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Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Davis focuses on QB Russell

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Russell

It is very clear who Al Davis thinks will be central to an Oakland Raiders renaissance -- second-year quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

Davis mentioned Russell often Tuesday during his news conference while explaining his firing of Lane Kiffin and in his news conference to announce the hiring of interim head coach Tom Cable.

Davis often referred to Russell as a good player who he believes will become a great player. He also made it clear he didn't think that Kiffin thought Russell was a good player. Davis said that Kiffin wanted to draft someone else (Brady Quinn, perhaps?) other than Russell last year when Oakland made him the No. 1 overall pick. Davis said that Kiffin referred to Russell as overweight and uninterested.

It will be interesting to see how Russell reacts to being a focal point of the news conference. Bay Area media will surely ask him about his thoughts. For a young quarterback trying to find his way, this will be another challenge for him. But Davis clearly thinks Russell is up to the challenge.