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JaMarcus Russell's arm still as strong as Joe Flacco's?

JaMarcus Russell reportedly impressed the Chicago Bears with a "big arm" and positive demeanor at Friday's workout. But is the Oakland Raiders draft bust all the way back to 2007 form?

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Brian Martin, founder of TEST Football Academy where Russell has been working out, believes the former No. 1 overall pick's arm matches up with the best in the game right now.

"We've worked with over a dozen NFL quarterbacks, and the strongest arm I've ever seen is Joe Flacco's," Martin told's Peter Schrager. "JaMarcus' arm right now is as strong and as accurate as Joe's."

Martin obviously has a vested interest in seeing Russell earn another shot in the NFL. Even if the accuracy comparison is laughable, it's credible that Russell still boasts an arm that would rival any quarterback in the league. This is a player who was ranked first on the Baltimore Ravens' 2007 draft board, ahead of Calvin Johnson.

"Russell has two things you can't teach that teams actually want," a league source explained to Schrager. "An incredible arm and great NFL size."

If Russell's talent remains obvious, the question is if Russell truly has matured after work-ethic and commitment issues drove him out of the league three years ago.

"There is some belief around scouting circles that you can maximize a person's character -- his attitude and work ethic, all that -- with the right situation around him," former NFL scout Dan Hatman said. "And when you look at Russell from a physical talent perspective, there was never a question about JaMarcus Russell. He can throw the football."

As former Denver Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist explained, teams believe they have a shot at "stealing one" with Russell because his career went off the rails with little support from a "dysfunctional and struggling" Raiders organization.

Russell's arm will keep buying him workout opportunities. He won't get signed until a general manager looks him in the eye and is convinced that Russell is a changed man, responsible to himself, his teammates and his coaching staff.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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