Tuesday for the first time this offseason, Derek Carr stood behind the podium to field questions from local media. He didn’t speak with the media prior to the draft amidst swirling rumors the Raiders were considering trading him and drafting a quarterback, so he never had to address any of it.
The closest he came to making a statement was when he got angry with First Take hosts Max Kellerman and Stephen A Smith for saying Carr “Didn’t want it” and that Gruden was looking at replacing him. Carr challenged them to a televised fight. He was obviously not serious about the televised match per se, but he wasn’t joking around either, calling them “clowns” and saying “You don’t know me, stop lying.”
Now that the draft has come and gone and Carr is still right where he was when it all started, he stepped to the mic and pronounced what we all knew he would — that there was never a doubt in his mind.
“Honestly it got annoying after a while because I’m like…literally they don’t have nothing else to talk about? And I didn’t help the situation trying to challenge people to fights (laughs). I shouldn’t have said nothing.
“But to be honest with you, it was like the owner, the GM, the head coach and the quarterback, I don’t know about other places, but here, we’re all on the same page. I talked to all three of those guys all the time. They tell me good, bad, and ugly. We are always on the same page because that’s what our team needs. That’s what the good organizations do. So, from the beginning I met with all of them, talked with all of them, and when I watched the draft there was like negative 47% chance that they were going to draft somebody in my mind. Hopefully those guys didn’t have their hopes up, but it wasn’t going to happen. They pretty much said that every time it came up, if it even came up. We’re not just planning for this year. I’m honestly going to be here a long time.”
Carr is right in so far as he is the QB of the immediate future of this team. That much has been decided. It’s hindsight now. But the pressure is on. He is entering his second season in the same offense for just the second time in his NFL career and Gruden stocked the offense around him. He will need to show vast improvement this season.
It’s in his hands in as much as his performance this season should be the determining factor as to whether he is the QB of this team heading into Vegas. But it’s not his decision. Should he not ball out in his second season, he will undoubtedly be replaced. Even though Carr knows that conversation is coming, it’s a concept he claims is a whole lot of nonsense.
“Let’s just get through this year first and then we’ll play that game again and I’ll probably have some more fun with it, but I’m not going anywhere,” Carr reiterated. “This is my team and it will be for the next however long I want to play.”
His head coach shows moments of confidence in his quarterback, but never to the level Carr displays. The Raiders finished 4-12 last season with Carr throwing 19 TD’s with 10 Interceptions and was sacked 52 times. Regardless of any other factors, no QB should feel their job is safe after putting up those kind of numbers.
“Derek did a lot of good things [last season],” said Gruden. “We’re trying to obviously work on a couple things we think he can get better at. We’ve also tried to improve his supporting cast at every level. We tried to improve our defense, hopefully we can get the ball to him more often and in better field position. We’ve added some receivers, we added a running back, we’ve added a couple linemen, so hopefully a lot of these things will show up and he’ll be a great quarterback which I know he will be.”
Carr said himself just today that James Jones told him “Once you think you’re good, you’re definitely not good.” It’s a way of saying he always needs to prove himself. That’s very true. And all of his confidence about being here “However long (he) want(s) to play” is meaningless in that light. If he doesn’t prove himself, there will be more than just rampant rumors about the Raiders plans at quarterback.
Do you think Derek Carr is really as confident in his place as Raiders starting QB as he is letting on?
This poll is closed
Yes, he really believes he is here for the foreseeable future
Yes, but only with regard to his spot for the 2019 season
No, he was at least a bit nervous
No, he was very worried