Raiders claim off waivers linebacker, waive S Etheridge

The Raiders claimed Jeremy Leman off waivers from the San Diego Chargers. He will wear the No. 53 most recently donned by former Raiders outside linebacker Thomas Howard from 2006-10.
Leman, 26, has spent time on the practice squads of the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Chargers since he left Illinois in 2008. He has not appeared in an NFL regular-season game.
Leman also has some familiarity with Raiders defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan from their time together with the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League in 2010. He follows former Tuskers linebacker Darryl Blackstock to the Raiders.

*In other news, the Raiders placed offensive lineman Lou Eliades on the injured reserve and waived/injured undrafted rookie Zac Etheridge. If Etheridge clears waivers, he likely would be placed on the injured-reserve.

*Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl


Steve Corkran

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  • RaiderDebo

    Strong stuff from Mike Bush. Lots of myths about JR in Oakland that the clowns couldn’t wait to eat up. You’re going to see more and more of this in the coming weeks. Just remember, I said it 1st years ago.


    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Bears running back Michael Bush firmly believes JaMarcus Russell deserves another chance in the NFL, even if doesn’t mean a reunion between the two in Chicago.
    “He can throw the ball, and you can’t teach what he has talent-wise,” Bush said of his former Raiders teammate. “He’s my friend, so I would love for him to get another chance, regardless of where it’s at. I’m behind him.”
    Russell, the No. 1 overall pick of the Raiders in the 2007 NFL draft, started his comeback attempt by working out for the Bears on Friday along with fellow free-agent quarterbacks Trent Edwards and Jordan Palmer. The Bears apparently just wanted to get a look at options in case there is a dire need at the position in the future. They’re content with Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard behind starter Jay Cutler, for now. McCown was the starter in Oakland when Russell held out as a rookie.
    Bush was part of the same Oakland draft class as Russell and developed a strong bond with the much-maligned quarterback.
    “A lot of people gave him a bad rap after his stint in Oakland. He wasn’t put in good situations to become a good player,” Bush said of Russell. “We had different coordinators. The line was changing every day. The receivers were changing.
    “Any time you’re the No. 1 pick, of course, there’s a lot of pressure. I don’t even think he watched ‘SportsCenter’ because of all that pressure.”
    Bush was a fourth-round pick in ’07 and spent time working out with Russell
    in Arizona following that year’s NFL combine. Since Bush missed his entire rookie season coming off a broken leg, he really played only two seasons alongside Russell.
    Their relationship extended well beyond the field.
    “Me and him hung out,” Bush said. “I would go to his crib and we’d play basketball together.
    “He just had a lot going on around him. But I still talk to him now. He’s grown up a lot, changed. To my knowledge, he’s been working out and doing good.”
    Russell has been labeled the biggest draft bust of all time and critics pointed to his immaturity. The Raiders coaching staff apparently questioned his desire to learn the playbook back then. There also was concern about his weight ballooning out of control, although the 6-foot-6 Russell reportedly weighed in at a respectable 267 pounds for his Bears workout.
    Bush was asked how Russell could have improved his reputation.
    “I don’t know … once he left the facility, I don’t know what he had going on,” Bush said. “I thought everything was good. But everything you see, what’s the saying? Everything that glitters ain’t always gold.
    “You never know what people go through off the field. Even though we’re athletes, we’re normal folks. Me watching on TV all the stuff that he went through, I didn’t even know about it. He didn’t talk about it.”
    No matter what happens with Russell moving forward, Bush always will have respect for his friend’s ability. He remembers one game in particular from their Oakland days. In November 2008, Russell guided the Raiders to a 31-10 win over Cutler and the Broncos in Denver. Russell completed 10 of 11 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.
    “And everybody overlooked that game,” Bush said. “He was showing touch. He showed he could move. He showed a deep ball. And he showed he could manage the clock as a quarterback. It was a game at their stadium, and we won. And I think that was a sign of him being good.
    “I just wish he would get another shot.”
    Bush knows a thing or two about supporting a teammate. He was one of a handful of Bears who made the trek to Sacramento for Lance Briggs’ hometown youth football camp. Tim Jennings, James Anderson, Chris Conte, Isaiah Frey, J.T. Thomas, Henry Melton, Major Wright and Stephen Paea also made the trip along with former Bears Nick Roach (Raiders), Jerry Azumah, Anthony Adams, Rashied Davis and Kahlil Bell.