Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been a hot topic of conversation as the team prepares to pillage its way into Sin City.
Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms recently came out with his latest top 40 quarterbacks and has Carr in at No. 19. Simms, who also has experience playing for Jon Gruden, said in regards to Carr via Twitter, “More toughness & talent than ppl think. One of the most accurate throwers in the NFL, almost never loses control of the pass. But too conservative in decisions & throws, leaves yds on the field. Wish Gruden & Mayock made him feel more secure.”
Some of Carr’s numbers are astounding, but on the other hand, there are stats that say otherwise. This leads some to question whether or not Carr is ‘the guy’ to lead the Silver and Black. It seems as if whenever a point is made in a positive light, there is someone who quickly rebuttals with a negative counterpoint, and vice versa.
Lacking Coaching Consistency Till Now
In my opinion, Simms is spot on in his analysis. However, while I agree with this take, I think there is more that needs to take into consideration. Carr comes off as the type of quarterback that will operate smoothly and the team will be successful when he has weapons around him. On the contrary, when things go awry, the “Carr” can get off course from its intended destination.
Even to my own point, there is always the counter. Not even taking into account the players he’s surrounded with, Carr has unfortunately not had consistency with his own coaches until now. Through his six seasons in the league, he has endured four different head coaches and is on his second stint with offensive coordinator Greg Olson. Although Carr has dealt with change on a consistent basis, he appears to have settled into Gruden’s offensive system.
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Security Is Everything
Simms noted how he wished Carr had more security by Gruden and Mayock. Last offseason, they opted to secure talent. The team signed former Chargers wideout, Tyrell Williams, along with the talented, albeit troubled, Antonito Brown via trade. Simultaneously, the Raiders added loads of talent through the draft. While the AB experiment failed in dramatic fashion, the front office layed a foundation of success with the highly successful draft class.
Before seeing a decline in numbers due to injuries, Williams had caught a touchdown pass in the first four weeks of the season. He then missed two games before catching a touchdown the week he returned back to the field. While Darren Waller wasn’t a part of that particular offseason’s additions, he did emerge as a budding superstar. During his first season as a starting tight end, he led the team in receiving with 90 catches for 1,145 yards and caught three touchdown passes.
Despite a lack of consistency on who his targets on the outside were, Carr still posted career highs with a rating of 100.8, and threw for 4,054 yards with a 70.3 completion percentage. This past offseason the team appears to have another draft class stocked with offensive weapons. Furthermore, they’ve added skilled veteran players along with guys on ‘prove it’ deals. From the look of it, Gruden and Mayock have done all they can to make Carr feel a sense of security.
No Excuses For Derek Carr
The talent is in place for Carr and the team to have immediate success and it should result in wins. Based on the rankings laid out by Simms, Carr is perhaps in the best position to take a massive leap forward and catapult up said list.
Unless unforeseen injuries occur, there are no excuses for this team (offensively) and it all rides on the arm of Derek Carr. Josh Jacobs will spearhead the running back fresh off a prolific rookie year. Darren Waller emerged as stud tight end and on the outside, there’s a multitude of threats headlined by first-round pick Henry Ruggs III. Providing the “Carr Insurence” for all of this is one of the most talented offensive lines in the league.
I predict we see Carr showcase much of what worked last season paired with his dominance from 2016 and see him take that next step forward in elevating his game. If you disagree, which I’m sure many of you will — let me know why in the comments or on Twitter, @SportsWithChris.
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