JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft
, is training for an NFL comeback.
We'll wait until you stop laughing ...
The former Oakland Raiders
quarterback, who hasn't taken a single NFL snap since 2009, told Yahoo! Sports
he has dropped from 320 to 308 pounds and is ready to bury past criticisms.
"The last few years, the things going through my life, football is my job and it is how it feeds my family," he said. "People would say (that) I didn't love the game, but that pisses me off. People don't know the real you, but I want people to know the real me and see what I can do. People are always saying that I'm a bust. I want show them I'm not. I'm committed to this now."
According to the report, Russell will work out with a bevy of former NFL players, including NFL Network's Marshall Faulk, ex-quarterback Jeff Garcia and former Olympic track star Ato Boldon.
Russell's three seasons in Oakland were so disastrous, he has been called the biggest draft bust of all time
, and the Raiders refused to give his jersey No. 2
in 2011 when the rookie quarterback requested it. Before being cut in 2010, Russell was replaced by Bruce Gradkowski
and Charlie Frye, then the Raiders
traded for Jason Campbell
to take his place.
The 27-year-old hasn't sniffed the NFL since getting tryouts with the Washington Redskins
and Miami Dolphins
in 2010, after he was arrested for possessing codeine syrup without a prescription. But he said he's ready to change the perception.
"I'm not looking for a pat on the shoulder from people who haven't been there for me," Russell said. "It feels funny not to go through a training camp, that's just what I'm used to. It's going to feel good to go back out there again. I will make this happen."
His biggest challenge will be to convince a team to give him a chance.