Report: Life coach, QB part ways

Updated: April 16, 2011, 9:00 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

John Lucas is no longer serving as JaMarcus Russell's "life coach," Yahoo! Sports reported Thursday.

Lucas and Russell, who was released by the Oakland Raiders in May, had been working together since September in an attempt to get the quarterback into shape to return to the NFL. But the 6-foot-6 Russell lost motivation after initially working hard, and Lucas tired of working with an unresponsive Russell, the website reported.

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley -- who, like Russell, is from Alabama -- also tried to motivate the quarterback to no avail.

"The title of your article should be, 'It's Over,'" a source told Yahoo! Sports. "It's just amazing that you could say that about somebody who is 25 years old and just got drafted four years ago. But it's been almost a year since he got cut and there's no interest. Even before the lockout, nobody wanted to get near the kid."

That was evident in January, when, according to the website, Baltimore Ravens president Ozzie Newsome, who was in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, refused to meet with Russell, a Mobile native who was there at the time.

He also had two unimpressive workouts in November. Russell, whose playing weight was listed at 260, weighed 288 at a workout for the Washington Redskins on Nov. 2; two weeks later, he showed up for a workout with the Miami Dolphins weighing 292.

"It's such a waste of talent," a source told Yahoo! "It's hard to believe a guy with that much ability could let it just waste. It's sad. ... It's like they say, you can't coach desire."

Russell, the top overall draft pick in 2007, lost his starting job prior to his release and was arrested in July for possession of a controlled substance.

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