Everyone wants to see the number one pick of the NFL Draft the first time he takes the field. For Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell, that shot in a regular season game could come as early as opening day when the Raiders play host to the Detroit Lions. The San Francisco Chronicle reports on Thursday that Russell appears confident and ready to go if he indeed is going to get the start on opening day.
Russell was asked on a scale of 1 to 10 about where he is if he’s needed to be ready to go as the starter for the opener. He responded with a positive number. “Seven,” Russell told the paper. It’s interesting to see the development of Russell, and how quickly he picks up things in the NFL. The process of Russell picking up the system is going to dictate how quickly the Raiders turn around what was a disaster in 2006.
The first pick told reporters that he spent about nine hours per week on the phone with the Raiders QB coach – John DeFilippo, going over and learning the playbook. Now with the countdown to training camp on, Russell will need even more time with the coach and the playbook to be ready for the job of being the starting quarterback of the silver and black.
So will he go opening day? Rookie head coach Lane Kiffin says it’s really up to Russell and where he is at heading into the end of preseason and going into the opener on September 9th. “He’ll play when he’s ready to play, and there’s no way of knowing when that’s going to be,” Kiffin said Wednesday.
With the way the Raiders have played over the past few seasons, there is no way that Russell should not be given every chance to start the opener. That is of course you are the parents of or run the fan club for Josh Booty, Josh McCown, or Andrew Walter. Russell is the best QB on the roster, and unless he melts down in the preseason, which seeing already the progress he’s made, it’s in everyone’s best interest to have him under center on opening day.