The first pick in the 2007 draft continues to be serious about a 2013 comeback.
Monte Poole of the Bay Area News Group explains the efforts JaMarcus Russell is undertaking to get back to the NFL. He’s working out at the TEST West Football Academy in San Diego, and former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia is helping with footwork, passing, and conditioning.
Folks from Russell’s hometown are firmly in his corner. “If he goes anywhere — the Jets, Miami, wherever — we’ll be with him,” Mobile, Alabama barber Reginald Payton told Poole. “Just get on a team. We don’t care which team.”
Another local barber says Russell is coming back for pride. “He said they took his manhood,” Tre Hern explained. “It’s not about money. He’ll play for nothing.”
We’re not sure how anyone other than Russell took Russell’s manhood. The deeper problem is that Russell took the money — a lot of it — and never really did anything. And when other teams started sniffing around Russell following the Raiders’ decision to sever ties, Russell didn’t exactly demonstrate a high level of motivation. At least one NFL team visited with him several years ago, asked him to go outside and show off his arm, and he declined.
Now, at age 27, Russell is trying to regain whatever it is that he lost during a brief NFL career. In a league that is desperate for quarterbacks, it’s hard to think he won’t at least get a chance to show what he can now do.