Tough job for the other Russell


On the Raiders unofficial depth chart in this week’s press release, the starting fullback is Oren O’Neal and the backup is Luke Lawton.

There’s about as much a chance of that being the case as JaMarcus Russell making it through Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles untouched.

In training camp, the only problem with the fullback position was that it was too crowded, Lorenzo Neal, a veteran lead blocker for 1,000-yard runners for the better part of 15 years, came aboard as a free agent.

Oren O’Neal was making a surprising recovery from reconstructive knee surgery and Luke Lawton had played more at the position the previous year than any other Raiders fullback.

As for Gary Russell, he showed up during minicamp as a short-yardage and goal line runner who was cut not long after he scored the first touchdown in the Super Bowl for the victorious Pittsburgh Steelers. Part of the appeal, coach Tom Cable said at the time, was that Russell could play either running back or fullback.

Except Russell barely played any fullback at all. He was, in fact, the Raiders leading rusher during the preseason with 155 yards on 28 carries and three touchowns, but never had a realisitc chance at breaking in to the top three spots occupied by Darren McFadden, Michael Bush and Justin Fargas.

In the meantime, Neal partially tore a hamstring and now apparently has retired, and O’Neal was waived/injured and will probably wind up in the Raiders injured reserve unless he reaches an injury settlement.

Returning to the Raiders last week, Russell finds himself as a relatively undersized 5-foot-11, 215-pound starting fullback against the most blitz-happy team in the NFL.

The mindset of his role in Pittsburgh and his new job in Oakland doesn’t change much.

`I was a short-yardage and goal line running back. Pretty much the same thing,” Russell said Friday. “ attitude is to come in there and run you over.”

His theory on blocking?

“Get on them before they see you,” Russell said. “Once they see you, they’re coming downhill on you and it makes it more difficult.”

Russell doesn’t seem overly concerned about the Eagles and their blitzing.

“I come from Pittsburgh, and we played against Baltimore, we played against Philly,” Russell said. “I know it’s more about being mentally prepared and doing everything right.”

Cable liked Russell’s work at the position during the week and stressed the blocking will be a collective effort againts Philadelphia.

“Well for not having ever done it (until) last week, he did it very well, looked really good in practice so this will be more just getting him work at the position all week will make it an easy transition for him,” Cable said. “He’s an athlete and he’s a good football player.”

More Friday news and notes:

— Chaz Schilens was officially listed as “questionable” Saturday and looked to be a game time decision. Cable said the determing factor would be “Seeing how he feels on Sunday where we’re at in terms of whether it’s time to pull the trigger and get him out there. Again he still has some soreness after each day so it’s just a matter of how he gets through that.”

— Sounds as if Erik Pears could get a quick hook at right tackle should he falter against the Eagles, with Khalif Barnes being at the ready.

— DE Greg Ellis (knee) and Schilens were listed as questionable. Lawton was doubtful, while RB Darren McFadden (knee), LG Robert Gallery (fibula), tackle Cornell Green (calf), wide receiver/return specialist Nick Miller (shin) and LB Ricky Brown (ankle) are out.

Brown will have his ankle in a cast for three to four weeks, after which time the Raiders will determine whether he will need surgery _at which time he will go on injured reserve _ or rehab to salvage the remainder of the season.

— Cable declined comment on Randy Hanson’s offer through Yahoo! Sports.com to take a lie detector test regarding their alleged altercation on Aug. 5.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Crude Earl

    Russell might turn out to be the next Nobel Peace Prize winner too….and long before he throws for 300 yards (unless you’re counting intercetion yardage too).
    JaMeatloaf is an lazy, waddling, idiot and a rich one at that. Take the money and run JaPorkus…Maybe you and Vince Young can open up a QB camp for the intellectually challenged.

  • 4evaRaider

    Recommendation: Russell was held without a touchdown again for the fourth straight week; and though he did not throw any interceptions, he did lose three fumbles in the game. The next three teams on the Raiders’ schedule are all in the top 12 in the league in pass defense, so don’t expect Russell’s numbers to look pretty any time soon.



    Hey O! Lefty!

    Don’t worry, be happy.

    Guy puts an ad in the paper for a wife.
    He gets over a thousand replies and they all say the same thing.
    “You can have mine”.



    Russell didn’t have any interceptions because he overthrew the guys trying to intercept it.


    I shouldn’t make sexist jokes like that.
    Broads don’t like it.

  • No More Infield or Trolls

    Ur wrong Earl. Don’t give up on the big fellow yet…

  • No More Infield or Trolls

    I Russ had a great O line, experianced WR’s, consistent coaching and perfect play calling then I would give up too. but that’s not the case and everyone here knows it. in fact it’s just the opposite. No qb would have success back ther right now…

  • No More Infield or Trolls

    “If” – sorry

  • lefty12

    NMIOT-we don’t know that no QB would have success now.we only know that we haven’t had any success with Russell.and to be honest,it doesn’t look as if we will have any with him in the near future.

  • 4evaRaider

    lol =)

  • Crude Earl

    Lefty there’s no success because you can’t build a successful game plan around an idiot who doesn’t know the Offense, or that can’t read a Defense and audible in the right play to beat that defensive formation…get a clue people.
    I would love to see Frye get a start with a full week in pactice of working with the starting Offensive players….not thrown into a game already lost with a limited play selection cause Jumbo Russell was the starter.

  • Nnamdi21

    How bout Michael Oher? Dinged inthe draft for a learning disorder he’s impressed with his quick deciphering of the Ravens play book, even flopping from right tackle to left last week to replace injured LT Jared Gaither and stonewalling the NFL’s sack leader Antwan Odom.

    If he fairs well against Jared Allen and the Vikes…

  • Crude Earl

    Al has got absolutely no choice he’s into this tub of lard for a bundle of money.

  • No More Infield or Trolls

    You are wrong… flat out wrong… time will tell. If Al is willing to wait then i am too.

  • I’m happy.
    I’m taking the family shopping. The wife does the buying, and me and our daughter have all the fun. We run, explore, chase things, and lots more. It’s great!

    Have a great day/ Evening Gents, later Nation.

    BTW, USC vs. ND is a great game!

  • Crude Earl

    Yeah I’m wrong….his stats and weekly performance prove how wrong I am….Gannon’s wrong too….so is Norman (Boomer) Esiason….everybody’s wrong but you idiots that forked out the cash for his jerseys. Hell, Andrew Walter is All Pro compared to this chump.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Crude Earl,

    Your problem is that you place all the blame on the players. if that suits you then fine.

    But answer this for me. Of all the Raider 1st and 2nd round picks since…let’s say last 10 yrs….there are only 4 of any credibility..

    Asomugha, Thomas Howard, Zach Miller and a kicker Janikowski…..20 out of 24 are either not here or were straight up busts.

    The Owner and the puppet coaches he hires are as responsible as anyone for setting up an environment and playbook that doesn’t allow for success.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Crude Earl,

    JaMarcus Russell is Al Davis’ project. Davis’ draft pick and Davis supports him 100%. In fact, its not a reach to say that if you don’t support Russell…then you don’t support Davis.

    Since you place a lot of faith in Davis….why don’t you just sit down and let them work it out!