Wednesday, October 28, 2009

19 comments JaMarcus Russell Explained

Not even I thought Clark Judge would go this far. I have stared into the face of someone sort of in a roundabout way defending JaMarcus Russell and have returned to tell the harrowing tale. Gather round friends.

Which of the NFL's many bad teams has the worst QB situation?

wow, talk about lobbing softballs. There is only one right answer here, Prisco, go!

It has to be the Oakland Raiders. They used the first overall pick in 2007 to take JaMarcus Russell with the idea he would be the franchise quarterback for years. He's been a major bust. Why? He doesn't seem to care. The word is he doesn't put in the work that he should. That's a recipe for failure. There isn't much behind him either. Bruce Gradkowski? Please. The Browns and the Titans don't have great quarterback situations either, but it's not as bad as Oakland. Would you rather have Kerry Collins and Vince Young or Russell and Gradkowski? Thought so. How about the Oakland duo or Cleveland's Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn? That one is close, but I'll go with the Browns situation as being a tad better. So Oakland it is.

JaMarcus Russell is an artist of being terrible. The football field is his canvas. Fumbles, interceptions and incompletions are the brushstrokes. There's never been anyone in my lifetime in professional sports who has been given this much opportunity to showcase his utter and complete lack of ability to play the game he is paid to play. I mean, this is largely self evident, but to fill in the gaps.

Russell was taken #1 overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. Other players from the first round Oakland could have had instead. WR - Calvin Johnson or Dwayne Bowe. OL - Joe Thomas, Ben Grubbs or Levi Brown. DB - LaRon Landry, Darrelle Revis (current trendy "best DB" pick), Michael Griffin, Brandon Meriweather and Leon Hall. LB Jon Beason or Patrick Willis (IMO the best defensive player in football). And we haven't even mentioned Adrian Peterson, the best player in football. Maybe if Peterson and Russell are in the same room, it will cause a rip in the space time continuum. A kind of ying and yang of football ability. Anyway, that, is the opportunity cost of the Russell selection.

Then there are the numbers.

Russell's current QB rating this year is 47.2. How bad is that? In the last eight years, only two years have ever been within 10 of that bad. The next closest is 55.8. And yes, Derek Anderson is at 40.8, but he's taken less sacks and thrown less interceptions in a similar number of attempts. After the first game of the season, here are Oakland's point totals; 13, 3, 6, 7, 13, 0. Derek Anderson's teams have eclipsed 13 twice in the same span. He also has a history of some (limited) success.

Ultimately, the Browns have a QB who was once kinda good, led a 10-6 team that was dominant offensively in the first ten weeks or so of the 2007 season, and a high draft pick who, unlike Russell, has not really been given a great deal of time to show his (likely terrible but not definately so, wares). The Raiders have the embodiment of disappointment and fail. They aren't in the same dimension. Clark Judge, I'm sure you have something wrong to say about this...

Cleveland. Because there's a conviction about nobody

in nearly every Judge column there's a WTF moment. Three weeks ago it was "what if Mark Sanchez is injured, what will the NFL do???". Then we had "I think Ronnie Brown might be better than Michael Vick out of the wildcat". This week it's "certainty in promoting a terrible player is better than uncertainty regarding two poor players". Someone make sense of this for me. Cleveland are aware they need a quarterback, they are also cognizant of the fact that both of these players kind of suck. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. I'm not even sure Oakland have an inkling of just how bad JaMarcus Russell is.

The Browns tried Brady Quinn, a quarterback they traded away a first-round draft pick to acquire, but jettisoned him to move on to ... Derek Anderson? OK, but Anderson has been dreadful. Yet Eric Mangini won't budge on him, and don't ask me why.

because he's a bad coach? But at any rate, weren't you just criticising a lack of conviction in Cleveland's organisation about their QB situation? You totally were! Like three sentences ago! And now, here is Mangini, being wrong but staunch about Derek Anderson, exactly what you just demanded of Cleveland (and, apparently incorrectly said was not present in Cleveland) and you criticise them. What do you want Judge? Do you even know at this point? We're not even halfway through your first answer and already you are incoherant. Jesus H. Christ.

And what about Brett Ratliff? Mangini wanted him in the Mark Sanchez deal, but why? Beats me. He can't get a sniff. When you stink, I believe in playing young guys to get experience.

not Vince Young, apparently.

But that's not happening here. Worse, the Browns invested two first-round draft picks in Quinn and a ton of money in him and Anderson, yet they aren't sold on either.

They aren't sold, Clark, because they aren't fucking good. They shouldn't be sold. These are not good football players. If you were sold on players of this caliber you'd be fucking insane...or Oakland. How can you not see this?

"When you miss on a quarterback in the first round," Jets coach Rex Ryan once said, "you ruin the franchise." The Browns qualify. Three quarterbacks, no future? Yeah, Cleveland has my vote.

and what happens when you miss with the first pick? This is just utter nonsense.

Is starting an NFL franchise in London a good idea?

God, what a dumb question. Travel, local interest, just, a hundred thousand reasons why this is a dumb idea. What about if San Francisco has to travel to London? It's a thirteen hour flight. That's two and a half times longer than San Francisco to New York.

Prisco: Not right now. But down the road, I would understand. The NFL wants to go global, but in this economy the NFL needs to put a team in Los Angeles first. Keep it home. If the L.A. market gets going and another franchise is ripe for moving, then look at London. I think it's doable. The travel would be tough, but there are ways to work around it. The NFL will figure it out. By going to London, it would help bring more fans to the game and generate more revenue. Is seeing half-empty stadiums better than seeing a team in London? I think not. Roger Goodell is big on one day going to England. It will happen. It's only a matter of time, and I, for one, understand why. It's about money. It always is.

where's the infrastructure here to support this? There's a circus and a circus, and this really is a bridge too far. I will never ever understand the no LA team thing, no matter how in depth someone tries to explain it to me. No point wasting more time on this ridiculous question. It's really amazing how little depth the questions have in Faceoff but whatever.


Bengoodfella said...

I don't get how Clark Judge can say that the Browns situation is the worst situation because the Browns can't decide who the QB should be and then he says that Mangini is too staunch about Anderson.

Either situation sucks but I don't get why the Browns are giving up on Quinn so easily. I know he hasn't shown much but I wish they would give him a shot when they actually had decent players around him.

Clark Judge may be insane. Every week he makes these bizarre proclamations that I can't understand at all. Like say the Browns have the worst QB situation because they can't make up their mind and then saying Mangini is too staunch.

I don't understand the logistics of football going to England. I am not saying it can't work, I just don't get how this would work on an even semi-permanent basis. I don't think there could ever be a team over in England b/c of the travel problems.

Dubs said...

Heads up that PK is going to be doing a chat on Deadspin at 1, if anyone missed that.

I have high hopes for hilarity.

The Casey said...

The way they would have to do it would be a West Coast team plays an East Coast team, then plays the London team, then has a bye week. Or have a whole division over there so somebody's not having the cross the ocean every week. Or get the Concordes back in service.

Also, which team do you think is more likely to use their 2010 first-rounder on a QB, Cleveland or Oakland? I say Cleveland, so I think their QB situation is better because they might be out of QB hell in a couple of years.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah Dubs, I was reading some of the questions on there. I don't know how informative or exciting it is going to be. It seems like it is just an excuse to take a shot at Peter King, which you would think I would be all about normally. I think I am going to monitor the situation rather than actively take part.

Casey, I think you have a good point there and that is what the problem with having a team going over there every year or even expanding to have a franchise in England becomes a problem. There are so many problems with just doing one game over there to where it is pretty difficult to do in my opinion. I could be wrong but I think the NFL is barking up the wrong tree on this issue. If they want to expand the NFL, I think Mexico (it sounds funny) would be a great opportunity. The NFL is overstating the excitement for the games over there and if I am not wrong a 49ers game in Mexico actually did very well. I would be looking at that market, though it isn't sexy.

See, I am not a huge fan of teams like Cleveland and Oakland using their first round picks on quarterbacks when the team is a huge mess. It seems like the Browns are trying to accumulate draft picks so it is possible they are actually going to attempt to put players around a young QB. We'll see I guess, but I would also guess Cleveland.

For a team like the Raiders who essentially have no plan, I think they will stick with Russell for another year and try to sign a veteran QB to compete with him. I think Cleveland will turn it around quicker, but there has to be something around the QB or else he will end up with Brady Quinn, not looking good because he is surrounded by a bunch of shitty young players and guys aren't any good. Given what else Cleveland has done to get draft picks, if they use them smartly they may actually have good players to put around a young QB.

Anonymous said...

What player would want to have London as their home, away from family and friends?

Will teams fly seven hours for a pre-season scrimmage then fly back? These scrimmages (the first ones where it's not really a game) are usually played between another team that's fairly close i.e. Washington vs. Baltimore.

Will this London team ever get to host Sunday or Monday Night Football and have the game start at 1:30 am EST? And how could London ever host a Super Bowl like they've mentioned in the past? Will it begin at 3pm EST here so it would start at 8pm there?

I would also think that a lot of the fans you see at the London games are American businessmen not Englishmen. Just because they sell out Wembley doesn't mean there's a lot of interest. We sell out stadiums for Chelsey vs. Arsenal but does that mean we love soccer and could maintain an English Premier team?
American football is a niche sport for them.

The UK papers barely covered the game if they did at all.
Are reporters really going to want to, or be able to because of the money, fly there for a story?

I hate the idea.

Anonymous said...

I meant to say Monday and Sunday Night Football would staet at 1:30 pm London time

ivn said...

putting an NFL team in England is a goddamn nightmare between travel and TV, just to re-state what what everyone else has said. it's bad enough that one NFL team per year has to burn a home game in London.

I read in the NY Times the other day that an NFL team could do well in Europe simply because of all the American soldiers stationed over in Europe, but judging from what I've seen and heard most of them just follow their favorite team from back home anyway.

Additionally, I know I'm fucked in our FF League but the one I'm doing with friends for money I'm still very much in the mix. I'm just curious over which two running backs I should start out of Marion Barber, Matt Forte, and Ray Rice (I also have Jonathan Stewart and Tim Hightower but they're bye week starts/injury insurance if anything).

RuleBook said...

I'll vote for Rice and Forte. Rice has continued to improve all season, and Forte is playing Cleveland. In addition, Barber looked awful last week, and has 2 different running backs that he is splitting plays with.

ivn said...

that's what I was leaning towards...Forte was my first round pick (third overall!) so I'm going to live and die with him this year, and Ray Rice has been a beast so far (thank god for PPR leagues).

so where does JaMarcus Russell rank among guys like Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith, et al? would he be worse, or is he a special case because the Raiders keep giving him chance after chance (as opposed to Akili who was out of the league in like two years).

Bengoodfella said...

Becki, I agree. What gets me is that the NFL is claiming they are just trying to expand the fan base in England with these games, but we know it is more than that. There is really no reason to play games in a different country once a year unless you were trying to drum up interest to expand the league. I know MLB plays some games in Japan, but it is clear MLB isn't looking to expand there, but just have games so the fans there can see the MLB stars. If I am not wrong, American football isn't huge in England so the MLB reasoning wouldn't apply here in my opinion.

So as much as the NFL denies it, I think they want to eventually put a team over there and I don't think it would happen for the reasons you stated so I sort of wish the NFL would give up on playing a game over there once a year. It takes away a home game from teams and the players can't really enjoy it.

I had heard there was little interest in the game and the papers didn't cover it that much. I am with you, I just don't like the idea, at least until I see the benefit of it and it works better logistically.

Ivn, I think soldiers do follow their favorite team here in America anyway. It's not like it is 1960 and there is no way for soldiers to get information about their favorite team.

You aren't fucked in our league necessarily, but I would definitely start Rice and Forte. I would put Stewart fairly high up on your list simply because the Panthers aren't going to throw the ball with Delhomme so Williams will get tired at some point. Of course that is assuming they can run the ball...but I would go with Forte and Rice.

I personally believe Russell is worse than Akili Smith and Ryan Leaf. Granted, the Bengals were a screwed up organization like the Raiders are now, so any excuse I give for Russell and his lack of development I could also use for Smith. I personally think Russell is worse than those two right now. If he progresses by the end of this year I could be wrong, but right now, he is probably one of the worst of all time. The Raiders have no one else so they will keep trotting him out there and I think he could get even worse once the team starts to give up.

Martin said...

Actually, I think if the US had 1 EPL team, it would do fantastic. It would be logisticly as nightmarish, if not moreso, then an NFL team in London, but in concept, I think it would do great. I know a ton of folks who follow the EPL and Champions League, including myself, but aren't rabid fans. If given a team like "FC America" nickname of "Eagles" or some such, and base it out of NYC, I know it would be very successful. The problem would be logistics, and what would happen if it was relegated.

KentAllard said...

According to an article on-line, Tom Cable pulled Russell from the last game because he called a play and Russell was "unable to get the offense into the proper formation before the snap." I can't really add anything more to that, except that Oakland must continue to start Russell. I know a QB rating under 40 is a pipe dream, but, dammit, I believe in the big guy.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, it would be a logistical nightmare but I wouldn't doubt that a EPL team would do well over here. It won't happen but I think it would have a big following since it is the only team in America from the EPL. I think it would be hilarious if the team was relegated because everyone in America would go apeshit and say America should never have gotten into the EPL. Jay Mariotti would get at least 4 columns out of it.

Kent, I know. He has to stay. When you hear quotes about how Russell couldn't get the team into the proper formation, it just warms my heart. I think he can do it. I just can't wait for the day when they send a play in and Russell doesn't remember which play they called and so he starts drawing in the dirt. Or they call a play and he thinks it was a different play and screws it up. My personal favorite would be if he audibled and then didn't tell the wide receivers but only the offensive line. These type things can happen if Russell is able to start all year.

Martin said...

Wait wait, why the fuck couldn't the other players get into the right formation? They need to be baby sat the whole fucking time? If they are standing around waiting for Jam-man russel to point them in the right direction, that teams ina world of freaking hurt. Maybe if they had a better coach they'd know where the heck they should line up on the play.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, the Raiders answer so many questions with further questions, it just hurts my head. I guess the players all don't really know what to do on the field. I think that is fantastic and I hope the Raiders end up giving up on Tom Cable so we can see this go downhill.

I think it is funny that I just accepted the fact the Raiders didn't know where to line up without Russell telling them. Obviously I am conditioned to just expect that from the Raiders.

KentAllard said...

Jamarcus has admitted that he may have made mistakes in the first quarter when he turned the ball over three times.

My constant ridicule of Russell certainly doesn't mean I'm giving the rest of the Raiders or cable a pass. There's plenty of trouble to go around, and I recognize historically bad stats are a team effort.

Bengoodfella said...

Can you the Raiders just waive the entire team after the season? I wonder what the salary cap hit on that would be? It may not be a bad idea to waive nearly the entire team and just start from scratch like an expansion team. Trade or waive everyone, accumulate draft picks and go from there.

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