Some comments from former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown on an ESPN podcast with host Jeremy Green about quarterback JaMarcus Russell and owner Al Davis:
Is JaMarcus Russell the answer?
When they drafted this kid four years ago, three years ago, whatever it was, I didn’t think he was the answer then. I was asked my opinion unofficially by someone in the organization and I told them, after being at the LSU-Notre Dame game in the Sugar Bowl and watching this kid, I just didn’t think that he had what it took to come into the NFL and be productive right away.
Now if you give him three or years to learn, and get this game under his belt, yes, but he had to come in and play right away. He missed most of his rookie year, and played sparingly because of holding out, so I just don’t know. The best you’re going to get out of this kid is Daunte Culpepper and that’s nothing to shake your head at. Daunte was a pretty good quarterback in the league for awhile and is still holding on, trying to make some plays. But the flip side of this is you could get Akili Smith. And that’s the problem you have. If he’s not willing to work, and put in the time and effort to be the best, then it’s going to be very difficult.
Do they need a veteran quarterback along with him?
At this particular point, it’s going to be JaMarcus’s job. It’s his job. So you can’t think about the quarterback. But what you can think about is surrounding him with veteran players, and when you look at his surrounding cast, I think Antonio Fargas may be the oldest guy that he’s playing with, and that’s just not a good thing. When he comes off the field, they look at each other like, `What happened?’ Nobody can explain what just happened, and I think that is the biggest problem that he has is he finds out what the problem is on Monday morning.
Antonio Fargas would indeed be quite a bit older. He is Justin Fargas’ father _ the actor who played “Huggy Bear” in the television series “Starsky and Hutch.”
I even think he needs a veteran receiver on the field with him, someone who says, `Hey, man, this is what I saw. This guy is rolling up coverage, this guy is doing this’ on this play and that play. That’s the kind of interaction a quarterback needs on the field because when you’re learning stuff on the sideline or on Monday morning, it’s not going to do you any good.
Can Al Davis bring the Raiders back to respectability?
I think he can, man, but it’s just going to be impossible for him to do it by himself. Before, when Al was able to be on the field and have a presence, I mean, he had a presence. When he walked out there, everybody tied their shoes a little tighter and made sure, well, now he can’t do that. He needs to have someone to kind of do that kind of stuff for him. He can guide it, but he’s going to have someone to be his eyes and ears and feet while he can’t come down on the field any more.