Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

October 24, 2007
Kiffin saw JaMarcus in VY

ALAMEDA – Wednesday, as usual, is conference call morning with the opposing coach and a player for the weekend’s game.

The player on the call today was Vince Young. I still marvel at how he’s stepped in and figuratively put a franchise on his back.

Lane Kiffin likened JaMarcus Russell’s leadership qualities to those of Young before drafting Russell.

Kiffin said the way players at LSU followed Russell reminded him of how players followed Young at Texas.

The difference right now is Young was in training camp an in position to become the starter last season. Russell, we all know, didn’t show up until after the first game.

The similarities between Young and Russell are apparent after hearing Young talk about being a leader. He said he just wanted to be humble when he joined the Titans last year.

Russell has carried himself in a similar manner.

Young doesn’t believe he could have played last year had he missed camp. But I wouldn’t rule out Russell playing this year.

He’s just as mobile as Josh McCown and can throw the ball like Daunte Culpepper and Kiffin just might want to see that on the field.

After all, Russell can’t lead like Young until he’s on the field.

Young has a history with Kiffin. His Texas team beat USC in 2006 in the BCS National Championship Game.

That’s where Kiffin got his first look at Young.

Young’s personality came across when he said he hoped former Texas teammate and Raider safety Michael Huff got his first interception against the Raiders’ opponent after he played the Titans.

He also said fellow second-year player LenDale White’s “got bit of growing up to do, but that's it.”

Young didn’t indicate if he’d play on Sunday, but expect him to be on the field. He’s practicing today.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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