Concerned with how he might be remembered by history as a “bust,” quarterback JaMarcus Russell is attempting a comeback in the NFL. He hasn’t taken a snap in the NFL since the 2009 season.
Russell was the No.1 overall draft pick of the Raiders in 2007, and hasn’t played a down since he was released by Oakland after a dismal 2009 season. Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the 27-year-old Russell is currently being mentored by fellow LSU alumnus and former NFL receiver Michael Clayton. Russell will also start training at the TEST Football Academy, which has worked with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, among others, to get them ready for NFL draft.
The 6-foot-6 Russell also shed some pounds to get back in playing shape, going from 320 pounds to 308 pounds, according to Yahoo! Sports. Along with working out at the TEST Football Academy, Russell will be tutored by former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia on technique, Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk on reading defenses and several other former players, doctors and trainers.
“The last few years, the things going through my life, football is my job, and it is how it feeds my family. People would say [that] I didn’t love the game, but that pisses me off,” Russell told Yahoo! Sports. “People don’t know the real you, but I want people to know the real me and see what I can do. People are always saying that I’m a bust. I want to show them I’m not. I’m committed to this now.”
During his time as the Raiders quarterback, Russell only won seven of his 25 starts, completing 52.1 percent of his passes during his short career with 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, 15 lost fumbles and a passer rating of 65.2.
He earned $39 million in his three seasons as a Raider.