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Derrick Johnson: Derek Carr ‘a guy that I’ve always looked up to’, usually QB’s ‘prima donnas’

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NFL: Oakland Raiders-OTA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In his 13 seasons in the NFL, Derrick Johnson has gone up against a plethora of quarterbacks. So it’s fair to say he knows what the great ones look like.

Up until this point, Johnson has played all of his NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs providing him with ample time to become familiar with Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

With the past battles involving Johnson on the Chiefs and the current ones taking place in practice against Carr in Alameda, Johnson knows Carr is built tougher than most.

“[Carr’s] a grinder,” Johnson said on Tuesday. “He’s a very gritty quarterback. Usually you don’t use those words for a quarterback. They’re prima donnas, you can’t touch the quarterback.”

However, the most interesting observation from Johnson’s quote might not be about Carr himself but about the past Kansas City quarterbacks. Johnson made sure to label Carr as tough, but called his prior quarterbacks prima donnas.

Since Johnson has been in the league, the Chiefs have trotted out Trent Green, Brodie Croyle, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn and Alex Smith as starting quarterbacks, just to name a few.

In addition to Carr’s toughness, Johnson has taken note of Carr’s leadership capabilities thus far in OTAs.

“He’s a guy that leads this Raider team really well,” Johnson continued. “Everybody is well respected of him. He gets along with everybody. Everybody. He’s talking to everybody. Dancing with everybody. He’s a guy that I’ve always looked up to.”

Johnson isn’t saying anything that Raider Nation doesn’t already know. Carr’s toughness has been evident by his willingness to play through a broken back last season, a broken/dislocated finger in 2016, and a high ankle and MCL sprain during his rookie season.

And if anyone has doubts about his leadership after last year’s lackluster season, they just need to be reminded by watching the NFL’s Sound FX video of Carr against the Indianapolis Colts.