Despite coming off as one of the nice guys in the NFL, Derek Carr seems to be one of the most polarizing players around. Some think he’s great, some think he’s average and some think he’s just straight-up bad. The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback made headlines on Tuesday when he stated that he was “tired of being disrespected.” Those comments reopened the debate of whether or not Carr is a franchise quarterback.
Former Raiders multi-time Pro Bowler Lincoln Kennedy recently addressed the comments from Carr on CBS Sports Radio with Zach Gelb and got brutally honest.
“I would say to him if he was here in my face and he said that, I would tell him right now, ‘If you’re tired of being disrespected, play better.’ It’s that simple,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy doubled down and made it clear that Carr needs to perform this year.
“The thing is there’s no more excuses for Derek,” Kennedy said. “Now it’s either put up or shut up. He’s got all the weapons in front of him. He’s got an offensive line, he’s got a run game, he’s got a receiving corps. … Now it’s time to put up or shut up.”
One of the main defenses of Carr is that he hasn’t had great talent around him over the last couple of years. However, Kennedy doesn’t think that’s the case.
“He’s had it in his mind that the talent wasn’t there for him, when in actuality it was,” Kennedy.
Kennedy’s Criticism Isn’t Completely Fair
Kennedy has been working for the Raiders for years so he’s had a front-row seat to watch Carr for a while now. That said, his criticisms of the quarterback are a little too harsh. The truth is that Carr didn’t have a lot of talent around him in 2018 and the talent around him in 2019 was limited. Yes, he had Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller but his wide receiver corps was a disaster.
Plus, Carr really didn’t have a bad year in 2019. He was among the highest-rated and most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL last year. Now, if you want to criticize Carr for not doing enough to help his team win, that’s fair at this point. However, there are certainly a lot of worse quarterbacks the Raiders could have.
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2020 Is Very Important for Carr
Whether the criticisms of Carr are fair or not, there’s a narrative about him and he needs to change it. He proved that he could be elite in 2016 and has shown that same ability from time to time. He just hasn’t been consistent enough.
The Raiders’ 2020 squad might be the most talented team Carr has ever had put around him. Kennedy is right, there are no excuses this year. Those comments don’t necessarily mean that anybody expects Carr to have a bad year. There are plenty of quarterbacks who don’t have any excuses year to year but don’t get called out for it because their teams actually win. Carr needs to win if he’s ever going to have the narrative changed.