Marshall Faulk: Oakland is the first team this year to start a rookie quarterback. I think this move could turn it around for Oakland with all the veterans they brought in. Do you think it will?
It's hard to say for certain. But I would lean toward yes. And here's why.
Not only is Carr the only rookie quarterback in the NFL to start the season opener, but more importantly he is the first Raiders rookie quarterback to EVER start the team's season opener.
For the past decade plus the Raiders have been spinning their wheels trying to dust off retreads and cast-offs -- none of whom were able to have great success for the team. The list is a long one and when Jason Campbell (11-7) is the most successful of the bunch, they have problems.
Most of the best quarterbacks in the league were home grown. A guy like Rich Gannon is a rare exception and with as late in his career as the Raiders got him, that success was short lived.
Carr has a far brighter future than Matt Schaub, who at 33-years old has his best days behind him. He also clearly offers a far brighter outlook than Matt Flynn who the team acquired in trade last off-season or Terrelle Pryor to took his place to begin last season.
Arguably the biggest mistake made by the Raiders was also their last drafted rookie to start a game -- Jamarcus Russell. He came in late in his rookie season when the Raiders were already out of it and lurched his way through two seasons of ineptitude before his career ended as the biggest bust in NFL history.
The differences between Russell and Carr are legion. But the ones that matter most are intelligence, heart, work ethic and draft position.
Russell had little to none of the first three things and was taken first overall. Carr has all of the first three characteristics and was taken in the second round. Where they are the same is important as well. They both have great physical gifts. So, in essence, the Raiders get in Carr what they had hoped they were getting in Russell when they chose him with their top pick in the 2007 draft.
What it boils down to for Carr is a low risk, high reward situation. Carr cannot sink this consecutive 4-win team any lower but what he can possibly do is bring them out of their decade-long tailspin marred by dud draft picks (Jamarcus Russell, Andrew Walter, Terrelle Pryor, Tyler Wilson), bad trades (Carson Palmer, Matt Flynn), and retreads (Aaron Brooks, Daunte Culpepper, Matt Schaub).
A classic "nothing to lose and everything to gain" situation.