Is JaMarcus Russell a bust? Was Lane Kiffin ever the problem in Oakland?

JaMarcus RussellWhile it might be incredibly unfair to suggest this of a player that has only started nine games in his career, but is JaMarcus Russell a bust? Granted he plays for the circus that is the Oakland Raiders, but check out his completion numbers in his first five games this season: 65%, 35.3%, 47.4%, 59.5% and 37.1%. That’s atrocious.

The former first overall pick finished 13 of 35 for 159 yards and an interception Sunday in the Saints’ 34-3 rout over the Raiders. Russell also fumbled twice in the game…in the first quarter.

But to suggest at this point that he’s bust might be a bit premature. Again, it’s not like he has the best situation in Oakland. Not only is his offensive line brutal, but Greg Knapp also continues to prove that he’s a bit clueless in his play calling after taking over those duties since Lane Kiffin was fired.

Speaking of Kiffin, Oakland’s play on Sunday might have proved that he was never the problem. (Or at least, not the main problem.) Even though they were losing, the Raiders at least played hard under Kiffin and showed some improvement this year before he was let go. Nothing against interim head coach Tom Cable, but the only reason he’s in the position he’s in now is because he must have shown at some point that he’s willing to bow down to Al Davis.

Kiffin wasn’t perfect and he made his fair share of mistakes, but given their effort against the Saints on Sunday, it’s fair to say Davis didn’t give the young coach a fair shake. (Or any shake for that matter considering he fired Kiffin over the phone.)

Davis needs to realize that his ship is sinking and he’s at the one at the wheel.

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