Many would like you to believe that Derek Carr is going to lose the Las Vegas Raiders starting job this year but it’s just not going to happen. The team brought in Marcus Mariota early in free agency and there are those who believe he was signed to eventually take over starting duties. However, reviews haven’t been good so far.
Apparently, Mariota has been looking really bad in training camp while Carr has looked good as ever. Plus, there’s the fact that Mariota has never looked better than Carr during regular season games. Former Raiders quarterback turned Pro Football Focus analyst Bruce Gradkowski isn’t buying that there’s a real quarterback controversy.
“Look, I think Jon Gruden was just complimenting Mariota on what he brings to the team, and to be honest Colin, I don’t think Mariota holds Carr’s jockstrap,” Gradkowski said on Fox Sports’ The Herd. “I think Carr, the way he is as a passer, the dude can sling it. He can make plays and he has a top 10 passing grade, he’s been that two times in his career. Mariota has never been, he’s never sniffed more than a 72 passing grade and Carr’s had a 77 passing grade for three seasons already. As a passer, Carr is above and beyond.”
— Raider Posts (@RaiderPosts) August 20, 2020
Gradkowski Is 100% Right
Does anybody remember when Jon Gruden praised Nathan Peterman during last year’s training camp and it became a big news story? The same thing is happening this year after Gruden praised Mariota’s ability to create plays with his feet. Peterman didn’t end up playing any games and would’ve likely been the team’s third-string quarterback had he not gotten injured.
For some reason, many in the media want to believe that Carr is a dead man walking. Gradkowski should have a better idea of Gruden’s thought process than most considering he played under him for two seasons. The fact of the matter is that Carr is the best quarterback Gruden has had since Rich Gannon and he’s not going to give that up simply because the media thinks it’s going to happen. Mariota seems like a strong leader and does have talent but he’s not going to be the Raiders’ starting quarterback anytime soon.
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Carr in for a Big Season
If Carr doesn’t start putting up some more wins soon, he’s never going to silence the critics. His numbers aren’t bad and he’ll likely become the most prolific passer in Raiders history this season. However, he’ll never be considered one of the team greats unless he can start getting the wins. Ken Stabler won a Super Bowl, Jim Plunkett won two and Rich Gannon led the team to the big game. All three of those guys are revered by the Raiders fan base even though Carr is on track to take over the record books.
Luckily, he’s set up for success this season. He’s got talent all over the offense and consistency at head coach. There’s no reason to believe that Carr can’t at least lead this team to a 9-7 record this year. If the Raiders see a decline in wins, it could be really bad news for the quarterback.