If only JaMarcus Russell had taken Jason Campbell’s advice.
On Dec. 9, Campbell was on a conference call with Bay Area writers the week the Raiders were hosting the Washington Redskins.
The subject of Russell, who Campbell knew as an SEC competitor as quarterback at Auburn, came up.
Russell had lost his job to Bruce Gradkowski, who had directed a 27-24 win over Pittsburgh going into the Redskins game.
“I would tell JaMarcus just to continue to work hard . . . don’t take this offseason like, `man, things just haven’t worked out,’ ” Campbell said. “He’s still young in his career. He still has a lot ahead of him and a lot of opportunities to turn it around.
“He’s got to stay positive, study more, put in the work in the weight room, put in the work on the field, after practice. Do the extra things to get ahead as a quarterback in the NFL. The room for error for quarterbacks is so small, but at the same time, you can overcome anything. He’s young, he has a strong arm and he just needs to believe in himself, keep that confidence and turn things around this offseason.”
In a game in which Gradkowski was lost at halftime with MCL tears in both knees, Campbell was 16 of 28 for 222 yards, two TDs and no interceptions in a 34-13 win by the Redskins _ ruining any chance for the Raiders to build off the Pittsburgh win.
Russell was 10 of 16 for 74 yards in Gradkowski’s absence. The collective sag in the Raiders’ performance was so in evidence Tom Cable went with Charlie Frye the following week in Denver, and then went back to him again to in the final three games of the season even though Russell came off the bench to lead a comeback win over the Broncos after Frye left with a concussion.
Cable said Saturday Russell was expected at this weekend’s minicamp and even said there was no reason he couldn’t be the starter if he was the best quarterback.
ESPN’s John Clayton reported Tuesday the Raiders were preparing to cut Russell _ possibly before the mandatory minicamp.
Common sense says the Raiders will not pay Russell $9.45 million this year to watch Campbell play quarterback
Asomugha chats on NFL.com
Will the Raiders turn up the defensive pressure with the addition of strong side linebacker Kamerion Wimbley and Trevor Scott getting a full year on the opposite side?
Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha will believe it when he sees it.
Alan from Florida asked Asomugha during a chat on NFL.com, “Last year the raiders had some success blitzing but got away from it; fans have been screaming for a more aggressive less vanilla style; do you see that coming this year?”
“Not necessarily. I think it’s going to depend on how well we can practice that stuff in camp and how confident the coaches are with that scheme. It’s never really been something that we’re heavy on, so I can’t say that will change now.”
No confirmations on undrafted FAs
The Raiders still have not confirmed the signings of any undrafted free agents, nor is there any confirmation a reported signing of running back Rock Cartwright.