Brian Russell stands 6'2", and weighs 210 lbs. The veteran safety is entering his eighth season from San Diego State, spending his first three years with the Vikings before moving to the Browns in 2005-2006, and finally playing in Seattle the last two seasons. Russell has started 84 of his 108 games and has recorded 461 tackles, 24 passes defensed, and 16 interceptions.
Scouting report from Doug Farrar of NorthwestFootball.net and Football Outsiders--
The best way to describe Brian Russell is that he's one of those guys who watched "Rudy" too many times and thinks that you can swap talent for hustle. The Seahawks picked him up before the 2007 season, and a predominantly Cover-2 scheme masked his liabilities in pass coverage. But from day one, he had an obvious technique problem when it came to tackling -- he is so intent on making the big play that he almost never wraps up. Literally two or three times a game, you see him whiff a tackle. Last year, he whiffed twice on Anquan Boldin in the same play. I've never seen anyone do that before.
Last season, Seattle decided to move Deon Grant in as more of a box safety and run Russell as the deep guy in Cover-1 looks, and it was an unmitigated disaster. The Seahawks' coaching staff always held Russell in high regard because of his ability to get the other, younger defensive backs lined up, but they must have stopped watching at the snap. My favorite Brian Russell moment came in the Seahawks' loss to Miami. Ted Ginn was running a deep post, with Marcus Trufant trailing him perfectly. Russell was so desperate to be in on the action, he caught up and actually ran a pick on Trufant, blocking him out of the way. Touchdown, Miami. The guy is all speed and no discipline. I hate to be so negative in a scouting report because it can come off as hyperbole, but he's a very limited player. If the Jags are running a lot of two-deep looks, he'll be okay, but it's almost as if you have to build your secondary around his liabilities if you don't want to get wasted in coverage. They had Grant as a strong safety just to keep Russell at free, and it killed the Seahawks defense. I suspect that new secondary coach Tim Lewis saw enough pretty quickly.
If he's a backup, the Jags should be alright. But I really don't know why anyone would sign this guy. That sounds harsh, but after two years of watching him, that's what I've got.
Tim Yotter of Viking Update.com also weighed in--
Way back when he was with the Vikings he was a solid special teams guy, a hard-nosed defender that lack some of the range required to be versatile enough in coverage. He had a good work ethic and was a good locker-room guy. His main deficiency was simply his coverage skill.
What does he mean for the Jaguars?
Brian Russell will likely be a special teams player and will fill in if either Reggie Nelson or Sean Considine gets injured or becomes too ineffective. The Jags apparently believed that Russell was better than youngster Kennard Cox.
New Jaguar Scouting Report- Brian Russell
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