Von Miller Lavishes Praise on Raiders’ QB Derek Carr Ahead of Must-Win Game

Von Miller Derek Carr

Getty Linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos greets quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders on the field after a 20-19 Denver Broncos win at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on September 16, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.

Von Miller and Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr often throughout their careers. This week, they face off in a clash more crucial than most. The Raiders, like the Denver Broncos, have lost two games in a row grinding to a halt after a 3-0 start.

Grey skies have loomed over Mile High after the Broncos lost to Baltimore and then Pittsburgh, yet the resignation of Jon Gruden, October 11, has taken most of the spotlight ahead of the Week 6 matchup. Thankfully for the Broncos, their 32-year old franchise sack leader hasn’t taken his eye off the prize.

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Fast Start Essential For Fluctuating Broncos

“This is a huge game for us,” Miller told reporters, October 14. “Every week is a huge game for us. That’s just our mindset, but this week is a huge game for us. Then we have a short week going to play the Browns next week. The Raiders, they’re going to try to rally. They’ve got so many things that they’ve been dealing with over there, and that’s what teams do. That’s what good teams do. That’s what good pro teams do.

“Whenever you are faced with adversity, you come together with the guys in the locker room. That’s what we do here, and I’m sure they do across the National Football League. They’re going to come together—all those guys in the locker room—and they’re going to try to go out there and get a win. That’s just what teams do.

“If I were them, I would be looking forward to this game to get back on track We need this game as well to get back on track. It has all the makings for a really good game.”

Miller: Carr One of My Favorite QBs

For Miller and Broncos Country, a good game will involve Derek Carr on his back early and often. Despite the renowned rivalry between Denver and Las Vegas, Miller has immense respect for their signal-caller.

“He’s one of my favorite quarterbacks in the league,” Miller said of Carr. “He’s a hell of a player. I have a lot of respect for him. Over the years — at first, you just want to sack the guy. You just want to sack him, trash him, and do sack dances and stuff. Over the years, you just kind of gain respect for all these guys.

“I know for me, playing these guys for so many years, you just gain this camaraderie and this respect for guys even if they’re on other teams. I really respect their games. He said a lot of great things about me, I’m saying a lot of great things about him. I want him to do well. I want him to pass for all the yards in the world — just not against the Broncos.”

As for how to stop Carr? Well, Miller doesn’t quite have every answer to the test.

“I’ve been playing this guy for years. If I had the answer, we’d win all of them. He’s able to just read defenses so quick and throw the ball so quick. Half the time, he doesn’t even need an offensive line. He can just catch it and throw it. It really hurts defenses when they throw the ball fast then they catch the ball for first downs and go for 15 or 20 yards after the catch. We can’t really do anything about them throwing the ball fast. That’s just what they do to try and combat some of the things that we do defensively like rushing the passer and the coverages that we run.

“We’ve got to get them down now. We’ve got to get them down for these two or three-yard gains. We can’t let them break tackles then go for 15 and 20 yards which they are capable of doing it with all the guys they have like [Raiders TE Darren] Waller and all of those guys. We’ve had a great week of practice. Everybody’s mentality is sharp. Mentally I feel good with where everybody’s at. We’ve just got to go out there, do our stuff, and we’ll be alright on Sunday.”

Without Gruden on the sideline, play-sheet in hand, it is undeniable the Broncos have the advantage. Some may suggest the Raiders will be harder to plan given Gruden’s absence, perhaps holding an element of surprise. Miller though isn’t as convinced.

“I don’t think they’ll be unpredictable,” he said. “What they do is what they do. How they call the game will definitely change because they have a new play-caller. They’re not going to come out here and be an option team. They’re not going to come out here and just change their whole identity because Gruden is gone. They’re still going to do some of the things that they do well.

“We just don’t know when they’ll do it. We just don’t know when the shots will come. We don’t know the ratio—how many times they’ll run the ball and how many times they’ll pass the ball. We really don’t know, and to be honest, that’s really every week. We really don’t know what the team is going to present. It’s just one of those games where we’ve got to dust ourselves off from losing two straight and get out here in front of the fans. I know it’s going to be loud, and I know it’s going to be rocking for us. We’ve got to go out here and get a win for us.”

Follow Patrick Djordjevic on Twitter: @Patdjordjevic

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