This is a very important year for Derek Carr. For the first time since the 2016 season, the Las Vegas Raiders quarterback is surrounded by talent all over the offense and has been in Jon Gruden’s system for multiple seasons. The team has set him up for success and it’s up to him to lead the team to the playoffs.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many players have decided to opt-out of playing this season. There have been some pretty big names who decided to take the season off but Carr never gave it a second thought and he had a strong reason for wanting to play.
“I did not. I have a lot to prove to myself. I have a lot to prove to my organization. I’m going to be completely honest with you: I’m tired of being disrespected,” Carr said on Tuesday. “There was no question I was going to play this year.”
Carr just spent the second offseason in a row having to constantly hear rumors about how the Raiders were making a change at quarterback. He’s clearly fed up with it and wants to make sure everybody knows that he’s the team’s quarterback of the future. At only 29 years old, Carr could feasibly be the Raiders’ quarterback for the next decade but he needs to prove to the world that he’s up to the task.
Carr Further Explains
While Carr does need to prove a lot of people wrong about him this season, he says he’s not too worried about that. He’d much rather focus on winning:
It’s not about proving anybody wrong. It’s about just going to getting that Super Bowl trophy with my teammates. It has nothing to do with anybody outside, but on the inside, we just want to hold that trophy. Because, what I’m tired of, the hype machine that sometimes the NFL can be. I played way better last year, than I did in 2016, yet all we do is talk about that. Well, we won 12 games, so oh yeah, everyone’s excited. I’m done with all that stuff. So, you can say good stuff, you can say bad stuff. I think you can sense it in the last probably year or so, I just don’t care anymore, you can say whatever you want. I’m trying to go win that Super Bowl, so we can go hang one of these banners in this beautiful indoor that we’ve got. And then I want to try and go do it again and then I want to try to go do it again until I’m too old or they kick me out of this place.
As soon as we go and win 12 games, Darren Waller’s gonna be top 10 on the NFL list, as he should’ve been this year; you can’t tell me there’s 95 better players than Darren Waller, as he walks by right here. I just won’t believe it. How’s Rodney Hudson not on there? How’s Trent Brown, the best right tackle in all of football not on that list? It’s this hype machine, as soon as we start winning everyone’s Madden ratings go up. Shocker. I’m tired of all that kind of stuff and I’m not playing those games anymore. Honestly, I’m happy that we’re doing it that way. If we win, awesome, we’re gonna keep grinding. I’m just going to stay true to what I do.
The Raiders really aren’t talked about much anymore. They’ve had one winning season since 2002 and there’s not a lot of drama with the team this year. They’ve been largely ignored by the media. However, last year clearly showed that the Raiders are a team on the rise. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that they surprise a lot of people this season.
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Can Carr Change the Narrative This Year?
Despite the fact that the Raiders have gone against the rumors and stuck with Carr for two seasons now, people still seem to believe that the team could still make a change at quarterback. Whether it’s replacing him with Marcus Mariota or waiting until the offseason to make a move, there’s a thought out there that Carr is on his last legs.
At this point, it’s hard to believe. Jon Gruden has had multiple opportunities to make a change and hasn’t. Unless Carr completely falls on his face this season, he’s going to be with the Raiders next year. Winning less than eight games could qualify as falling on his face.