My offense, my responsibility.
That’s the Derek Carr the Oakland Raiders sorely need.
This past Monday night, the quarterback took full ownership of the offense by telling head coach Jon Gruden what he wanted to do instead of asking his play caller what he should do.
With the Raiders needing a first down to close out an impressive performance against AFC West division foe Denver Broncos, Carr knew exactly how the Raiders could end it and relayed it to Gruden.
“I said, ‘Hey, let me throw the screen,” Carr said after the game. “If it’s not there, I’ll call a timeout and we’ll reassess.’ He said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’”
Oh, you’re skeptical of that notion?
“That’s a conversation that doesn’t happen last year,” Carr said. “Last year, I would go over and ask him what he wants to do. ‘What’s the call?’ But we’re on the same page now. To his credit, he said, ‘Let’s end it.’”
Gruden reinforced it.
“You listen to a good quarterback,” Gruden said. “He played great tonight. He did a lot more for our team than complete a lot of passes. He made some great audibles and protected the ball. … He was inspiring, leading the team on the sideline and I thought he was really good.”
Just how good was Carr? How’s this: 22 of 26 for 259 yards and a touchdown. He showcased a variety of throws from bullets to touch passes, he scrambled when he needed moved around the pocket to escape rare pressure. Carr was in complete command.
“I was a man on a mission before the game,” Carr said. “And that had nothing to do with what went down this past week. That was pent-up from last season. I have been ready to go for a while and I know we have a really good team this year, and I couldn’t wait to get out there. So, not angry, just ready and really focused. I’m on a mission. The job is not done.”
Let’s hit the Quick Slants:
- Carr’s audible on third-and-1 in the second quarter resulted in a textbook arching deep ball to wide receiver Tyrell Williams. The big and speedy wideout ran under the ball, didn’t have to stop or slow down and hauled it in for 43 yards. It’s nice to see Carr have that kind of trust in a receiver.
- Rookie running back Josh Jacobs’ low center of gravity and unbridaled determination were on full display in Monday’s win. But you could tell he left yards out there and Jacobs admits he’s disappointed in himself because of that. Such a high standard … one that’s been missing in Raider Land.
- The offseason hype on tight end Darren Waller is for real. The Raiders featured the former wide receiver early and often as he’s taken the Jared Cook role.
- The Raiders will miss the energy rookie safety Johnathan Abram brought off and on the field. A busted rotator cuff and surgery puts the blastmaster on IR and on the shelf for the rest of the year.
- Another rookie, Clelin Ferrell, made an impression. The No. 4 overall pick recorded his first sack, had three tackles and swatted away a pass.