This offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders had a number of chances to make a major change at quarterback. It was heavily rumored that the team could target the likes of Tom Brady or another veteran, but in the end, all the team did was add Marcus Mariota in a backup role. While some will suggest Mariota was brought on to take over Derek Carr’s job at some point, that doesn’t seem all that likely.
Carr has stayed pretty quiet about the recent chatter, but he recently had a chance to talk about the team bringing in Mariota and had some big praise for his new backup.
“We’ve talked already,” Carr said on the Bussin’ With The Boys podcast. “He is by far one of the coolest, nicest, professional people I’ve ever been around. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about him. He’s amazing.”
Having a good backup quarterback is undervalued in the NFL. The Raiders haven’t had one for years and they’ve suffered for it in the past. Carr understands why it’s important to have more than one guy who can lead the offense effectively.
“I think the most important thing is to have a united quarterback room,” Carr said. “I’ve always thought that. When you have a strong united quarterback, we can all go lead the football team. … Our depth of the offense that we know, we have to correct guys, things like that — I think it’s only good things for our team.”‘
Derek Carr Addresses Latest Quarterback Rumors
Since Jon Gruden took over as the Raiders’ head coach, Carr has had to listen to rumors questioning his job status on a consistent basis. They hit an all-time high this offseason as many reporters made it seem like a certainty that the Raiders were planning to make a massive offer to Tom Brady. It apparently never happened. The team also didn’t address quarterback early in the draft.
There have been suggestions that Gruden and Carr don’t get along, but there’s little evidence to back that up.
“What people don’t get to see from the outside looking in is our interaction every single day,” Carr said. “That’s why out tight end [Darren Waller] … he just came out and was like ‘all this talk of a new quarterback is mind-boggling to me.'”
Carr improved his play in 2019 but still wasn’t able to return to his Pro Bowl form. If he doesn’t take it to the next level this season, rumors will pop up once again.
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Carr Gets Fancy New Toy in Draft
One of the reasons Carr wasn’t as productive last season was because he didn’t have great wide receiver options. That should change in 2020 as the team took Henry Ruggs with the 12th pick in the first round of the draft. His game-breaking speed should immediately make the Raiders offense more effective.
He’s not the all-around wide receiver that the team could’ve used, but he’s a weapon and he’ll help make be a distraction on the offense. He’ll also be good for some long touchdowns this year. Carr has an underrated arm and he should finally get a chance to show it off with some deep passes.