Last season, there were several instances in which Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr was compared to Aaron Rodgers. James Jones, who spent last season with the Raiders, called Carr "Baby A-Rod". Earlier this season, Brown's cornerback Tramon Williams made the same comparison.
"I don't throw this name around too often, but he kind of seems to have a skill set similar to Aaron, and that's saying something,'' Williams told Cleveland.com. "Obviously we don't know if he's going to turn out to be that player, but skill set-wise, he can move, he can do the whole nine, he has a strong arm, a quick release and he can read defenses as a young quarterback."
Those comparisons are heating up once again as the Raiders are set to face Rodgers and the Packers this Sunday.
Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is fairly familiar with Aaron Rodgers. Musgrave was OC in Minnesota, and his Vikings faced Rodgers' Packers six times as division rivals. He faced him again last season while with the Eagles. He sees the similarities between Carr and Rodgers.
"They both don't take very long to fire their gun, meaning they've got a real short stroke," said Musgrave. "When they throw the ball, it's not a deliberate wind up motion. There's a lot of wrist there so it's an instantaneous release which you need at this level, especially versus zone defense. And they both, I think like Jack [Del Rio] said, they're not the 6-6, Joe Flacco, Tom Brady, Matt Ryans. They're not as tall but they find the lanes through the trees and both of them throw with tremendous accuracy. It's fun to watch both of them. I think it's a good comparison."
"I can see why [the comparison was made]," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy of Derek Carr. "He plays with great confidence and he can make any throw to any quadrant of the field. I think that's definitely what you see in Derek. He has moxie, just the way he runs around. He's also very smart with the football. He doesn't take sacks. I could see why James would make that statement."
Del Rio made similar comparisons between Carr and Rodgers, but was sure to point out that the Super Bowling winning Rodgers is "obviously a little more accomplished in what he's doing."
It's the accomplishments of Rodgers that have Carr saying slow down a bit.
"I'm honored that he would say something like that," said Carr of the comparison. "Obviously, Aaron is so accomplished - MVP, Super Bowls, all those kinds of things, and I haven't done anything near that. I don't compare myself to him at all. He's one of, if not the best, quarterback in our game. He has obviously one of the best arms we've ever seen in this league, and so I'm honored that James would say something like that, but Aaron has done far more than I have so far."
"I definitely understand style-wise that kind of stuff, because in college, Aaron was one of my favorites watching him, because of the way he played. I tried to emulate some of the stuff that he did. I've told you guys before, I take stuff from everybody that I've ever watched. I took some stuff from him, so I definitely see the style, all those kinds of things, playing a certain part."
Their careers have been very different the first couple years. Carr was thrown into the fire as a rookie starter from day one while Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre for three seasons before getting his shot to be the starter in year four. He has thrown for over 4000 yards in every full season since. Carr is currently on pace to surpass 4000 yards this season.
Rodgers has seen the season that Carr is having in his second year and is impressed.
"Yeah, we've had a couple of similar opponents, so I've seen a little bit on him," Rodgers said of Carr. "I think he's had a great year. He has to be very happy about the progress and the plays he's able to make. Obviously, you're a lot more comfortable Year 1 to 2 starting. . . he really looks like he's coming into his own and playing really well. The franchise has to be really happy about the long-term future of Derek Carr."
Come Sunday fans will get to compare these two quarterbacks directly on the same field. Raiders fans will be hoping in Carr, they're seeing a preview of what Rodgers brings to the offense -- a quarterback who led his team to a Super Bowl win in his third season as the starter.