In sports, everyone is a winner—some people just win better than others. Like the 300-some pounds JaMarcus Russell was said to be carrying, and which the newly released quarterback will now be carrying out of Oakland.
The Raiders have finally cut him loose, as expected. There will be a lot to miss about his time in Oakland, and what I think I'll miss most of all is the obsessive tracking of his weight, as if it were a stock price, and the way hopes would rise or fall on the rolling folds of his belly. A brief look back.
The added work also figures to help Russell keep down his weight. He tipped the scales at 265 during the NFL scouting combine in February, weighed 256 at his personal workout in March and has lost 4 pounds in his six weeks or so since the Raiders selected him with the first pick of the NFL draft in late April. (Monterey County Herald)
Russell is a big, strong man who can throw the ball 80 yards. Yet, at one point last winter, he was pushing 270 pounds.
Not the ideal weight for a quarterback running for his life. (Monterey County Herald
An undeniably large man, particularly for a quarterback at 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds, his upper arms nonetheless lack definition. Rolls of flesh also were visible around his midsection, lending credence to concerns about a potential weight problem. (Sacramento Bee)
First came a report that Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell had ballooned to 320 pounds or so. Then another, and another, until it became almost an accepted fact.
"Right now, I'm 269," Russell, 6-foot-6, said after practice. "I was never ever even close to 300 pounds."
That figure is 14 pounds more than his listed weight last season but only a few more than where he intends to play this season, he said. (Inside Bay Area)
Don't worry, folks, Russell looks in shape. There aren't rumors as there were last year of him being 300 pounds at his prefight weigh-in. (Contra Costa Times)
"You'll be surprised when you see him," [Raiders director of squad development Willie Brown[ said. "It's quite a bit of weight that he's lost . . . I don't want to pin it down and say how much he lost but it will be a significant difference when you see him compared to last year." (Contra Costa Times)
A few days ago, I reported that a source told me Russell weighed 271 when he reported, which surely seemed heavy and possibly was still very over-optimistic. (San Jose Mercury News)
I hear that Adam Schefter said today Russell weighed 290 pounds. Believe it. I mentioned earlier this week that, according to two league sources, Russell weighed well over the reported 271 pounds — and reports he trained in Arizona were way overstated. (SFGate)
According to a league source with knowledge of the situation in Oakland, the hefty quarterback has beefed up to 300 pounds. (National Football Post)
I'll leave it to the serious NFL types to reckon where the 2007 No. 1 overall pick falls on the list of all-time busts. For now, I'll just say that he stands as large, jiggling testament to the perils of drafting a guy unwilling to truly apply himself for any franchise except the local Sizzler.