Heading into his seventh year as the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders, Derek Carr seems destined to be criticized consistently until he leads the team to the playoffs. He’s survived two offseason stuffed with rumors the team was going to move on from him and despite surviving, many are still suggesting he’s not going to get it done.
Carr recently came out and threw shade at the media for getting “disrespected.” That didn’t sit well with an anonymous team executive, via Mike Sando of The Athletic:
Of course they have to take a step defensively and that is a concern, but the quarterback is a little worrisome to me. He has played well in that system, decent stats, all those things, but I don’t recall being around an NFL quarterback who has to talk himself into being confident publicly. Confident players are confident players. Teammates feel it, everyone feels it. With Carr, are we going to grow out of this and be a player who leads the team? Is (Jon) Gruden’s personality too strong for it?
This executive’s criticism seems somewhat bizarre. Carr definitely has a different personality than other quarterbacks in the league but it doesn’t seem like he lacks confidence. However, it does seem like he can be a little sensitive. In his defense, he’s been unfairly maligned by fans and the media over the last few seasons. If they have a right to criticize them, he has a right to clap back.
Ex-Raiders GM Doesn’t Believe Carr Has Future With Team
Carr is easily the best quarterback the Raiders have had since Rich Gannon in the early 2000s. Regardless of that fact, some believe he’s a dead man walking. Former Raiders general manager Michael Lombardi has been arguably Carr’s biggest critic over the last few years. He was one of the first to suggest the team was going to move on from. Despite being wrong numerous times, he recently wrote in The Athletic that Carr will not be in the Raiders’ future:
It’s year three of the Raiders’ $100 million dollar Jon Gruden experiment and it’s time to show some progress. Winning 11 games in two seasons is not what the Raiders expected, and now, after spending a ton of money in free agency to help their defense, the Raiders need to score more points, especially in the third period, when they only scored 27 last year. The biggest question for the Raiders’ long-term success will be: Can they find a quarterback to give Gruden what he wants? Because it’s not Derek Carr.
Lombardi clearly has it out for Carr for whatever reason. It’s definitely premature to suggest Carr can’t lead the Raiders. At least give him a chance with a strong supporting cast and more than two years in a system.
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Carr Can Prove Doubters Wrong in 2020
It’s been a rough few years for Carr but he can finally change the narrative in 2020. He was supposed to last year with Antonio Brown to throw to but that didn’t work out. While he did lose Tyrell Williams for the season, he still has most of his top playmakers healthy and two dynamic rookie wide receivers.
This is without a doubt the best supporting cast he’s had since 2016. There’s no reason he shouldn’t have a Pro Bowl level season. He’s got arm talent, he doesn’t get hurt often and he’s got an offensive-minded head coach. This should be a situation for a quarterback to thrive in. If the offense is anything less than excellent this year, Carr will be on the chopping block once again, even if he puts up decent numbers.
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