While many have made it seem like the Las Vegas Raiders have lost confidence in Derek Carr as their starting quarterback, what players and coaches are saying would indicate otherwise. Head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have praised Carr this offseason and players like Richie Incognito have come to his defense.
Based on the fact that many of the quarterback rumors surrounding the team this offseason didn’t come to fruition, Carr has to be feeling pretty safe heading into the 2020 season. Wide receiver Rico Gafford may not have a ton of experience, but he recently took the time level serious praise at his quarterback.
“I’m very confident in Derek … I have the utmost confidence in Derek – everyone on the team does because he’s our leader.” Gafford said without hesitation on the Raider Cody Podcast. “He’s very smart, he’s very passionate, he’s a family man. He loves the game, he takes the game very seriously.”
Gafford has only played five games in two seasons with the Raiders, but he figures see his role increase in the offense after showing off big-play ability last season. He’s been around the franchise for a while now, so he’d definitely have a good idea of how players think about Carr.
Gafford Talks Offseason Rumors
It’s really easy for players to hear rumors about their quarterback situation and the Raiders’ connection to Tom Brady certainly drew the interest of many on the team. Tyrell Williams, Trent Brown and Josh Jacobs couldn’t hide their excitement about potentially playing with the greatest quarterback of all time. While that fact shouldn’t cause division in the locker room, it couldn’t have been fun for Derek Carr to hear about all that. However, Gafford revealed that the quarterback hasn’t been too fazed by all the chatter.
“Throughout this whole process of what’s been going in the offseason and rumors about Tom Brady … just a whole bunch of different rumors and this stuff that’s been going on – Derek has stayed strong,” Gafford said. “No matter what anybody else says about him, he’s going to be the same many at the end of the day.”
It’s a good sign that Carr hasn’t been greatly affected by the rumors, but he’s going to need to help win more games if he wants the rumors to go away for a while.
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Gafford Calls Carr ‘Great’
Due to the fact that he’s only had a winning record in one of his six seasons, he gets hit with a lot of criticism even though his stats would indicate he’s easily a top-15 quarterback in the NFL. Gafford knows how good his quarterback is and thinks he can bring the best out of him.
“I know that when it comes to my career, Derek can really help me out because he is a great quarterback … He learns Gruden’s offense and he mastered it,” Gafford said.
With Marcus Mariota coming to town to back Carr up, the veteran will face his first real competition since he came to the NFL. If the Raiders can give him a true number one wide receiver, he could be in for his biggest season yet.