Changing one’s life is never easy. JaMarcus Russell knows that fact all too well.
The former Oakland Raiders quarterback was recently dismissed by his life coach, John Lucas, according to Jason Cole at Yahoo! Sports.
Abe Brown tackled the bulk of the story earlier, but I wanted to add a few thoughts of my own.
Lucas, a former NBA coach, had been working with Russell in an attempt to turn the No. 1 draft pick’s life around. The relationship reportedly soured after Russell lost motivation and quit working hard to rebuild his NFL career and get his life on the right track.
Per Cole, Russell drove Lucas “to the point of frustration.”
Russell’s problems haven’t come solely from his battles with codeine abuse. In fact, the bigger knock on the former LSU Tiger is, and has been, his weight.
Last November two teams decided to kick the tires on the husky quarterback. When he worked out for the Washington Redskins during their bye week he tipped the scales at 286 pounds. Just two weeks later the Miami Dolphins brought him in for a visit where his weight increased to 292 pounds.
His workout habits reportedly continued to retrogress, which led to his split with Lucas.
At just 25-years of age it appears Russell’s career could truly be over.
Still, their are those who hold hope for the fledgling athlete. Those who understand jump-starting his NFL career needs to be secondary to conquering his personal demons.
Once you hit rock bottom there is no place to go but up. The only question is whether Russell has truly hit bottom.
Instead of continuing to bury him, I challenge Raider Nation and all fans of the NFL to send a prayer, good thought, positive vibration or well wish out for him. It is abundantly clear that Russell needs help — more help than just one man can provide.
If we as not just fans, but fellow human beings, pool our collective well wishes together for him it may just work. And what a turnaround it would be.
Think it can’t happen? Think Michael Vick.