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Derek Carr says he’s helping Marcus Mariota in training camp: ‘We’re teammates’

Raiders starting quarterback is working with — not against — his backup

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Oakland Raiders
Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Some people may want to pit Derek Carr against Marcus Mariota in the Raiders’ training camp, but, if you hear the starting quarterback talk about their relationship, there is no animosity at all.

In fact, Carr is getting a lot out of working with his new backup.

“Marcus is a great guy, he’s a smart football player,” Carr told reporters Tuesday. “He’s done a great job but any chance I get during a meeting, if he asks a question and maybe it’s not the answer he’s looking for, I’ll text him and try to help him. Usually I can lean over and talk to him, (but because of social distancing) I am texting him during a meeting which isn’t always the right thing but it’s what we got do now.

So, I’ve just been trying to help him as much as I can because I know if I was in that position you need help, man. You need that guy that will wrap you around the arm. We are family here.”

Reading that must be a buzz kill for people who expect Carr and Mariota to be at each other’s throats. It’s just not happening.

There as some people around the NFL that expected Mariota, a former starter with the Tennessee Titans, to push Carr. But that hasn’t happened yet in training camp. Yes, Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden has praised Mariota, but he has praised Carr, too.

Unless he falls on his face during the season or gets injured, this is Carr’s gig. He knows Mariota is his backup and he is fine with it.

“We’re teammates,” Carr said. “We are both here, as well as Nathan Peterman, to lead our team and to help us win. If you ever watch us at practice, if I am in the thing, Marcus is talking to a receiver, Nate’s talking to a receiver.

When Marcus is in, me and Nate are talking to guys, coaching up, fixing things. When Nate is in, me and Marcus are taking to guys trying to fix things. We’re in this thing together, man. So, all three of us are in a group text just trying to help each other out and always just trying to help that process.”