Tom Martinez is a nationally renowned quarterbacks coach, and has been the personal tutor for Tom Brady since Brady’s teen years. He worked closely with eventual No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell prior to the 2007 NFL Draft, and believes Russell’s career is salvageable.
Martinez says Russell didn’t ruin himself. The Raiders did it.
“He was never wanted there by any of the coaches,” Martinez told Kristian R. Dyer of the New York Times
. “The only one who wanted him there was Al Davis
. … Al Davis told them to draft him. He was the epitome of an Al Davis quarterback.”
Martinez also noted that, during contract negotiations, the Raiders spoiled Russell by paying him $4 million more than Russell was asking for rather than meeting in the middle.
As for Russell’s sssslow development, Martinez blames the supporting cast Davis assembled. Martinez pointed to weak offensive linemen, “receivers who don’t know how to get open, who don’t know how to separate,” and misuse of running backs in the passing game.
Martinez admits that Russell will never capitalize on his talent if he doesn’t overhaul his work habits, but sees the New York Jets as a good fit for the 24-year-old, saying it would be a “brilliant move from a talent standpoint.”
“I think they’re positioned to give him the right environment,” Martinez said. “It could potentially be a good fit for JaMarcus. … With the Jets, they run the ball and that will help him, it will open up the passing game. If he gets that and actually has receivers who can get open, then the Jets will have a steal. “