After missing the first day of offseason workouts, Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell showed up for work Tuesday and according to Oakland Tribune he impressed the franchise with his slimmer look.
Russell spent the past month or so working out at a training facility in Arizona, according to director of squad development Willie Brown. Two players confirmed that Russell has been working out in the Phoenix area.
Brown said in an interview on Comcast Sports on Monday night that Russell was absent Monday so that he could complete the purchase of a home in Alabama.
“You’ll be surprised when you see him,” Brown told Raiders play-by-play announcer Greg Papa on Comcast Sports. “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 with last year. The most important thing is he’s getting in shape. Not only losing weight but getting in shape.”
Brown said Russell learned from things he endured last year and that he is eating prepared meals, working out and doing the things asked of him by the Raiders. A former Raiders player has been assigned to watch over Russell, as well.
So a 24-hour babysitter has helped Russell look less like an offensive lineman and instead something closer to a tight end. When the Raiders have their first mini-camp after the draft, he just might look like a real quarterback. The bigger question will be if he can play like one.
Even though he possesses a cannon for an arm, losing a few pounds isn’t going to mean he all of a sudden will know how to use it. If he can come into training camp and beat out the immortal Bruce Gradkowski then I might worry about Oakland finally cracking the JaMarcus Russell code.