Derek Carr

It’s time for Derek Carr to take Raiders back to the playoffs

After an offseason that saw rumors and uncertainty regarding the quarterback position, Derek Carr will be the Las Vegas Raiders starting quarterback. The veteran signal-caller will have the chance to show the team’s coaching staff that they made the right choice.

When it comes to Carr, there is no in between, fans either stand behind him or want to see him traded. He’s by no means an elite signal-caller, but he isn’t the bust he’s sometimes portrayed as. Regardless of what outsiders think, the Raiders front office know what they have and after heavily shopping him in the NFL Scouting Combine, they decided to keep him.

It’s time for Derek Carr to shine under the spotlight

Now that Carr is the undisputed starter at the quarterback position, he has to start winning. Ever since his MVP-like 2016 season, the quarterback has been less than stellar. In 2019, he had one of his best years statistically speaking, but the Raiders failed to have a winning record. He lit up the scoreboard but wasn’t able to take over games that matter, and that was with a solid running game and throwing behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. 2018 was even worse as he had no receivers to throw to nor adequate protection and that’s without even mentioning the team’s defense, which has been a liability in recent seasons more often than not. 

Knowing their roster deficiencies, the Raiders went into the offseason looking to obtain talent. They successfully bolstered their defense in free agency and their offense in the 2020 NFL Draft. Carr will have his choice of receivers to throw to and a defense that can pressure opposing quarterbacks. He will have the chance to shut up critics and and in turn, leave questions about his leadership traits or lack thereof behind, which is something that surrounded him the last couple seasons.

Related: Could Malik Robertson Turn Out To Be The Raiders Best Pick?

Can he turn off the noise?

Last Easter, Carr posted a message on Twitter where he talks about how other people’s opinions affected him and how he tried to please everyone, but that isn’t the case anymore. If he really didn’t care what others think of him and how the noise doesn’t currently affect him, he shouldn’t have uploaded a video, which seemed precisely like he’s looking for approval and show everyone that he’s changed his mindset.  People that sincerely don’t care how others see them don’t go around telling whoever they find about it. If he really want to show he’s focused on succeeding, he can do so by winning games, not having petty arguments on social media, something he keeps doing in spite of saying he isn’t looking to please everyone. 

There will always be people whose mindset will never change regardless of the evidence presented in front of them, but most fans will get behind Carr as soon as he wins and takes the Raiders back to the playoffs. He’s a great person off the field, that should never be in question, what should be putting him under scrutiny is his ability to bring the team back from a deficit, his prowess to comeback in the fourth quarter and being able to win in hostile field/weather conditions. Those are the only things that matter when evaluating a quarterback.

The Raiders have provided Derek Carr the tools to thrive, it’s time for him to focus on turning into the player he can be, not you, me or outside noise, just winning.

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Top Photo: D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press

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