Quarterback Derek Carr has been hit with so many rumors as of late that it’s hard to keep track of. The Raiders are heading to Las Vegas this season and while Carr has been with the team for a long time, he doesn’t carry the kind of star power that a name like Tom Brady would. However, it remains to be seen if he’d be an upgrade in the talent department considering his age.
Until the NFL Draft passes, the Carr debate will probably drive most of Raider Nation crazy. It’s a polarizing subject that isn’t going to go away unless the quarterback comes out and play like an MVP in 2020 or the team just cuts him loose. While the fan base is divided, Carr has found himself a big supporter in former Raiders running back Napoleon Kaufman. He took to Twitter to defend Carr and also explained what the quarterback needs to succeed.
Kaufman was one of the fastest players in the NFL when he was playing, so he knows a thing or two about speed. It seems strange to say that the Raiders lack speed considering Al Davis built the team around speed and was often criticized for it. It seems like they’ve gone too far in the other direction.
Kaufman Doubles Down
Kaufman received some backlash on Twitter, but he wasn’t giving up on his defense of Carr. He went on to suggest that everybody is blaming the quarterback for the struggles of others.
Carr hasn’t always had the best talent or coaching around him and that often has contributed to his lack of success. However, it’s hard to say he can’t be better considering how good he was earlier in his career. If the Raiders decides to keep him, they’re likely to finally give him the pieces he needs to succeed. It will be up to him to prove the doubters wrong. If he doesn’t, he’s gone.
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Raider fans who are done with Carr are going to roll their eyes so hard when they read this that it might bring on a solar eclipse, but some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL didn’t really hit their stride until their seventh year as a starter. When comparing Tom Brady’s first six years as a starter to Carr’s, their numbers are actually pretty similar. Brady threw 147 touchdowns with 78 interceptions. Carr has thrown 143 touchdowns with 62 interceptions.
Brady’s best season came in year seven as a starter when he got Randy Moss and threw for 50 touchdowns. Now, obviously, Brady’s win-loss record was much better than Carr’s is now and that’s a very important metric, but they also had very different surroundings. It’s not to say that Carr is about to throw for 50 touchdowns in 2020, but it is to say that he still has a chance to turn things around.
Regardless of who is taking snaps for the Raiders in 2020, the team needs to add more speed at wide receiver as Kaufman pointed out. Elite wide receiver talent can do a lot to help a quarterback’s numbers and it could be argued that the Raiders haven’t had elite wide receiver play since the days of Tim Brown. It’s time to change that in 2020.