Our dreams didn't come true.
Yesterday, we all but begged Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable to start JaMarcus Russell at quarterback against the Broncos on Sunday. But no: Cable revealed that instead, he'll hand the ball to Charlie Frye, whose play for the Cleveland Browns and the Seattle Seahawks in previous seasons was mediocre bordering on miserable: He's thrown sixteen touchdowns versus 25 interceptions, and he's been sacked 74 times.
In other words, if Frye's an upgrade, JaMarcus Russell may have just become the biggest bust in NFL draft history.
When the Raiders made Russell the first overall pick of the 2007 draft, it was clear that he was a work in progress -- a player who'd need to develop his tremendous physical gifts in order to succeed at the pro level.
Two years later, it's clear that he hasn't done so thus far, and it's very likely he never will. Indeed, he's been utterly clueless in his play for the Raiders to date -- so much so that his anointment could be used in court should anyone decide to formally challenge Al Davis' mental competence.
Frankly, Russell's benching doesn't hurt the Broncos' chances of victory on Sunday very much, given Frye's subterranean skill level. Still, his name is likely to live on. Today, Ryan Leaf (who was drafted number two, behind Peyton Manning) is the name most associated with overhyped flop QBs. But Ryan will be off the hook soon. Not long from now, JaMarcus Russell will take his place.
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