First JaMarcus Russell’s comeback wasn’t taken seriously, because very few things Russell has done recently warrant serious attention. But then something odd happened: as the offseason progressed, he began to look like a guy who — at the very, very worst — deserved a shot.
First he was still fat and slow, and he posted a 40-yard dash time that showed speed below even his fastest (see: still slow) time when he was in Oakland. Then there was progress, and a significant drop in weight which led to improved mobility. And inevitably, there were rumors that multiple teams and scouts were following his comeback attempt, and he’d likely get a shot.
Well look at that. Now he’s reportedly getting said shot.
Feel free to do whatever suits you between either clapping slowly or laughing. Earlier this afternoon ESPN Chicago reported that Russell will be part of a Bears tryout this Friday with three other quarterbacks. If there’s even a shred/sprinkling/whatever of hope that Russell can be the Russell he was at LSU when he was deemed worthy of the draft’s top pick, playing in Chicago and under the eye of new Bears head coach and noted quarterback whisperer Marc Trestman is the place to do it.
Let’s not pretend this is any more than what it is either: it’s a shot at maybe being invited to training camp, which then gives Russell a chance to play in a preseason game and produce current tape that other teams can evaluate. And according to USA Today’s Mike Garafolo, other teams are already looking at Russell.
If the Bears pass and decide not to sign Russell as their fourth quarterback in training camp, Garafolo says the Ravens also have a “significant amount” of interest too. In Baltimore the situation would be the same, as Russell would compete with Tyrod Taylor and Dayne Crist to watch Joe Flacco on Sundays, and then develop the rest of the week.
For those keeping score, we now have one tryout for Russell (and possibly two) this offseason, and none for Tim Tebow, even though the former hasn’t attempted a pass in a competitive football game since 2009.