Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha says the reason JaMarcus Russell failed as the team’s quarterback is simple: Russell’s impressive arm didn’t have an impressive head to match.
“He didn’t progress as quickly as we wanted him to or needed him to,”
Asomugha said Thursday on ESPN’s Jim Rome Is Burning. “The mental part of the game, I don’t think, caught on
for him as quickly as we needed it to.”
Asomugha wasn’t ripping Russell so much as he was saying what Russell needs to improve upon if he’s ever going to make it in the NFL. But he made clear that he believes releasing Russell and acquiring Jason Campbell will make a big difference in Oakland.
“The offseason was great, with us cutting down on certain players,” Asomugha said.
When Rome asked Asomugha specifically what happened in the offseason to make the team better, Asomugha answered, “The Jason Campbell trade.”
Still, while Asomugha doesn’t sound like he’ll miss having Russell as a teammate, he does think Russell could have a future in the NFL — if his experience in Oakland motivates him to work harder.
“It’s a chance to start over again, have that chip on your shoulder and start over again,” Asomugha said. “If that doesn’t fuel you to do much better, then you know there’s a problem.”