Derek Carr can’t catch a break. He comes off of one of his statistically most impressive seasons and the offseason was still filled with rumors that the Las Vegas Raiders were trying to make a change at quarterback. Now, he’s getting bashed by an anonymous executive.
The Athletic recently did a survey to see how the quarterbacks in the NFL rank and Carr was ranked number 20, which put him in the “tier three” category.
“Disappointing, inspires no confidence any more,” an exec said of Carr, per Mike Sando, “but too talented to be anything less than a three.”
It wasn’t long ago that Carr was considered one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. At this point, it’s hard to tell if he was a one-hit-wonder or if the Raiders have failed him. While some have soured on his ability, there are those who still believe in him.
Different Exec Defends Carr
With Carr, talent has never been the question. He’s got a cannon for an arm and is one of the more accurate quarterbacks in the league. The biggest problem that he’s faced over his career is that he’s lacked continuity. This season will be the first time Carr has been in the same offensive system for more than two seasons.
One executive acknowledged this and gave the quarterback the benefit of the doubt while saying he should be tier two.
“I think he’s a two and gets a bad rap,” a different exec said. “He had the good year, broke his leg, [Jack] Del Rio gets fired the next year, they bring in Gruden and Gruden is like Larry Brown for point guards on quarterbacks. Carr has to deal with that, and then they are retooling the roster and look at how his weapons have changed. They have yet to give him a vote of confidence. They say it, but they are still scouting other quarterbacks, openly bringing them in.”
This season will be very telling for Carr. He’s got all the tools around him to succeed. If he underwhelms, he could be on his way out.
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Defensive Coach Talks Carr’s Weakness
On paper, Carr should be a star. He’s among the league leaders in fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives since 2016 and has great arm talent. However, one defensive coach revealed what causes Carr to struggle.
“When things are going well, you can see the ability Carr has,” a defensive coordinator said, “but he is a dude who when he gets hit, his whole game changes.”
This is a common criticism of Carr but it’s not really based in fact. According to NFL.com, he is the third-best quarterback in the NFL under pressure. He had a better pass rating under pressure than the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers. For all of Carr’s faults, throwing under pressure doesn’t seem to be one of them. He has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL blocking for him so he shouldn’t be under pressure a ton in 2020 so it might not even matter how good he is when a pass rusher is chasing him down.