JaMarcus Russell of the Oakland Raiders is having a rough season in terms of accuracy. Former Raider quarterback Rich Gannon offered up an in-depth critique of the young signal caller. Gannon:
“There’s been so much talk. I’ve talked to personnel people around the league. I’ve talked to people who have been at the games and there’s a lot of concern right now about JaMarcus Russell and his accuracy, his completion percentage. So I went back and did a study. I looked at his 21 starts, he’s completing just over 51 percent of his passes. And then this season, you look at his first two weeks, he’s completing around 35 percent of his passes. That obviously is not very good. I just think he’s missing too many opportunities and he’s holding back this offense right now. So what I did was I broke down every pass attempt from the first two weeks.”
Gannon then explains what he’s seeing from a mechanical standpoint.
“A couple of things are very glaring. I think, you see a lot of times he falls away from throws. He seems to bail. I think a rush up inside bothers him. He needs to get more bend in his knees when he throws. He’s very upright and not a lot of bend in his knees. It may have something to do with his weight. He seems to be more comfortable operating out of shotgun than he does under center. He doesn’t do a very good job seeing out in front of throws and I think that comes with experience, really understanding and anticipating coverages. So that’s not something he does. When you look at the offensive game plan, the passing game, I think they’ve condensed the plan. It’s not very complicated. Fundamentally, right now, he is not very sound. His mechanics, his footwork, it’s inconsistent.”
“I think sometimes he predetermines where he’s going to go with the ball. You can see that he makes up his mind very early in his drop. And the other thing is he misses a number of throws, almost a majority of his throws if you go back and look at it, they’re high which tells you that more of that weight is not on the front foot, that he’s leaning back, he’s throwing off of his back foot. These are some things that really jump out at me.”
Before anyone says the Raiders should make Gannon their quarterbacks coach, Gannon gave a ringing endorsement to Raiders quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett.
“Let me say this in terms of the coaching. He may have the premier (QB) coach in the National Football League when it comes to footwork, when it comes to preparing a quarterback in terms of the mechanics. Paul Hackett was my QB coach in Kansas City and was one of the big reasons why I was able to go on and have success in Oakland. He is a phenomenal coach. He coached Joe Montana. He’s coached a lot of great players in this league. I know he’s got a good coach there in Paul Hackett, his quarterbacks coach, a guy that I have the utmost respect for, and I know these are not the types of things, when I look at (Russell’s) footwork, that he’s coaching.”