I am beginning to sense another Head Coaching change brewing in Oakland, which will once again slow down the progress, as well as the development for this young squad. The Oakland Raiders are again among the laughing stock of the NFL, it is a tough fact to face. Just like owner Bud Allen of Tennessee did, it's your turn to show them who's the Boss Al. Stand up and throw out your two fists. " _.-,'-,'-,-. __ .-.-.'-'-,_ ''
Tom Cable has been the most un-readable coach among the 32 total Head Coaches in the NFL this far into the season. What messages are you trying to relay to the young franchise Quarterback, JaMarcus Russell? When you make the horrid mistake again pulling the plug on JaMarcus, who is a player that comes alive at times late in the game. He is one many will consider to be a "clutch" player. He won the Manning Award in 2006 at LSU, one of four QB awards each year in collegiate football, for his leadership, and poise.
I know Cable is aware that he severly hindered the teams chance to sweep the AFC West Chiefs, for the first time since 2001. A Feat we have only done twice in Twenty five years. This is usually considered to be a bad time to pull your starting QB, when at the end of the Third Quarter your only down by 3 points. Cable instead gives Bruce Gradkowski his second chance to finish a game, instead of pulling Russell to the side and telling him, "This ONE is ours!"
The facts simply do not add up, Russell was clearly the best option at Quarterback to finish this one. The previous week he remained in the game trailing San Diego by more than three points at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Somehow, last Sunday JaMarcus Russell was Tom Cable's excuse as to why he wasn't producing on offense. Why is it never brought to point, the Formations rarely confuse a defense, the plays called just seem awkward. What is Tom Cable doing? With all of the offensive weapons or some of last seasons stars like Johnnie Lee Higgins, who was a huge factor with 22 Catches for 366 yards and 4 TDs a year ago. Higgins is an explosive player when and if he is on the field.
The Coach is the who is deserving of the "furious four down fingers." Isn't he the same guy that pushed Jeff Garcia out by stating, "JaMarcus is our QB, and he is going to play if he is available?" HE was going to start all 16 games if possible ahead of Garcia, but now gives up his starting role to Garcia's former back-up here in Oakland, as well as in Tampa Bay.
For the most part on Sunday, Russell was hitting his receivers in the chest, many of his (by statistical seperation) "incompletions," were what many consider to be "dropped." The key note is that none were intercepted. That shows that he is playing smart football, and when your fellow offensive playmakers, aren't producing, this becomes the game plan. Again his stat Line, rarely portrays his ability to make the big plays, what "would be"highlights in any of the first 9 weeks. Just for J Russ Lets' add in the "should've been caught. Some perfectly placed passes are ones that bounce from palms to turf. But worse than the drops, is the overall play from his WRs.
THESE ARE THE OPTIONS FOR RUSSELL:
1. Play bad coached football.
2. Watch from the sideline.
3. Get named as an early Draft Bust.
The QB I see, is as furious with the playbook, as the ones who surround him that can't make a play. Maybe some vocal Flames thrown in his face could fire him up, maybe just a 'lil bit, right?... They were never heard. Instead the coach who "believes in him" yanks him from a game, to purposely destroy his and his teamates' desire to win.
My questions to Cable are, why wouldn't you wait until all the starters have made it back to give him a fair chance to proove himself? Why don't you factor in the drops on catchable passes, to see where his true completion percentage stands with the rest of the QB's? How is DHB still starting, but Russell on the bench? Why not take more chances down field? Is there any correlation between his low completion percentage and the fact that he has thrown less attempts than anybody else in the league? Why don't you bench the people around him, who aren't performing?
My point as to why taking JaMarcus Russell out that early was a huge mistake, is that he plays his best ball at the end of games. His percentage of pass completions are significantly higher at later points in the game, and if you are only down by three with one quarter left. How would JaMarcus Russell help? Just his fourth quarter stat-line alone, is quite remarkable to say the least. In the 7 fourth quarters he has played in, he completed 22 of 47 passes, for 298 yards, one TD and one INT. J Russ is one of the top QB's in the league on Fourth and long, completed 4/7 (58%) for a gain of 86 yards.
How is Brady Quinn doing, the player whom was the other option at QB in the 2007 NFL Draft?
He has stats that would make a ballerina cry, he has completed 59 of 108 passes, for a net gain of 508 yards for one TD and 5 INT's, worse than that of fellow 07 draftee JaMarcus Russell.
For instance, on the many 3rd down and long situations J Russ faces, he is 11 of 14 (79%) for 134 yards, an average of nearly 10 yards per completion, these aren't even close to what his numbers would reflect if more of his passes were caught. That's where I am coming into to show you the reality of JaMarcus Russell's "bad accuracy," as the problem to the Raiders recent woes. Not only were they dropping balls, but when they have made great catches most are overturn for almost any reason. Louis Murphey has made a few good catches, that were initially ruled as catches. The Touchdown pass in the endzone, would've been in his first NFL game, right before the black hole, that would've been a memorable moment in the climb back to the top.
That would bring his third and deep situations to a staggering 13 of 14 passes completed, plus the 35 more yards and a TD.
If he had some WR's who actually caught balls for a living, JaMarcus Russell would have one of the highest Passer Ratings. If we were to count-in the drops, that were catchable which on average is a staggering 7 per game. 7 multiplied by 9 for the number of games, is 63 drops to add to his 96 completions, bringing the total to 159. So he really should be the owner to the highest completion percentage in the League, which would be nearly 78 percent, ten percent higher percentage than that of Peyton Manning. So I can see the frustration Russell is dealing with. He should be the praise of the team and the candidate for most improved player, and in the running for NFL's MVP award.
Another fact is JaMarcus has a few INT's that were his fault, one young QB, who actually has a turnover problem would be, Matthew Stafford, who has thrown 5 TDs and 12 INTs, while starting for the Lions. How about the "Sensational Sanchez," known as Mark Sanchez by most, is being hidden behind a 54 percent completion percentage that doesn't matter, 10 INTs compared to 8 TDs, is able to show every skeptic that we can ball again as soon as this team clicks, which will show up late this season to make some noise in the dominant division.
JaMarcus, I am on your side, this was the wrong reason, or timing to be pulled. I thought you displayed a veteren's type of ball protection, who was playing to win the field position battle at stake. Why was he pulled when the Raiders had just got the crowd fired up after recovering a Chiefs fumble around mid-field. This was his moment to shine, but it's the coaches didn't let him try!
If Oakland get's something working against the Bengals, who will not be as tough and physical as they started the season. The upcoming week is a must win, and J. Russell is the only guy at the end of games.