It’s common knowledge that the Las Vegas Raiders organization has been in perpetual turmoil for years. According to quarterback Derek Carr’s big brother, David, Carr just wants a chance to win.
.@DCarr8 on Derek Carr:
"There has to be a commitment from the organization that they will give him what he needs to succeed… He'd love to do it in Las Vegas but wants a chance." pic.twitter.com/7zDokneRvz
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 26, 2022
David demands the Raiders’ “Commitment to Excellence.”
David Carr spoke on Colin Cowherd’s show, The Herd, and offered his opinion on his brother Derek’s situation with the Raiders. He was careful to state before saying anything that these were his opinions and he hadn’t talked to his brother about them.
“There has to be a commitment from the organization that they’re going to give him what he (Derek) needs to succeed.”
An important question to ask in order to justify this request is this: What more does Derek need in order to be successful?
When healthy Darren Waller, is a game breaking tight end. In 2020, he was third-best behind Travis Kelce and George Kittle. Pro Football Focus ranked Josh Jacobs 13th out of 62 running backs, awarding him a 79.3 player grade. Despite reduced numbers in 2021, he finished with 872 yards and nine touchdowns. In the playoffs against the Bengals, he was averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Hunter Renfrow, ranked 18th out of 125 receivers, graded out at 78.8 on PFF. Both player grades were better than Carr’s 77.6.
The offensive line
At the beginning of the season, the offensive line was, well, offensive. As the season progressed, the young core of the line came together and managed to be serviceable. Not horrible or bad, but serviceable. However, now, with the season coming to an end, the Raiders have some tough decisions to make.
Kolton Miller is the best player on the line and the team’s second-highest graded player. Ranking fifth out of 83 tackles, Miller graded 85.0 (the highest on offense) and was the cornerstone of Carr’s protectors. Andre James should be the comeback player of the season. His first three to four games were cringeworthy. Once the emphasis on zone blocking schemes was removed and substituted by a predominant gap power scheme, it was like flicking a switch. James went from being one of the worst centers in football to ranking a respectable 21st out of 40 centers, graded at 64.8 with a pass blocking grade of 68.6.
Brandon Parker, who was not good at all, graded out at a 55.9, ranking a lowly 76th out of 83 tackles. Meanwhile, he was a turnstile and a liability in pass protection. Alex Leatherwood, the 17th pick overall, ranked 81st out of 83 guards. An abysmal rookie year by any stretch of the imagination. Leatherwood often appeared to have every bit of the reach that many pundits predicted when he was drafted.
John Simpson wasn’t supposed to start this season. He finished ranked 69 out of 83 guards with a mediocre grade of 53.3. Putting all the eggs in Richie Incognito’s basket proved to be a costly mistake.
What should Derek want?
A tenured quarterback such as Carr, who has weathered the perfect storm, should want stability. He should want an extension and a no-trade clause to boot. Additionally, it’s questionable whether or not he was told he would have input on the organizational hires. Carr’s top preference is interim coach Rich Bisaccia. In fact, in a similar fashion to 2016, he would prefer to run everything back with the same coaching staff. Add a few more pieces and finish the run. However, that won’t be happening as Bisaccia is headed to Chicago.
All of the guys on defense are Gus Bradley’s guys. What happens to most of them if he leaves? Darius Philon, Casey Hayward Jr., Denzel Perryman, Roderic Teamer, and K.J. Wright are all impact players on the 2021 defense. Only Perryman is still under contract. Ron Milus, the defensive backs coach, has been Bradley’s right-hand man for years. Milus played a major part in developing Trevon Moehrig and Nate Hobbs.
Is he in with all ten toes?
“I can’t guarantee that Derek is going to want to sign up for that. If it’s the same thing he’s done over the last 7-8 years. He really wants to see who the new general manager is going to be.”
Eventually, all good things come to an end. Is Carr, who has given this franchise his all, drawing a line in the sand? Sadly, if it has come down to this, then no one can blame him. Eight years in the league, two winning seasons, one playoff appearance and consistent inconsistencies have Carr potentially ready to cut bait.
“He (Derek) only wants to win the Super Bowl. He’s not here for the money. He’s talked about hanging it up when Jon (Gruden) resigned. All that stuff is, ‘I want to win. That’s it, at the end of the day I want to win football games.’ He would love to do it in Las Vegas, but he wants a chance to do it.”
Those last couple statements made by David seemed to carry an air of caution and warning to the Raiders. They instantly evoke memories of Marcus Allen, Jon Gruden, and Charles Woodson. Everyone bowed to Al Davis. No one dared question his desire to win, let alone one of his players. Mr. Davis was not one to take slights or veiled threats lightly. Moreover, no one single person or player has ever been bigger than the Raiders.
Anyone talking about retirement and demanding the organization hire their guy or else would have been met with a pink slip or a cold spot on the bench.
*Top Photo: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports