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Derek Carr brushes off reports of fractured relationship in Raiders locker room as ‘when you’re losing, crap happens’, Lee Smith angrily calls it ‘absolute horseshit’

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Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

In the midst of the Raiders attempting to regroup after a 1-5 start and two really bad losses to the Chargers and Seahawks the past two weeks, the atmosphere surrounding the team is as bad as I’ve seen it. The rebuild is in full swing even before midseason for a team that just a couple months ago seemed to have a lot of promise.

Just over the past couple days the team lost two of it’s top players in trading Amari Cooper and placing Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve. Then the report from The Athletic that there is a fractured relationship between Derek Carr and his teammates, focusing heavily on the perceived notion that Carr was seen “crying” on the field after hurting his shoulder late against the Seahawks.

The mere fact that there is apparently someone in the Raiders locker room who is saying such things is a sign that there is some discontent. How widespread it is is unknown. Derek Carr doesn’t think that opinion is one that is shared by many in the locker room.

“I don’t pay that any mind. You can go talk to those guys (teammates). If they don’t want to put their name on it, I’m going to leave it as what it is. It’s nothing to me,” said Carr. “If they want to come say it to my locker...I’ve had plenty of tough discussions standing right here with teammates and those are some of the guys that texted me yesterday saying ‘don’t worry about this bullcrap,’ you know, that kind of stuff. And I can’t tell you how many texts I got from former teammates, teammates I have now...all of these are just when you’re losing, crap happens.”

Carr went on to say he “never” expected anyone would question his toughness due to the litany of injuries he’s suffered in his four plus NFL seasons.

“I’ve broke my back, I’ve broke my ankle, I didn’t cry then, so I guess the shoulder was really tough for me,” Carr said, mocking the notion. “It’s funny, man, my trainer actually sent me some pictures of me working out making the same face. So, I guess I cry when I train too.

“When you’re losing, when things are tough, when things are happening, we know how that goes, man. I know how that goes, I’ve been doing it too long. But I never thought I would have to [defend my toughness].”

Lee Smith, who has been the team’s blocking tight end was not nearly as cool about it as Derek was attempting to be. While Carr’s frustration was obviously just under the surface, Smith didn’t hold back, saying among other things that “there’s a brotherhood inside this locker room that’s very special and unlike anything I’ve been a part [of] and the attacking of our strongest leader and the strongest man in our locker room is absolutely horseshit.”

Somehow the issue of the anthem protests found it’s way into this conversation, which seems a bit left field, but Smith was forced to address it. He wasn’t happy about that, as you can see here.

Carr may be as tough as he and Smith say he is. But this one clearly hurt him. Understandably so. He at least seems to understand that this is the kind of thing that happens on teams that are losing and searching for answers. There’s only so much Derek Carr can be blamed for it. And I’d wager to say his part is a smaller percentage of the overall issues.

This looks and feels a lot like rock bottom. But there’s still a lot of season left either for the feeling to improve or deteriorate further.