With the first day of rookie mini-camp in the book for the Oakland Raiders today it is no surprise that one of the hot topics afterward was 2nd round selection QB Derek Carr. Any time a new QB is drafted so early they are a key point of interest immediately. Dennis Allen so far is liking what he was able to come out of the draft with this year.
"First of all, I’ll say this: Derek Carr was a guy we thought very highly of going into the draft. As you guys all know, we did a lot of work on the quarterbacks this year." Dennis Allen said after the practice, "He was a guy that we identified early that we really felt good about. We liked him. We thought he was a first-round talent as a quarterback."
You never really know what the draft is going to give up but this year the Raiders seem to have really hit big. Derek Carr in the second round is a great value, he has everything you want to see in a starting quarterback in the NFL. How soon he will be starting is the question that everybody is wondering, but it is important to remember that Matt Schaub was brought in to be the starter. Plans do have a way of changing though, isn't that right Matt Flynn?
"We're going to let things play out. Obviously we brought Matt Schaub in and Matt Schaub is our starting quarterback. We feel very good about that. I've said this before, he's been a top 10 quarterback in this league and he's performed at a high level. We feel very good about that."
"We like Derek Carr and we're going to let him go out and compete and see how things work out. You can't have enough good quarterbacks in this league. You never know when injuries are going to occur and you've got to be prepared for that. When you have an opportunity with a guy like Derek Carr that you feel good about, then you go out and get him."
It is unlikely that Carr will supplant Schaub for the starting role in Oakland for the 2014 season, but Dennis Allen seems to be dangling the carrot a little bit for Derek anyway. It is a good plan for DA, he motivates both Schaub and Carr to perform by putting a little bit of heat on both of them. It lets them know that despite the initial plans, it comes down to performance in the end.
It is understandable to expect that Derek's real competition is going to be for the back up QB spot with 2nd year quarterback Matt McGloin, at least in the beginning. That is no small feat in itself with McGloin showing flashes last year and proving that the NFL is not too big for him. Carr will have plenty to compete for even before the starting job.
"Derek's job is to come in here and work every day to try to get better. He's a competitor. He is going to continue to compete. That's really what we want him to do. I am setting any barriers. I am not setting any standards necessarily. I want him to come in here and try to get better every day. If he does that, everything else takes care of itself."
The message is being sent to Derek Carr pretty deliberately. DA wants the young QB to come in and earn his spot, whether that is as a starter or a back up. There are no limits to how far Derek can come this off-season. It might not be in the plans for him to be the starter, but stranger things have definitely happened. It's all up to how the competition plays out anyway, and that is status quo for how Dennis Allen has been running this team.