    Those fur coats sealed the deal with “some” fans.
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much hate directed towards one player.

  19. StevieG says: May 6, 2010 9:19 PM

    The guy has such a huge arm it is unfortunate he made some really bad decisions. I think guys like him have really changed the way that draft stratagies have went the past few seasons for obvious reasons. I hope that he lands somewhere that has a QB for the next year or two and has a very good QB coach/O coordinator. If a team strips him down and takes their time building him back up he could still be a weapon in the league. Big project to take on though. He needs to come back with the mind set of proving a point, the Raiders can crush any mans dreams, much like my beloved Leos.

  20. brasho says: May 6, 2010 9:31 PM

    Rosenthal, you don’t remember much then. He was in danger of NOT being the starting QB going into his junior, and last, season at LSU, and he had never started before that because he couldn’t beat out Matt Flynn or whomever the well-below average QB it was he couldn’t beat out.
    The warning signs were there. It was a well-documented fact that he wasn’t a big worker at LSU… and then he came into the biggest job interview of his life, the NFL Scouting Combine, looking like a reject offensive guard from the USFL because he was so fat… then a week later he had dropped 10 lbs for his Pro Day and was closer to his listed playing weight (after weighing 265 at the combine).
    If you combine one lazy guy that has never had to work for anything in his life with a huge contract, you’re going to get a horrible bust at QB.
    And like they say about QB, playing the position is 90% mental, showing the work ethic by watching film, doing the extra throwing sessions with receivers, etc… and Russell has never done that and he gave no inclination from what he did at LSU that he would do that.

  21. JoeSchmoe says: May 6, 2010 9:39 PM

    The funniest story is going to be when he goes somewhere to back up a guy, that guy gets hurt, and Russell comes in and schools it.

  22. rraider says: May 6, 2010 9:51 PM

    The media and Fans have beaten this guy mericulously…………..let him go on and try to turn his career around elsewhere………….RIP Jamarcus the raider……………….I feel bad for him, the local media is so anti-raiders and the national media just piles on. He was completely unprepared for the job on and off the field.

  23. rraider says: May 6, 2010 9:59 PM

    his wonderlic was 24………

  24. Plunketthead says: May 6, 2010 10:03 PM

    UnKool
    Al just texted me
    He said he was gonna live another 20 years, win three superbowls and piss on your grave.

  25. KoolKell says: May 6, 2010 10:12 PM

    jshawaii says:
    May 6, 2010 8:55 PM
    I wonder what his “wonderlik” score was…
    ——————————
    24
    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/wonderlic-scores-of-2010-nfl-starting-quarterbacks-and-339905.html

  26. KoolKell says: May 6, 2010 10:14 PM

    Plunketthead says:
    May 6, 2010 10:03 PM
    UnKool
    Al just texted me
    He said he was gonna live another 20 years, win three superbowls and piss on your grave.
    ————————————-
    Fine, if he’s winning he’s alright with me.
    But right now he’s 29-83. And a laughingstock.

  27. Michael LaRocca says: May 6, 2010 10:17 PM

    Sugar coma

  28. o0tt0o says: May 6, 2010 10:36 PM

    theres nothing to strip down and start over…….you dont retain anything if your sleeping in the meetings or you leave a meeting for a break and never return…..he didnt care when big bucks were on the line…hes not gonna care for leage min $$$

  29. SF Saints Fan says: May 6, 2010 10:40 PM

    No doubt, JaMarcus Russell did nothing with the Raiders, but the fact remains that he had better wide receivers when he was with LSU than he had with the Raiders.

  30. kristoff says: May 6, 2010 10:43 PM

    still cant understand why so much hatred out there. do u really think the guy wanted to fail? WOW.

  31. INVAIDUH says: May 6, 2010 10:49 PM

    Junior is right on the money….

  32. Dolphin man41 says: May 6, 2010 10:50 PM

    This is a message to the Real Deal: I am Black and i hate what Jamarcus Russell did to the raiders. Du to the fact my cousin is a big fan. So it is not a black or white thing. How the hell do you no if the guy is black. o i forgot his skin color , please ; what the hell does that mean with all of these whites claiming to be indian. Get the Fu87 out of here with that. you probaly don’t even no your real color. Just because you are a certain color doesn’t mean that’s what u really are. How Much white, black or somoan blood does the president have in him, you idiot?

  33. Plunketthead says: May 6, 2010 10:50 PM

    KK
    What did you get banned at Scarys for?

  34. pmarshall says: May 6, 2010 11:28 PM

    If Jimbo thinks JaMarcus was intelligent, he must think Christian Ponder is Stephen freaking Hawking.

  35. edgy1957 says: May 6, 2010 11:30 PM

    Once upon a time the very first choice of the draft was sent packing and he failed with his next team and was sent packing again and he finally got another chnace because of an injury and after 9 years in the league, he FINALLY lived up to his promise and led his team to a Super Bowl win that year and another before he retired. Jim Plunkett will never make the HOF but he certainly made his mark.
    BTW, Alex Smith’s career after 3 years was going nowhere and now, he’s back to starting. Sometimes it taks a kick in the ass to turn a guy’s career around: ask Drew Brees about that one.

  36. Slow Joe says: May 6, 2010 11:31 PM

    This whole thing is going to get stupid, the media will soon switch sides saying this bust, who is the biggest bust ever deserves another shot.
    The eye in the sky don’t lie, and this guy is terrible. However, because he is black everyone will cry racism.
    Let’s face it this guy sucks, and if he was white all the blacks defending this fat ass would agree.
    Why can’t we just look past skin color and see how terrible the biggest bust of all time is, fat effin bum……
    ===================================
    Dude, why can’t you get past skin color? You’re the only person on this thread talking about racism. The guy sucks, no matter what color he is, and I don’t see anyone else here taking a stand due to race.

  37. oldskool says: May 6, 2010 11:41 PM

    This guy is the poster boy for a rookie salary cap if there has ever been one.

  38. Richochet says: May 6, 2010 11:48 PM

    KoolKell says:
    May 4, 2010 8:17 PM
    Jerry’s Blog Commrades,
    I read the tribute for me there today. I just want to let you know that I was banned for posting Richochet’s address. Richochet was stalking and calling me using a blocked number for over 6 weeks. I finally had enough and had some people trap his calls and found out his identity.
    Maybe some of you could ask Jerry about this.
    Thanks, KoolKell
    P.S. Don’t let those bullies over there get away with sH*t, peace.
    =========================
    Yep, LMFAO…
    I told you, peanut, I live in Pleasanton.
    Now, how sad and sorry are you that you actually drove out to someone’s house (allegedly) and sat in front, ranting and raving?
    Are you honestly this slow? lol…seriously, Kelli..it’s almost like you’ve had a melt down.
    Are you REALLY SAYING YOU GOT A PRANK CALL, and the fool had his number on your caller ID, and for no other reason than I smack you around, at will, you just figure it HAS TO BE ME?? You actually talked to someone who said it was me? .. lol…really??? You lie.
    And you REALLY drove out somewhere, and yelled at some guy, thinking it was me?
    Classic :) Seriously melt down classic.
    And I can see your boring everyone here to death, just like you do everywhere, lol.

  39. Just Drew It! says: May 6, 2010 11:55 PM

    Funny, because as a die hard LSU fan, this is the exact jamarcus russell I remember. Lazy, inaccurate, ignorant.
    This is why we didn’t want him to start his last year, and why it was a shock that 2 months later, he went number one.
    It is no shock that LSU won it all the shortly after with a quarterback with half the talent in Matt Flynn.

  40. edgy1957 says: May 7, 2010 12:05 AM

    brasho says:
    Rosenthal, you don’t remember much then. He was in danger of NOT being the starting QB
    ************************
    You know, it isn’t always the most reliable source but from Wikipedia:
    In February 2003 on National Signing Day, Russell committed to Louisiana State University (LSU) over Florida State University (FSU), becoming the Tigers’ 28th and final recruit of the 2003 season. He redshirted his freshman year and by the fall of the 2005 season, Russell was the undisputed starting quarterback for Louisiana State University. He led the Tigers to a 10-1 regular season record, the SEC Western Division title, and a top five ranking going into the SEC Championship Game. He also improved statistically, completing 60 percent of his passes for 2,443 yards and 15 touchdowns. Russell received an honorable mention on the AP’s All-SEC Team.
    Russell led the Tigers to two dramatic come-from-behind wins in the regular season. The first came on a 39 yard pass to Early Doucet on 4th down in the final minute of the game, as the Tigers defeated Arizona State 35-31. Later in the season, LSU defeated a then-undefeated Alabama team 16-13 when Russell completed a 14 yard touchdown to Dwayne Bowe in overtime for the win.
    Russell injured his shoulder in a loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, and missed the team’s bowl game. Backup quarterback Matt Flynn replaced Russell for the Peach Bowl against Miami, and the Tigers won the game 40-3.
    Russell was the starting quarterback again at LSU in 2006, beating out Matt Flynn and highly-touted redshirt freshman Ryan Perrilloux. Before the season began, he changed his jersey number from 4 to 2. He had a productive 2006 regular season, leading the Tigers to a 10-2 record and a BCS Sugar Bowl berth. He threw for 3,129 yards, 28 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He was second in the SEC with 2,923 yards from scrimmage. Russell won the SEC Offensive Player of the Week award three times during the regular season.

    ———— NOT IN WIKIPEDIA ——-
    Flynn and Russell both red-shirted in 2003 and Flynn NEVER beat out Russell. JR split time as the starter in 2004 with Marcus Randall and was the starter in 2005 and 2006.

  41. Howie Handles says: May 7, 2010 12:48 AM

    Funny how we label him a bust, but he’s probably got money cash in the bank than all of the previous posters, including myself, combined. Call me bust all you want with that type of coin.
    He’s still young, and wouldn’t be the first QB to turn things around after being labeled a bust.

  42. lamajet says: May 7, 2010 12:48 AM

    still cant understand why so much hatred out there. do u really think the guy wanted to fail? WOW.
    It’s easy. Incredibly rich for doing practically nothing. Held out as a rookie, and then showed no passion for being good, much less great.

  43. East Bay Ray says: May 7, 2010 1:32 AM

    Warning: this is completely 2nd hand rumor. But then, that is what you’re here for.
    I live in East SF Bay Area, and a friend of mine reported seeing him at a Warriors game a couple of years ago, and said Russell STUNK of alcohol. Not just drunk, smelly drunk. This is just an anecdote. I have no idea if there are more, but is it possible that he has a drinking problem? That will certainly make a person lethargic and fat.

  44. stephen8 says: May 7, 2010 2:24 AM

    a complete bafoon

  45. zllabnkcoc says: May 7, 2010 4:02 AM

    how smart is he?
    he leaves the NFL with his $40mil lottery ticket and not a single concussion or serious injury.
    pretty smart apparently.

  46. chadgoy says: May 7, 2010 4:05 AM

    To Raider Critics: TOTAL RECORD ALL TIME 410W-335L-11T. PLAYOFF RECORD 25W-18L. WON 3 OF 5 SUPERBOWL APPEARANCES. SUCK IT!!! THIS FALL THE BLACK IS BACK

  47. DWat393 says: May 7, 2010 5:14 AM

    # kristoff says: May 6, 2010 10:43 PM
    still cant understand why so much hatred out there. do u really think the guy wanted to fail? WOW.
    ————————————————————-
    Not necessarily, but I also have a question for you:
    Do you really think the guy wanted to succeed?

  48. DWat393 says: May 7, 2010 5:23 AM

    And where’s Tony Dungy when you need him?

  49. Icantadd says: May 7, 2010 6:06 AM

    I can’t ever see anyone going down as a bigger bust than Ryan Leaf. As a San Diego fan, the humiliation and anger of watching Leaf ruin the team is something I have never seen rivaled. And I live in Detroit.
    Sure, Russell is fat, kinda lazy, heck, just flat out bad. Ryan Leaf wasn’t that bad at football. He was just bad at being a PROFESSIONAL football player.
    Last time I checked, Russell has never yelled at reporters like a whiny bitch, alienated his teammates, or spent ludicrous amounts of money in Las Vegas in the weeks prior to the start of a season.
    Russell may leave the league a loser, but at least he has some type of reputation as a decent human being, which is more than Leaf can say.

  50. We need linemen says: May 7, 2010 6:08 AM

    “There is simply no way to know how a 21-year old will react to $40 million, no matter how many tests we give them. ”
    Funny, because the way I remember that draft, there were a lot of people who thought this is exactly how he would handle it. No one doubted his arm, but a lot of people were questionning whether Russell actually liked football and would have the necessary desire to succeed in the pros.
    He was regarded as hugely talented, he was the unquestioned no. 1 quarterback in the draft but, as I remember it, lots of people stated that there was a high bust potential.

  51. Boo Hoo Florio picked on your team - GET OVER IT says: May 7, 2010 6:19 AM

    As much as I disliked the punk, I do hope that in due time, he will remake himself into a young adult that can be proud of himself. For all the right reasons.

  52. Raiders757 says: May 7, 2010 6:24 AM

    That’s funny Mr. Fisher, because it was reported in the past that LSU players and coaches alike had to push him along to keep him motivated. What’s with the back peddling? His work ethic and dedication to the game has always been questioned.

  53. Bwa Ha Ha says: May 7, 2010 6:56 AM

    Looks like the Eagles got the best QB in that draft.

  54. brasho says: May 7, 2010 7:27 AM

    edgy1957:
    Like I said, whomever it was, and it was Flynn, almost beat out Russell because Russell wouldn’t work hard enough and didn’t grasp the O like Flynn. Ask any LSU fan or draftnik like me.
    Dolphin man41:
    That was the most unintelligent, poorly conceived, and poorly written comment I have seen in ages. The sheer randomness of every line of your post reads something like the opening 15 minutes of Pulp Fiction. Black people everywhere have asked that you stop posting, you’re making them look bad.

  55. BernieMac says: May 7, 2010 7:42 AM

    “Russell’s failure goes beyond football. There is simply no way to know how a 21-year old will react to $40 million, no matter how many tests we give them.”
    Maybe if Jeff Ireland would have asked him if his mother was a prostitute then maybe he would have been a great QB.

  56. stan26 says: May 7, 2010 8:22 AM

    Russell is the poster boy for why the league must adapt a salary cap for rookies.
    40 mil just pissed away.
    And he is not the only one, just the richest.

  57. FAS says: May 7, 2010 8:50 AM

    Wow…who would’ve thought Kiffin was the genius all along?

  58. mybuddyandme says: May 7, 2010 9:14 AM

    so when are the Bengals going to “redeem” Jabarfus Russell?

  59. Iron Wolf says: May 7, 2010 9:19 AM

    It’s a two-way street here. I’m not excusing Russell for anything, but you just know that along the way he was handed opportunities that he didn’t really deserve. It all worked to create a guy that doesn’t know what it means to REALLY work hard. He probably thinks he really is. Best thing for him is to go to a team with an established, respected veteran QB and just learn what it takes. This could take a few years but so what, he’s a kid. It would be more exciting for all of us to have a guy with that talent begin to succeed. Right now I’m disappointed in him, but deep inside I’m pulling for him too.

  60. Ray Guy says: May 7, 2010 11:17 AM

    “He is very talented and he is very intelligent,” Fisher said. “Intelligence isn’t an issue with him.”
    ______________________________________
    Did anyone notice the one thing not mentioned?
    He doesn’t have “HEART”. Therein lies the problem. It can’t be taught.
    The new name for him is : “JaCut” and that makes me happy.

  61. edgy1957 says: May 7, 2010 11:42 AM

    brasho says:
    Like I said, whomever it was, and it was Flynn,
    **************************
    In 3 years of playing together, Flynn got NO significant playing time while Russell was healthy. He threw 78 passes in 3 years and 22 of them came after Russell was forced to miss the bowl game against a Miami team that LSU could have beaten with Errol Flynn at QB. The only other time that he threw more than 10 times was when Russell was knocked out of the SEC championship and he went 3 of 11 and that’s ONLY because he was 3 of 4 when the team was down 34-7.
    Whether he inspired Russell to play his ass off or not, Flynn wasn’t going to beat him out. In 3 years of playing together, he NEVER beat out Russell.

  62. therealtruth says: May 7, 2010 3:55 PM

    What a load of crap Fisher is selling. Fisher is a HC now doing recruiting–if he bad mouths a former player new possibles recruits may think he’ll bad mouth them some day. & don’t feel sorry for JaOffTheMarcus–he stole $39.6 million. Blame the idiot who drafted him–red flags were everywhere. Oh but Phil Savage would’ve drafted him—another fool that got fired a year later. But he’s so talented…other than having a strong arm & height, both natural abilities, what talent does he have? Accuracy? Touch? Leadership? Work ethic? Ability to read defenses? Stays in shape? No, no, no. no. no & no.

  63. peteo says: May 8, 2010 6:27 PM

    Jimbo Fisher is a classless jerk. he is perfect for FSU. while I was never a Bobby Bowden fan I have a great amount of respect for him and what he did there. as far as Fisher goes, to hell with him and Jamochashake. they deserve each other.

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