|When You're A Jet...|
There is, of course, a place for Russell to play football again; there always will be, because the fact is that any #1 overall pick will always have some team that wants to look at the old scouting reports and see if there's something there. If Cam Newton can have a career, well, the guy who made people doubt Newton in the first place can too, right? It's not like he doesn't have the size, the arm, and maybe even the wheels, assuming you ever got his head on straight and jammed a work ethic into his spine. Stranger things have happened.
I'll go further. I can scope out a 2-year path back to the league for him, and actual competence. First, he trains for six months in secret, kicks the booze and meds, shed 40-60 pounds and actually treats football like, well, a job instead of a lottery ticket when Al Davis gave him Life Ending Money. Next, he goes to the CFL, to some wide-open coach with some skill players and absolute control, allowing him the chance to pile up some numbers in sort of a Warren Moon for the 2010s career arc. Then, he goes to the camp of some team with a clear and well-defined #1, and serves as the humble back-up for a well-regarded franchise -- say, Green Bay or New England or Denver or some such stuff.
He gets into a game due to injury. He does well. He says all of the right things, takes the inevitable demotion like a man, kisses up to the media. And voila, by 2015 you've got Michael Vick II, only in a big guy with an arm. If Jason Campbell can have a job, and David Carr can have a job, and Brady Quinn and another half dozen guys I don't want to bother looking up right now because life is too short to devote time to such thing, so can Russ. It's not that hard to be an NFL back-up, and in the right situation, guys can become Matt Schaub without being, well, all that damned special. (And, by the way, it's fairly criminal that Donovan McNabb can't get a job. Tell me that he's not better, even at this age, then the guys mentioned above, or that the Jets don't make the playoffs in 2012, only to get absolutely murdered in a first round game, with him instead of the Sanchize. Anyway, moving on.)
Now, of course, the chances of that happening in New York, where J-Russ would serve as the photo negative of Tim Tebow?
And the fact that the Jets, who live in this nether world punctuated by a profound lack of self-awareness or understanding of what playing football in New York means, and who are almost certainly just using this lead balloon of a man to get some more sad tabloid ink, because sad tabloid ink is far more important than wins?
Well, when the special kid gets to painting, you really don't need to watch. Or be in the area, since it's going to hit your nose as well as your eyes...