For a very brief period, it looked like the Las Vegas Raiders could make a change at quarterback this offseason. They were linked to the likes of Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. However, the team hasn’t appeared to actually show much interest in either of them despite a ton of speculation.
The Raiders are sold on Derek Carr as their quarterback for 2021 and it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. He was excellent for the team last season and has improved each year under Jon Gruden. Former head coach for the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks Jim Mora Jr. is a fan of Carr.
“I like him,” Mora told Hondo Carpenter of Sports Illustrated. “Playing quarterback for Jon Gruden is tough. He is hard on his quarterback. He is demanding of his quarterback. He asks a lot of those guys, and he is not afraid to be critical of them in public.”
The biggest knock on Carr is that he hasn’t won enough. He’s only made the playoffs once in seven seasons. Despite that, Mora believes the quarterback is capable of winning.
“In Derek Carr, I think you have a winner,” Mora said. “You have a guy who is a leader and displays toughness. I think he grew up a lot this past year, a season of change obviously. A difficult season.”
While it’s not fair to solely blame Carr for the Raiders losing over the last seven years, he needs to start winning. One more losing season could lead to the team considering a change, even if it really isn’t the quarterback’s fault.
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Mora Praises Carr’s Decision Making
Carr does have flaws in his game but nobody can fault his decision-making. He doesn’t throw very many interceptions and has completed over 67% of his passes in each of the last three seasons.
“What I like about him is that he has become a really good decision-maker,” Mora said. “His mind has calmed down when he is playing the game.”
Mora also believes the game is getting easier for Carr.
“I see a guy that the game has really slowed down for him and he knows what is expected of him, he understands the scheme, and he understands the players around him,” Mora said.
It’s clear that Carr has improved as he’s learned from Gruden. Things were a little rough at first but the team now has supreme confidence in him.
Mora Believes Raiders Are a Defense Away From Being Good
At the end of the day, the Raiders aren’t doing anything if they can’t fix their defense. Even if Carr starts playing like Patrick Mahomes, the team can’t win a Super Bowl right now. Mora agrees that the team needs to figure out the defensive side of the ball.
“If they can get the defense squared away, and I think they will, all of a sudden they become a powerful team with Derek Carr as their quarterback,” Mora said.