Battle of the No. 1’s


A rare opportunity awaits Sunday at the Meadowlands, where each team will start a No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

Starting for the Raiders is 2007 top pick JaMarcus Russell, whose weight and work habits have predictably come under the kind of microscope that comes with a losing record and horrendous statistics.

Common sense says his opponent will be David Carr, a 2002 No. 1 overall pick who knows exactly what Russell feels like after being proclaimed a bust with the Houston Texans and being dumped in favor of Matt Schaub.

In theory, New York could start Eli Manning, who ruffled some feathers by wanting no part of San Diego after being taken No. 1 in 2004 and maneuvering himself into a deal to the Giants, but the smart money says there’s no way they risk worsening a case of plantar fasciatis against a 16-point underdog.

All three players felt the barbs of critics, and only Manning emerged with a status befitting his draft selection.

At the moment, Russell can’t do anything right. Can’t pass, goes down too easy, can’t lead a team, doesn’t work hard enough, shows up late for everything but meal time.

Carr wasn’t enough of a leader, held the ball too long, resulting in sacks, and simply didn’t have what it took to lead an expansion franchise to something other than being an expansion franchise. He was decent enough guy, but not someone the organization go above and beyond what it took to be the face of an organization.

If there’s a moral to their story, it lies with Manning, who like both Russell and Carr had his leadership skills questioned _ even by former teammate Tiki Barber _ and ended up leading the Giants to a Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots.

As a rookie, Manning replaced Kurt Warner for the final seven games of the season and lost his first six, getting mocked in the tabloids for being the Manning who wasn’t Peyton.

Without stats measuring up to his brother, the only way he could make it stop was to win a championship.

And Manning accomplished it without the same sort of in-your-face personality his brother exudes in Indianapolis, which is something he has in common with both Carr and Russell.

Of course, both men could learn from Manning in the the most important attribute a quarterback can have other than physical skill.

“He’s worked his tail off since the minute he got here,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “It takes a couple of years and you’re always learning. You never stop learning and Eli would be the first to tell you that.”


How the first 20 games of the careers of Eli Manning, David Carr and jaMarcus Russell compare:

Player (W-L) PA-PC-PCT-YDS-TD-HIT-Rating
Russell (6-14) 507-264-52.0-3,153-15-13-70.5
Manning (10-10) 648-334-51.5-4,105-27-24-69.9
Carr (6-14) 564-307-54.4-12-20-65.4

Next: How JaMarcus Russell compares with other highly-selected quarterbacks through the years after having 16 games of starting experience.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Hello Nation,
    Hidden in the letter that Al Davis sent Kiffin is the reason Walker does not play. He was signed by Lane. AD has apparently told Javon to be the good soldier and he will get paid. He is not playing as a result of resentment by AL

    “For example, with the exception of Gibril Wilson, you were involved in recruiting all free agents and determining salaries for them and you were explicit in your desire to sign Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall amongst others. All were a must to sign in your eyes, Hall in particular, because he played for Greg Knapp in Atlanta and Knapp gave him high grades. Do not run from that now.”

    Wilson and Hall are gone! He should have let Walker go but the settlement figure would have been a cap killer.

  • 4evaRaider

    take THAT lame kitten lovers =)

  • Richochet

    Terrapin Says:
    October 10th, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Let get down to the real stuff – performance, projection, history. History shows clearly that you CANNOT assume JRussell is a bust right now!

    RICHOCHET: No, what you meant to say is ‘history cannot GUARANTEE the JaBlubberButt is a bust right now’. I assure you..we CAN assume he’s a bust, and rightfully so.
    Now, here’s the bad news for ya…every single qb that is drafted, who struggles, someone rushes to post the above, sans JR, of course. Stating “oh look, so and so sucked as bad as our guy when he started…well WHEWWWWW..for a second there, I thought we were in trouble” only to be followed with the inevitable “I’m glad he’s gone.”
    Just as YOU will do. 🙂

    You’ve just got to ride this thing out with young QBs until you see that the wheels have fallen off.

    RICHOCHET: Fallen off? Dude, his wheels have had spike strips thrown under them, multiple blow outs, and he’s currently running on a bald retread, bandaids holding it together, with the green Goop oozing out, hoping to plug the soon to be coming disintegration. It’s the equivalent of a semi driving on one Costco tire.
    Russell vs Manning vs Carr stats are probably not statistically significant all things being considered. Although Russell has the higher QB rating they all looked equally as “bad” to be honest. They all had tremendous problems with their games. What matters is who overcomes those problems and continue to grow/progress. Manning did …will Russell?

    RICHOCHET: Hmmm…well…Let’s see. Manning worked his ass off all offseason. Russell hit the buffet table all offseason. Manning learned everything he could his first year. Russell, after going through 40% of the playbook said ‘My brain hurts. I’m going to go get something to eat.” Manning had coaches state “He’s doing everything he can to better himself” BOTH of Russell’s coaches stated “JR has to do more. Has to do extra..you know..those things YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO to succeed and be a leader”.

    My money says the answer to your question is a resounding NO.
    Side note: Russell probably has fewer problems with his game than Manning during the same time frame being considered. Russell’s problems are largely a result of his supporting cast trying to get afoot in the NFL. Manning had a strong supporting cast already established. They just stuck it through despite all of the criticisms.

    RICHOCHET: ohhhhhhh..I see. I thought it was because Russell was lazy? My bad. I thought it was because Russell has horrible footwork, and does nothing extra to work on it..well, silly me. Thought it was because he came in, admittedly, fat and out of shape..again, what was I thinking? And here it’s his SUPPORTING CAST?

    Wow. Never considered that it’s not up to the qb to get the ball to a receiver running a route, IT’S UP TO THE RECEIVER TO WAIT UNTIL JR THROWS THE BALL, THEN HE GOES AND GETS UNDER IT.
    Thought it was up to the qb to go through his reads. Instead, according to you, the receivers should be yelling out “Yo, Jablubber…HE’S NOT OPEN..I AM. THROW IT UP AND I’LL GO FIND IT”

    makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for opening my eyes.

  • radraider

    start fargas bush is going to get hammered by the giants d. we need to save him for a game we might actually win.

  • Richochet

    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    October 10th, 2009 at 10:05 am
    Hello Nation,
    Hidden in the letter that Al Davis sent Kiffin is the reason Walker does not play. He was signed by Lane. AD has apparently told Javon to be the good soldier and he will get paid. He is not playing as a result of resentment by AL

    “For example, with the exception of Gibril Wilson, you were involved in recruiting all free agents and determining salaries for them and you were explicit in your desire to sign Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall amongst others. All were a must to sign in your eyes, Hall in particular, because he played for Greg Knapp in Atlanta and Knapp gave him high grades. Do not run from that now.”

    Wilson and Hall are gone! He should have let Walker go but the settlement figure would have been a cap killer.

    You’re confused.
    Let me help.
    Al stating “you were involved” means Al said “I signed Walker, Kelly, Hall, Wilson, and Kwame to ridiculous contracts, and they’ll be here soon. I’m handing out $270 million in contracts to these 5. If the work out, they’re my guys. If they flop, it’s on the HC. Just sit there and nod, Lance. Lance?? LANCE???????
    Lane? You sure? Your name is Lane?
    Oh..alright..sorry..my bad.
    Close the door when you leave, Lance.”

    And the ONLY one who was worth HALF his salary was Gabril..you know, the guy who led the Raiders in tackles.
    What happened to him?
    OH YEAH…he dared to state publicly that he felt the team made a mistake letting Hall go.

    Interesting that Aso said the same thing…

  • utahraiderfan

    Manning is starting for the Giants on Sunday. Archie that is. The giants can rest Eli for another week and stil pick up the win !!

  • 4evaRaider

    wax on

    wax off

  • 4evaRaider

    2 defeat the G-men in NY would go a loooooong way 4sure =)

  • Plunketthead

    We are overdue for a breakout game. The pissants wont be able to stop the pinpoint passing attack of Jaswampmonster and the punch you in the face running style of Fargas/Bush. DHB has a breakout game. 7 catches for 115 yards/two touchdowns.
    Shane and Jano keep the pissants pinned deep in their own territory all game long.
    Defense shuts down Carr and the overrated running attack.

    The outcome is undeniable. You cant argue with facts such as those.

    Raiders 21 pissants 20

    Happy days are here again!!

  • Vinous

    Actually Manning did not join a team that was nearly as talented as it is today. But remember he was not considered very good in his career nevertheless. He did not compare favorably at all with his brother.

    There are many examples of more successful QBs in their 1st 20 games of starting than Manning.

  • Thec07

    We are overdue a new ORGANIZATION….

    One that is ran like a real NFL franchise….

  • silvershark

    media let’s up on Russell and after bashing him for weeks, decides to give Him more excuses. No talent around Him, no offensive line, rookie WR, Blah blah!

    Offensive line this season has given Russell time to throw= He is not accurate!
    He can’t audible out of a run when the defense is putting 8 and 9 men in the box! Dumb?

    The reason our run game is bad right now is because of the 8 & 9 men box, because they are daring Russell to beat them and they know what all should is that He can’t!
    Teams used to blitz Russell all the time but now figured it is easier to just stack the line.

    The reason our defense looks horrible at times is because they are out on the field too long. offense leads the league in the 3 and outs.

    Playbook is dummied down because of Russell. He can’t seem to learn even 20% of it. That hurts the whole team. No wonder opposing defenses have such an easy time of it. If you played a team that had a QB who was inaccurate, couldn’t read a defense, can’t audible, no passion at all, but blames everyone else besides Himself. I would love to play that kind of inept offense.

    Manning is heads and shoulders above Russell at any stage of His career. To compare the two is ridiculous. To compare Russell to anybody other than Akili, Leaf, Klingler, is lacking football knowledge.

    Russell had Davis wrapped around His finger. You tell a 25 year old millionaire that he can do no wrong and will never be benched no matter how bad He plays. Nothing to play for?

    Bottom line: Russell in 3 years has not shown any intangible’s to be an NFL QB! Not one! If after three years you still can’t study film, read a defense and still and I repeat still hasn’t learned the playbook! Before you appoligist say “Wussell has had 3 coordinators He has to learn so many playbooks! Stop! This is the same playbook from KIFFIN! 3 years!!!!!
    It might be time to admit He is a Bust!

    The excuses never stop! Here is more to help you appoligist out!

    1. Russell will succeed if we have a new stadium

    2. Russell will be more accurate if we plant kentucky Blue grass, this will help hHis footing.

    3. If We draft over the next 10 years the #1 overall pick Russell could be good.

    4. Tell the Beer vendor not to yell “Beer Here” To loudly because it breaks Russell’s consentration.

    5. It is just all BS! What the media and Raiders alike are saying is that every player has to be an all star in order for the mighty Russell to be a good QB. It’s funny that everything else has to be perfect, players, coaching, The setting, the world in order for russell to shine, but yet Russell doesn’t have to be anything!

    Go figure! He makes the Money, and you media and fans make the excuses!

    When you wake up you are going to have a hang-over!

    Giants-34 Raiders-10

  • Plunketthead

    Thats the second time I have posted that and it didnt get a response either time.
    Its either too truthful for some people to accept (I understand the pessimism)
    Or its too outlandish to respond to, although in all fairness things much more outlandish get numerous responses.

    Does my breath stink?

  • Giants 27
    Raiders 9

    Fire Cable!!


    At this point, a ‘breakout game’ for the Raiders means scoring an offensive touchdown.

    You’ve got JaCarcass playing behind a pathetic offensive line, throwing to a rookie wide receiver corps, traveling to the East coast, and going up against one of the better defensive fronts in the NFL.

    Not a pretty picture.

    Comparing the stats of Russell, Manning and Carr might, on the surface, give Raider fans some hope that JaCarcass can eventually develop into a franchise QB.

    What the stats can’t show however, is that Manning and Carr aren’t blathering idiots and JaCarcass is.

    One listen to a JaCarcass interview, or a read of his verbatim comments in the press, leaves absolutely no doubt that Russell is a certified moron.

    Please don’t tell me about his southern drawl making him sound stupid. It’s not his twang or accent, or drawl that makes him sound stupid. It’s the incoherent content of his comments. There’s no other way to say it: Russell is an idiot.

    True, he’s surrounded by a less than stellar cast. He’s not entirely to blame for the Raider’s offensive ineptitude. Perhaps with time and better players around him he can become what we all hoped he’d be when he was drafted number one overall.

    But I wouldn’t count on it.

    You couple a questionable work ethic with a double digit IQ and the results aren’t likely to please Raider fans.

    One thing is certain. Russell will be given every possible opportunity to prove the skeptics wrong. The Raids simply have way too much invested in him to do otherwise. It’s too soon to give up on him, and considering what he has to work with, one can not say with certainty that he’s going to be a bust.

    But there’s little reason to be optimistic about Russell and plenty of reasons to be dubious about his future.

  • raiderdav

    well russell will get injured tomorrow, i actually had a dream 2 nights ago not kidding, Raiders won 18-15 lol, a dream thats all it was too bad because i think the GIANTS will humiliate the raiders, I think we should be playing a high school team instead….I would take the points if your betting.

  • silvershark

    RAIDERMANN99: Well said…………….

  • utahraiderfan

    If JaThrowup goes 0 for whatever in 1st half will Cable finally bench him ?

  • silvershark

    The Raiders will win. Russell will throw for 400 yards and 5 TD’s! Russell is one of the smartest QB’s to play the game. Al Davis is a genius. His decisions are some of the best ever made concerning scheme and personel. Again Russell is a HOF type QB. Also Russell works really hard and has never been fined. Cable never touched Hansen, hansen is a liar! Why am I saying this?


  • halster

    Shark, did Herrera look like J Edgar Hoover in drag with the teal pumps ?

  • silvershark

    Halster: As a matter of fact he did! Good call.