Derek Carr was asked about Seth Roberts this week. Something that doesn’t happen much and that doesn’t sit well with the third year QB who joined the Raiders the same offseason Roberts did
“‘How’s ‘Crab?’ How’s ‘Coop?’ How’s Cordarrelle [Patterson]? How’s Jared [Cook]?’,” Carr said of the most common questions he’s gotten about his receiving corps of late. “I’m like, ‘They’re great, but so is Seth.’ I don’t know why he goes under the radar so much, but that man has made game-winning catch after big-time play and all these things and it’s because he works his tail off.”
It’s true. Roberts does fly under the radar. He has never been one to talk to the media much. He was a lanky receiver out of West Alabama — a school that has had just two players drafted in its history.
Roberts needed to stand out was on the field in order to stick in the NFL. And that meant putting in the work. He stood out enough to earn a spot on the practice squad though his first year.
Come his second season, Roberts not only made the team, but was their third receiver. He kept that role last season, and continues to have the confidence of his quarterback and coaches.
There are a lot of undrafted rookies and first year players on this team right now — 37 to be exact -- all of whom must approach these preseason games with the same mindset as Roberts.
“They need to know who I am,” said Roberts, pounding his chest. ”I ain’t with that flying under the radar. I’m trying to make it happen, you know? I got a family to provide for.”
And there it is. Show up on the preseason stage, with the lights on, cameras rolling, and opposing players trying to run through you, and you will live to fight another day to keep your NFL dream alive.
The general public will see the results Saturday night, but the work that goes into putting a strong performance on film starts long before those lights come on, or even when coaches and teammates can’t see you.
“There’s no secret,” Carr continued. “This man goes out there every single day. He puts in the extra work when nobody is watching. He studies his stuff, and he asks me questions. He asks me all the time, ‘Derek, how do you want this run? How do you want this thing done?’ When we can be on the same page… Like we had a mishap today, me and Seth. We sat there, talked it out and then the next time we know exactly how we want to do it so we don’t have that in a real game.”
The first real game action for the Raiders happens Saturday; 32 of whom are rookies, 23 of those are undrafted, a few of whom have already made a strong impression on their coaches.