Another day of Oakland Raiders practice marks another day that Antonio Brown is sidelined with an undisclosed injury. His absence wasn’t originally much of a concern, but it’s been extended since he made a brief appearance at Tuesday’s practice. Even wasn’t practicing, Brown appeared on the sideline of the first few practices, but he’s been nowhere to be seen since Wednesday’s day off. Many players have taken his absence in stride, including starting quarterback Derek Carr.
Carr said when asked about working on chemistry with Brown that they have “the meat and potatoes down, just have to keep perfecting the details.” The two men worked together quite a bit in the offseason.
Derek Carr Shines With Antonio Brown Absent
Derek Carr is going to be watched under a microscope in 2019. There are many in the media that are ready to see him fail and expect him to be gone quickly after the season. Despite all the noise, Carr seems to be taking everything in stride. He has new weapons like Brown, Tyrell Williams and Josh Jacobs. He also has new talent on the offensive line with Richie Incognito and Trent Brown. Carr is set up for much more success in 2019 than he has in the past. Jon Gruden is the first offensive-minded head coach Carr has had and this will be his second year in the system. He could be poised for a breakout year. One of the players Carr is excited for is the previously mentions Williams.
“He easily can take that featured role and be a 100-catch, 1,000-yard guy,” said Carr to the media after Saturday’s practice.
Well, with Williams and Brown, Carr will have two guys that can put those types of numbers. However, Carr’s been making plays with receivers outside of the top two.
A strong training camp won’t necessarily mean a good season is in store, but it’s definitely a good sign. Carr has a much deeper pool of weapons than he did a year ago. If Brown is down, Williams can step up. If both those guys go down, Renfrow and Nelson can make plays. That’s much more depth than what the team had in 2018.
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Raiders Offense Looks Sharp
Carr isn’t the only one that’s been making plays. There have been playmakers stepping up all over the offense. Tyrell Williams has been the biggest standout. He’s been making big plays and has shown off impressive hands. Don’t forget about Hunter Renfrow and J.J. Nelson. Both of those little guys have done nothing but show consistent ability all training camp.
The team has also been getting impressive play from its group of tight ends. Darren Waller is quickly becoming a favorite target of Carr. He’s more of a receiver than a traditional tight end, but he could be a very valuable target for the Raiders. The offensive line has also been dominant in the early stages of training camp. All of these signs are very good for Carr’s outlook in 2019.