JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders walks off the field against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Hundreds of jokes that have been told about JaMarcus Russell. This is not one of them: He's planning a comeback to the NFL.
Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday night that the 2007 No. 1 overall pick, one of the biggest draft bust in NFL history, is down from the 320 pounds he weighed last fall and is working out hard -- all in hopes that he could land an NFL gig.
Stop. We're being serious.
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"My first year out, I couldn't watch football, but after a while I couldn't keep the TV off. I got that itchy feeling, but now I gotta watch it, gotta watch," Russell said. "The last few years, the things going through my life, football is my job, and it is how I feed my family. People would say I didn't love the game, but that pisses me off. People don't know the real you, but I want people to know the real me and see what I can do.
"People are always saying that I'm a bust. I want show them I'm not. I'm committed to this now."
Feel like we've heard this before, but apparently he means it this time? A robust team of trainers and advisers that includes Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk, former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia and former NFL wide receiver Mike Clayton will work as part of a team set on getting Russell a second chance at the NFL.
Russell has one thing -- and only one thing -- going for him: his age. He's just 27.
Besides that, it'll be hard to imagine teams will just overlook his track record of being lazy, the fact that he never once looked like a competent NFL quarterback, all the excuses he made for his failure, his 2010 arrest for codeine syrup without prescription ... did we mention his laziness?
"I'm not looking for a pat on the shoulder from people who haven't been there for me," Russell said. "It feels funny not to go through a training camp; that's just what I'm used to. It's going to feel good to go back out there again. I will make this happen."
We'll believe it when we see it.
By Simon Samano