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Kiffin says Jamarcus was a great kid

Perhaps the most painful part of letting go of JaMarcus Russell for Al Davis was admitting that Lane Kiffin was right.

Kiffin never wanted Russell; he reportedly hoped to take Calvin Johnson first overall and target Trent Edwards as a quarterback in the third round.

Our pal Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times caught up with Kiffin this week to get his thoughts on Russell, and Kiffin surprisingly didn’t gloat.

“We had a difference of opinion, myself and Mr. Davis,” Kiffin said. “But, you know, like I’ve always said, ‘Everybody has a boss,’
and he was the boss. I truly wish it would have worked out different
for JaMarcus because he’s a great kid. But this could be the best thing
for him.”

Okay, maybe that was a little bit of restrained gloating. 

We do agree with Kiffin that any shot Russell has at redemption had to happen away from Oakland. 

We don’t absolve Russell from his responsibility.  He blew it.  But even if he acted like a professional from day one, we agree with what Jerry McDonald wrote this week: Russell also never really stood a chance.

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59 Responses to “Kiffin says Jamarcus was a great kid”
  1. BigBear123 says: May 9, 2010 3:28 PM

    LSU has produced a lot of first round busts with the biggest knock against them is laziness. JMac is just another example of that, let’s blame LSU too. Blame everyone but the personal responsible. It’s Al Davis’s fault JMac weighs 290 lbs too.

  2. SaintsBucsPanthersSUKK says: May 9, 2010 3:29 PM

    JaMarcus is still great at chowin’ down donuts & triple cheeseburgers.

  3. JJCheesehead says: May 9, 2010 3:31 PM

    I cant wait to see what everyone has to say about this story……

  4. JJCheesehead says: May 9, 2010 3:33 PM

    the Raiders really gave out some great contract in Russell and Javon Walker. 2 of the dumbest contract in football history.

  5. Legend says: May 9, 2010 3:35 PM

    I’ll just say that Calvin Johson and Trent Edwards wouldn’t have solved the Raider’s problems either.

  6. Chiefs2010 says: May 9, 2010 3:38 PM

    good kid? The dude’s 24 years old. That’s the probably, he acts and is treated like a kid..
    Dude’s a lazy bust.. you only get one bite of the apple Jamarcus, and you blew it, brother.

  7. Tsmith says: May 9, 2010 3:41 PM

    a jacka$$ saying someone is a great kid really doesnt mean much now does it

  8. insanity23mike says: May 9, 2010 3:46 PM

    how could he have a chance when he was falling asleep at team meetings when the lights would dim. During his first yr(kiffins yr)according to Rhodes(who was there only 1yr-kiffins full yr)
    How could he have a chance when the Raiders were force to use only 25% of the playbook because thats how much Russell knew the playbook.
    How could he have a chance when he holdout, skipped voluntary camps, showed up late and left early, would go to night clubs in SF after a loss.
    How could he have a chance when he still refused to take a paycut and every chance he got to play RaiderNation knew 3things.. Fumble,Interception or Sack..Whats next.
    Oline was a problem, Wrs was a problem.. But yet Gradkowski made both Oline and Wrs look decent and not just in one game..

  9. Treezs says: May 9, 2010 3:56 PM

    Common for fired people to unite… pieces of shit.

  10. KUHawks2010 says: May 9, 2010 3:57 PM

    Two things, 1st he has the same problem alot of other people have in this country. He is lazy with no work ethic and wants paid for nothing. 2nd thing is that he has the worst accuracy Ive ever seen from a QB. Those two things are something you have, not something any other team, coach or GM or a good nights sleep will fix.

  11. Plunketthead says: May 9, 2010 4:05 PM

    Speaking of lame, did he win the Maxim babe of the year or did they pull his name to keep from being embarassed

  12. roosterwes says: May 9, 2010 4:12 PM

    If Russell has no problem with his conscience and really doesn’t care about football, I’m sure he doesn’t care what any of us think. He’s also rich!

  13. JSpicoli says: May 9, 2010 4:16 PM

    Ole Beady Eye’ed Mumbler spouting off again.
    Kiffin reminds me of the Martin Short character on SNL’s 60 minutes parody.

  14. Justin says: May 9, 2010 4:24 PM

    The Raiders had more than just 2 of the worst contracts in the NFL over the past 3-5 years. JaMarcus Russell, Javon Walker, Tommy Kelly, Terdell Sands, Gibril Wilson, Darren McFadden*, Darrius Heyward-Bey*. The asterisks are for those 2 since they still have a chance to prove their worth. The rest were worthless.
    That’s at least 3 of the worst contracts ever in the first 3 players I mentioned plus if Heyward-Bey doesn’t pan out then that’s a 4th worst contract in at least the top 25 of worst contracts ever.
    I just hope this year’s draft is a sign of some promise because it’s the smartest draft the Raiders have had in over 10 years.

  15. dogma1 says: May 9, 2010 4:33 PM

    LSU = Bust factory
    The Kansas City Chiefs have two busts on their D-line right now in Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey.
    Dawye Bowe isn’t a bust but isn’t worth a 1st round pick either.
    LaRon Landry has been horrible, I never seen a big guy play so soft, what a wuss/bust.
    BUSTer Davis WR, hahahaha. He is a joke. BUST.
    JaMarcus Russell, Herman Johnson, Byrd, all of them are busts.

  16. Bob Loblaw says: May 9, 2010 4:35 PM

    I’m sure he was a great kid. However, last time I checked it takes a man to play football.

  17. FumbleNuts says: May 9, 2010 4:45 PM

    Bottom Line: the Big Gradkowski seemed to do just fine with what they had.
    This guy has NO heart and terrible football instincts.

  18. madbombersays says: May 9, 2010 4:58 PM

    JaMarcus takes all the pressure off of Ryan Leaf and even Tony Mandrich he too was a flopp. Heath Shuler is even saying hell i was a good kid too. Lane Kiffins opinion to a Raider fan is like a piece of shit, it reaks of odor

  19. swervinmervin says: May 9, 2010 5:00 PM

    I disagree with your assertion that Jerry Mac was right. JaThargic had a very good chance at succeeding. Look at what Gradkowski did in limited time. He was adored for it by the Raider fans.
    The Raiders have been so bad since 2003 that all Russell had to do was give ANY effort and play at least at a mediocre level, and Raider Nation wouldve been content.
    Instead, the guy just ate food and didnt work at his craft one bit. So of course it wasnt going to work out. Blaming that on the Raiders is stupid. Sure the Raiders had some turnover while Russell was there. Problem is – Russell WAS THE REASON for the turnover. Al Davis was trying to make changes to get the best out of Russell. Only he didnt realize until this past week that bringing in Vince Lombardi himself wouldnt have done any good because Russell did not want to play pro football. HE just wanted to be paid like a pro football player.

  20. comment_submission_error says: May 9, 2010 5:10 PM

    Who cares if he’s a great kid. The NFL isn’t a congeniality contest. And even though Kiffin was was right about Russell (I can’t win with THAT!), Lane is still a greasy little turd.

  21. irish4life says: May 9, 2010 5:17 PM

    If Lane Kiffin would of stayed as the coach of the Raiders I think things turn out differently for Russell. Kiffin would of been on that kid to work. In a couple games when Kiffin was coaching I actually saw Glimpses of decent play from Russell.

  22. joetoronto says: May 9, 2010 5:42 PM

    “Russell never really stood a chance.”
    Yup, sheer laziness, a complete lack of effort and too dumb to read a comic book, let alone an NFL Playbook, and ya…..
    He never really stood a chance.

  23. warrick1005 says: May 9, 2010 5:58 PM

    not saying russell is a good qb or he even worked hard, but basically any qb in that situation would be screwed. he basically had no running game, no oline, and no wrs. they had a chance to get crabtree and they took heyward-bey!!!! the raiders are a disgrace and anyone who gets drafted by them are set up for failure

  24. mattgso says: May 9, 2010 6:21 PM

    If he wants a shot at redemption, he needs to sign on cheap with a team like the Skins and take a year as the #3 QB.
    Take time to back in shape, carry the clipboard, and get his confidence back. He may never be great, but I think he could be a good back up QB and maybe a starter again if the stars align.
    Oakland is a QB black hole and probably the worst place he could have gone for his first NFL team.

  25. Ryan35 says: May 9, 2010 6:36 PM

    Why does everyone care about how much a team pays a player? Can anyone show me an article that says “x” Nfl team has traded for “x” player but cant get him in under the salary cap so the trade is null and void? Rookie contracts are not the fault of the teams its the NFL for not slotting them like the NBA.
    Raiders 9-7 this season at the worst.
    3 Time superbowl Champions

  26. Ryan35 says: May 9, 2010 6:38 PM

    Do you think Jamarcus would have had all those different coaches throughtout his time in Oakland if he had tried?
    He is the reason they had multiple coaches working with him, because he sucked. If he wouldnt have sucked they wouldnt have had multiple coaches. Anyone that thinks otherwise is merely shifting blame away from Jamarcus.

  27. brasho says: May 9, 2010 6:46 PM

    dogma1: How dare you mention LSU busts and not have Michael Clayton at the top of your list! I also remember highly touted LB Ali Highsmith never getting drafted and then never making a team, same thing this year with OT CIron Black, he still hasn’t caught onto a team as an UDFA/
    I said Russell would be a huge bust when he showed up at the combine 4 years ago looking like the poster boy for Krispy Kreme. It was the biggest job interview of his life and he shows up in the business world equivilent of a stained wife beater and torn jean shorts. The knock on Russell going into his junior season is that he didn’t work hard enough and he barely beat out Matt Flynn for the spot (Flynn won the natl championship the next season). Then to take Russell #1 overall and hand him millions of dollars wasn’t going to do anything to make a lazy man (he hasn’t been a kid since high school) more motivated, how could it, you’ve given the horse the carrot, what is he going to play for?
    Finally, can we finally stop calling people over the age of 17 “kids”? These guys are the same age as “kids” over in Iraq dying for our country and the same age as the “kids” that were rightfully tried as adults that are encarcerated. They’re not kids, many of them are as stupid as kids and do things that only kids would do, but they are adults and should be called as such.

  28. Colts18 says: May 9, 2010 6:50 PM

    I dont blame jamarcus. Its hard to resist In-n-Out!!!

  29. TylerDurden says: May 9, 2010 6:50 PM

    Ahh yes, now that the Raiders have released him the “JaMarcus apologists” arrive to say that it wasn’t his fault he was fat and lazy. Face it folks, Russell is just representative of a vast majority of this generation of kids. Lazy with a skewed sense of entitlement.

  30. BUNYAN says: May 9, 2010 7:04 PM

    Russell was given every chance to succeed. The Raiders hired two of the best quarterback coaches in the NFL Paul Hackett and Tedford to tutor him. They had Eddie Anderson baby sitting him. What people don’t understand is, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Russell is the only person responsible for his failure. No one else.

  31. iusedtobeteddybayer says: May 9, 2010 7:20 PM

    Just another example of the man holding a brother down.

  32. bergthe1st says: May 9, 2010 7:23 PM

    So, if Kiffin had gotten his way and the Raiders had taken Calvin Johnson,… Would the Lions Matt Millen have taken OffDaMarcus Russell with the 2nd pick?
    Could Detroit have found a way to have been worse in ’08? Can you lose more than 16?
    And LSU busts? No one mentioned Josh Reed, Chad Lavalais, LaBrabdon Toefield or Wade Richey.
    But since I’m from here I feel obligated to represent. We can still claim: Kevin Mawae, Alan Faneca, Kevin Faulk, Jacob Hester and Devery Henderson

  33. snnyjcbs says: May 9, 2010 7:49 PM

    Give me a break, there are a bunch of great kids but that does not make them NFL quality QB’s.
    The cream always raises to the top, Nnamdi, Branch, the TE Miller even while having the clown throwing at him.
    Russell is lazy and fat. He is not very smart and does not have what it takes to be an NFL QB. He has no leadership qualities, cannot read a D, call ot protections or audible. And when he passes he can only read half the field while using only half the play book.
    He moves around in the pocket like a Sperm Whale with no Football instincts at all for feeling pressure or how to move around in the pocket. He sleeps during meetings and that is if he shows up. He does not study or care about what he is doing and is here in Las Vegas more then he was in Oakland.
    The way that I look at it is that had Oakland moved on another QB like Campbell 3 years ago, the Raiders would have only had a 4 year lull and have came out of it years ago. Huge BUST this kid but he was DIRT POOR and has his money which is all that he ever cared for in the first place.

  34. Nevisyakker says: May 9, 2010 8:06 PM

    I think what he means to say is, “Hey, he’s a big, fat, lazy, numb nuts…but at least he isn’t Ben Rothlisberger.”

  35. Raider 4 life says: May 9, 2010 8:09 PM

    Off-the-Marcus may have been a great kid but he will go down as the biggest draft bust of all time. This same great kid couldn’t stay awake during team meetings or film sessions. This great kid could throw the ball from here to Pittsburgh but he couldn’t hit my garage door from ten yards away. This great kid had no work ethic as can be seen in his weight reaching the 300 pound mark. Maybe a team will pick him up and move him to DT. Now that we have removed the cancer from this team maybe we can go forward. GO RAIDERS!

  36. Justin says: May 9, 2010 8:28 PM

    Ryan Leaf has to be the biggest bust of all time because the Chargers gave up 2 first round draft picks, a 2nd round draft pick, a reserve LB, and 3-time Pro Bowler, Eric Metcalf, just to move up 1 spot to draft Ryan Leaf.
    The Raiders gave up nothing other than winning to draft JaMarcus Russell.

  37. MrSalamander says: May 9, 2010 9:17 PM

    I wanted to draft Russell. He failed myself and every other member of the only Nation in football. Done. He’s out, we move on, etc.etc. However… “cheesehead” or “cheeseburger” or whatever your name is: it’s hard to come off with much authority when you don’t under stand the difference between The Plural and The Singular. Now go eat a sausage.

  38. o0tt0o says: May 9, 2010 9:19 PM

    russell being a great kid is probably the only thing thats gonna keep him from being the #1 overall bust of all time…….cause leaf was an ash&ole to go with it

  39. comment_submission_error says: May 9, 2010 9:36 PM

    Justin says:
    The Raiders gave up nothing other than winning to draft JaMarcus Russell.
    —————————————————
    Yeah, but being the first pick also means being the worst team, so you give up self-respect, too. It was a bad year for Oakland to get first pick, since they needed a QB. It’s like St. Louis this year. Take what’s there and hope it works.

  40. Buck Stallion says: May 9, 2010 9:39 PM

    Those of you saying Russell had no chance because of the Oline & receivers don’t know what you’re talking about. With Gradkowski in there, the team was competetive. When Gradkowski got hurt against the skins, you could see the life go out of the whole team, cuz they knew they had no chance with that worthless pos in the game.

  41. Bious says: May 9, 2010 9:55 PM

    Miles, Saban, and Kiffin will stick up for him but EVERYONE that knows him know that he refuses to work THAT hard, refuses to eat well for any significant time, and refuses to get along with anyone else on the team
    Few liked him at LSU (Hence calls for him to be benched throughout his time at LSU) and few liked him at Oakland
    It isn’t a coincidence

  42. R8ERNAT1ON says: May 9, 2010 10:04 PM

    Yea a great kid cuz he proved him right j-buss wut a waste of money n time

  43. skf727 says: May 9, 2010 10:32 PM

    If JaMarcus was such a great kid, I think he would have shown at least an ounce of anger/humility over his poor performances.
    The bottom line is that he got his and didn’t get a f if anyone else got theirs.
    It is his perogative to do that…but that is not the hallmark of “a great kid.”

  44. VonClausewitz says: May 10, 2010 2:08 AM

    “He never had a chance”??
    Nonsense. He had lots of chances. He had 3 years where it didn’t matter how bad he was, he’d still start the following week. If he really wanted to make the most of those chances he would have. It sucks that he landed on a dysfunctional team, but there are plenty of young qbs that only get a handful of starts to prove their worth before they are shuffled out. Jamarcus had a lot more time than those guys. When it comes down to it, you don’t know how many chances you’re going to get, so you need to make the most of what comes your way. Russell didn’t do that, and that’s entirely on him.

  45. rcunningham says: May 10, 2010 3:13 AM

    Why are people so eager to attack others?
    I’m not saying J-Russ wasn’t at fault, because he was, but I just find it somewhat disturbing everyone is so quick to tear another human being apart because he couldn’t play a sport well enough…

  46. LateNightRoach says: May 10, 2010 3:24 AM

    mattgso says: May 9, 2010 6:21 PM
    “If he wants a shot at redemption, he needs to sign on cheap with a team like the Skins and take a year as the #3 QB.”
    Why in hell would the Skins or ANY team want this bum for a #3 QB?
    No thanks, mattgso.
    First he needs to lose about 50lbs before anyone can even think about teaching him how to hit the broadside of a barn with a football at the NFL level.
    Too much of a piece of work with better talent available out there. He’ll be pawning his mink coat in another year or so. Let this chump just disappear.

  47. LateNightRoach says: May 10, 2010 3:44 AM

    # Justin says: May 9, 2010 8:28 PM
    “The Raiders gave up nothing other than winning to draft JaMarcus Russell.”
    39 million for nothing in return is more than nothing.

  48. joetoronto says: May 10, 2010 6:19 AM

    The walrus has been spotted in Buffalo.
    Maybe he’s there to try and win a rib eating contest.

  49. Bucforever says: May 10, 2010 8:15 AM

    A 39 million dollar reward for lackluster effort should prove how badly the NFL needs to reform the pay scale. Of course when compared to the millions in “BONUS” money paid to the ceos of some of our failed banks and investment companys, it comes more into perspective. Jamarcus , take the money and run. Have a nice life.

  50. raidersteve413 says: May 10, 2010 8:34 AM

    How can anybody “blame” al davis? He did what everybody said to do during the 07 draft. Every analyst said the raiders would be crazy not to take jamarcus russell. But for us here in oakland and us in The raider family, we just move on to campbell, Now are only decsion is to decide what finger we want our NEW ring to go on.

  51. Jack Burton says: May 10, 2010 8:54 AM

    Ahh to get 39 million bucks while eating candybars on the sidleine watching Bruce Gradkowski lead the team down the field. Where did I go wrong?

  52. Orange&Blue says: May 10, 2010 10:11 AM

    The Raiders are a joke. Bring on Gradkowski, Campbell, whoever else. The only bigger joke than the Raiders is their pathetic fans. They make a strong case against inbreeding. Keep it up though losers, you make the rest of us look that much better.

  53. eklypse69 says: May 10, 2010 1:27 PM

    “I truly wish it would have worked out different for JaMarcus because he’s a great kid.”
    I’d like to point out for the record that they don’t give out Lombardi trophies for great personalities – only for great performances on the football field.
    And personality doesn’t get your lazy butt moving and motivated either. Apparently neither does a large paycheck.

  54. tango says: May 10, 2010 2:35 PM

    I blame the Raiders and JaJunk equally for this mess. Even when you are paying $39 mill that does not mean you need to play him. Should have sat him 2-3 years and prayed he would learn and mature. If he did not cut him and let Dead Al take the financial bruise ! Very simple formula but Al played a dysfunctional kid who in turn never “stood up” and attempted to be a man who wanted to learn and suceed.

  55. KoolKell says: May 10, 2010 4:12 PM

    *The Raiders have developed exactly ONE Quarterback in their entire history.
    *Al Davis has put together SIX winning teams in the last 20 years
    *The Raiders are 29-83 over the last SEVEN years.
    *The Raiders are widely acknowledged to be the worst situation there was for Russell.
    ——————————————-
    Why isn’t Al Davis ever held accountable for the Raiders failures?

  56. KoolKell says: May 10, 2010 4:29 PM

    Fan Poll:
    Whose more responsible for the current “State of the Raiders”?
    a) Al Davis
    b) JaMarcus Russell

  57. tango says: May 10, 2010 7:57 PM

    A, A, A, A

  58. 1nationraidernation says: May 10, 2010 9:41 PM

    who is going to be gloating when USC finishes in 5th place

  59. tango says: May 11, 2010 1:34 PM

    Although DeadAl has not had a brain cell lineup in 20 years, Lane Kiffin is a creep and has demonstrated that at Tennessee so anything he says about JaJunk, is just that, Junk !

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