This was so predictable.
Josh McDaniels is famous for wanting his types of quarterbacks. It’s been that way his entire coaching career and that’s why he created a storm when he wanted Matt Cassel, who was with him in New England, instead of Jay Cutler when he became the Denver Broncos head coach in 2009. He ended up with neither during his rocky 28-game tenure in Colorado.
McDaniels, at least, kept his inherited quarterback in Las Vegas for one season. But, now, as he enters his second season, he will have a completely new quarterback room and Derek Carr remains the only veteran quarterback he’s coached in Las Vegas that he didn’t previously work with sans a short stint by Chase Garbers.
Let’s look at the changes:
Starter Derek Carr, backup Jarrett Stidham, practice squad Chase Garbers.
Carr, of course, was released and is now the starter of the New Orleans Saints. Stidham, who played for McDaniels in New England and who the Raiders traded for last spring, took off for the Denver Broncos in the first hour of the legal tampering period of free agency. Garbers was an undrafted rookie who spent most of the season on the practice squad and was Stidham’s backup for the final two games of the season after Carr was sent home, signaling the end of his nine-season Raiders’ career. Carr and Stidham are gone and Garbers’ best bet in the practice squad.
Starter Jimmy Garoppolo, backup Brian Hoyer, third string Aidan O’Connell, Garbers,
In are two former McDaniels’ players and a draft pick who fits what he wants. Of course. Garoppolo was drafted by New England and was Tom Brady’s backup for most of his time he was with McDaniels. Hoyer held the same role. They both know McDaniels’ playbook and he is comfortable with the way they run it. He clearly wasn’t comfortable with Carr’s role in his playbook. That’s why he’s gone. O’Connell comes into the league with the traits that McDaniels desires in his quarterbacks such as a quick release and football intelligence. He will have a chance to develop. He may just be an NFL backup, but it’s worth a shot at the end of the fourth round. Yes, the Raiders feel like Jimmy G.’s surgically repaired foot will be ready for training camp. If not, more change could be in play.
It’s not a knock on McDaniels that he has made his quarterback room strictly a McDaniels-guys only membership. It’s what he likes and what makes him comfortable. He thinks he can win with his guys. We shall see.