Monday, Derek Carr met with media members to discuss his participation in next week’s American Century celebrity golf tournament.
While most of his presser focused on the upcoming tournament and his golf game, Carr did discuss some topics about his day job — being the quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders.
He made a couple of comments that stood out to me. And it seems like he was letting the world know how the team is going to be approaching this season: The angry underdog.
Carr remarked about how “no one is talking about us” and how the team has a “chip on it’s shoulder.”
He was talking in the broad scope of the AFC West getting a lot of attention with all the additions and it seems like the Raiders aren’t getting much attention. He said the team hasn’t proven anything yet and it has a lot of work to accomplish, but he’s confident.
Carr noted that the team has improved and it was already a playoff team last season. He said that doesn’t guarantee 2022 success, but he noted that it does mean there are some pretty good football players on the roster.
So, I expect this to be a theme for the team this year. The Raiders are going to head to training camp next month, thinking no one believes in them.
Whatever works. This type of in-house motivation is nothing new in sports and several NFL teams are probably feeling the same way going into this season.
I think, by in large, expectations are high for the Raiders after they went 10-7 last year and added coach Josh McDaniels, wide receiver Davante Adams and pass-rusher Chandler Jones this offseason. There are quality players in Las Vegas.
I can see this team winning 11-12 games in 2022. Of course, the betting world doesn’t agree. Our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook currently has the Raiders’ win total priced at 8.5 wins and they have the worst odds to win the AFC West.
So, there is definitely fuel for Carr and the Raiders to use as motivation this season. So, if Carr and the team feels it is under-the-radar, that’s a good thing. It shows this team is hungry and it can’t wait to show the NFL they can be a powerhouse in an excellent AFC West.
This season is going to be nuts. I can’t wait for it to start.