Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Jamarcus
Critics of JaMarcus Russell always questioned whether the drive was there. Now, with the former No. 1 pick fighting his way back to playing weight and showing a renewed interest in the game, the question is whether he’ll get a chance to take his newly rediscovered drive to the NFL. Russell, who is considered one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, is attempting a comeback, Yahoo! Sports reports. The 27-year-old last played in 2009 and failed to make an impact in tryouts with the Redskins and Dolphins in 2010, but he has been working out and wants another chance. “I’m not looking for a pat on the shoulder from people who haven’t been there for me,” Russell told Yahoo! Sports. “It feels funny not to go through training camp — that’s just what I’m used to. It’s going to feel good to get back out there again. I will make this happen.” Russell had a wretched first few years in the NFL with the Raiders, going 7-18 with 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions and just a 52.1 percent completion rate over three years. After Oakland finally cut him, he did all but swear off football, turning his back on the heavy criticism that came along with what many called a lack of effort despite his athleticism. Russell, who was once a tough 6-foot-6 and 256 pounds, saw his weight climb to as many as 320 pounds this fall, according to Yahoo! Sports, but he’s since knocked it down to 308. Even more, he has a renewed interest in the game. “My first year out, I couldn’t watch football, but after a while, I couldn’t keep the TV off,” he said. “I got that itchy feeling, but now I gotta watch it, I gotta watch. The last few years, the things going through my life — football is my life, and it is how it feeds my family. … People are always saying that I’m a bust. I want to show them I’m not. I’m committed to this now.” At 27, Russell is no longer a young player with promise. He has a long road ahead of him to get back into playing shape and get the mental focus needed to play in the NFL. But that journey has officially started.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron: Teaching Cavs bigger challenge than winning first ring

Jets-Bills game won't be played in Buffalo on Sunday

LeGarrette Blount apologizes to former teammates, fans

Pilar Sanders posts audio of children saying Deion is abusive

Kobe Bryant dishes on trash talk with Dwight Howard

Raiders owner Mark Davis: 'We want to stay here in Oakland'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Terrance Knighton: Broncos fans are ‘high-maintenance'

Ex-NFL player delivers own baby on North Carolina farm

USC players not happy about Josh Shaw reinstatement

FSU student: Books stopped bullets from hitting me

Jets-Bills game could be moved to Detroit, Toronto, New Jersey

Michael Vick wants to play at least two more years

Could Josh Gordon put Cleveland Browns over the top?

Nike cancels 'AI' sneaker in light of Allen Iverson protest

Rick Pitino calls releasing pre-March rankings 'a football thing'

Lauren Hill surprises Devon Still with gift after practice

Raiders fans take out ad calling for Hue Jackson return

Eagles broadcaster has Cowboys turkey for Thanksgiving

Nick Young on his swag: 'I’m like Michael Jackson, Prince'

Le'Veon Bell adds Steelers o-line to award candidacy picture

Ranking the NBA's most exciting rookies

Steve Smith drops fantastic line about playing in prime-time

Five NFL teams we still have no clue about

Ten NFL coaches who would be fired if season ended today

Raiders News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

LeBron on challenge of leading Cavaliers

LeGarrette Blount issues apology

Phelps' alleged GF born a man?

Bears considered benching Cutler?

Can Cardinals win a Super Bowl with Drew Stanton?

Steeler: Blount's release a blessing

WATCH: Carter moved by tribute

Giancarlo Stanton and the cost of becoming a boss

Report: Sandoval headed to Red Sox

VIDEO: HBO's 'Under The Lights' is a must watch

Brady: Belichick not as he seems

The NFL Chick gloriously interviews for the Gators head coach job

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.