Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Raider's Ban Pryor From Wearing Jamarcus Russell's Old Number

(SI) Pryor, who is 6-foot-6, was wearing No. 6. Not the No. 2 jersey he wore at Ohio State. "Coach won't let me wear No. 2," he told a throng of reporters after practice. "Why? I don't know. You tell me. I'm just going off what coach tells me." Here's the answer to why coach Hue Jackson has good reason not to let Pryor anywhere near the No. 2 jersey. The last Raider to wear No. 2 was JaMarcus Russell. And the Raiders don't need any visible markers that put Pryor and their biggest quarterback bust in history in the same category.

I'm gonna go right ahead and play Devils Advocate with this one because on the one hand you can't even argue that Jamarcus wasn't far and away the biggest draft bust of all time. The guy went #1 overall in the '07 Draft and finished his career with 18 TD's, 23 picks, 22 fumbles and a 7-18 record as a starter. Throw in the $32 million in guaranteed greenbacks and the Codeine Syrup arrest of 2010 and this guys face has already been securely chiseled into the Mount Rushmore of N.F.L. draft busts. Other faces on this edition of Rushmore- Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith and Matt Leinart. So you can't knock Hue Jackson for making it so that Raiders fans, management and players NEVER have to see that silver #2 under center again.

But on the other hand it's kind of like a backhanded retirement of Russell's jersey, no? By doing this your basically saying we don't want anyone else wearing his jersey number and isn't that what every player strives to achieve anyway? I know in this case his number isn't being honored because of all the greatness and leadership he brought to Oakland, but they're treating the number the same way the Bulls treated Michael Jordan's #23, by not letting anyone else wear it. By not allowing Pryor to wear his #2 jersey it just furthermore prolongs Jamarcus's legacy with the team. Why not let Terrelle wear #2 and try to do something positive with it? Nothing would make fans forget about Jamarcus faster than seeing Pryor come in, steal the job from Jason Campbell, excel and reinvent the ol' number deuce for Raider nation.

Yea, I can't see that happening either.


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