Russell still waiting for the word

While there's growing sentiment from just about every corner to let JaMarcus Russell start the Raiders' final two games this season, Oakland coach Lane Kiffin has resisted the urge to go with his rookie quarterback.

That could change this week in Jacksonville, though no one but Kiffin seems to know for sure.

On Thursday, a day after raising the possibility that JaMarcus Russell could make his first NFL start against the Jaguars, Kiffin said he hadn't made a decision and wouldn't reveal which way he's leaning.

"Exactly how it will play out, I don't know that," Kiffin said Thursday. "But both guys will play and hopefully JaMarcus will play for an extended amount of time."

Russell and Josh McCown split time with Oakland's first-team offense in practice Thursday. McCown, who has started eight games for the Raiders this season, was originally tabbed by Kiffin to be the starter against Jacksonville but could end up coming off the bench if Oakland opts to go with the rookie.

However, Kiffin said the quarterback rotation won't be like it was against Denver and Indianapolis, when Russell briefly spelled McCown in the second quarter. Russell also played into the second half against the Colts before McCown came back in and finished the game.

The Raiders coach said he would either let Russell start and McCown finish or have McCown start and let Russell close out the game.

"He may end up (starting), maybe this week, maybe next week," Kiffin said. "It's something to be talked about. There are good things about that, there are other things as well, too. Sometimes it's easier to come in after you get a feel for what's going on." Don't expect Kiffin to make his decision known until the last possible moment. He's done that for much of the season with McCown and Daunte Culpepper and isn't likely to change things against Jacksonville.


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