Derek Carr

Raiders HC Josh McDaniels On Derek Carr, Entire Offense: We Have To Protect The Ball

One thing that needs to be addressed as the Las Vegas Raiders look to bounce back from a tough Week 1 loss is the turnovers. While speaking with J.T. Brick on the team’s YouTube channel, head coach Josh McDaniels spoke candidly about what his squad needs to clean up as they host the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday. In particular, last week’s turnovers, namely the three interceptions by quarterback Derek Carr, stand out.

As most Raiders fans will recall, Carr faced a consistent and potent pass rush all game long against the Los Angeles Chargers. Carr’s friend and former teammate, Khalil Mack, was in his face all game, making mincemeat of his pass protection. Persistent pressure from the Chargers’ defensive line forced Carr to be hyper-aggressive, forcing the ball downfield at times. However, while many have been piling on No. 4, McDaniels pointed out that many times, these turnovers are more attributed to the defense making a play. The Raiders’ head coach gave the Chargers’ defense their well-deserved credit.

“I think the interceptions are a result of something [done] right. I mean, sometimes the defense makes a great play.”

The Offense, Derek Carr, needs some fine-tuning according to Josh McDaniels

The fact is, the Raiders’ offense looked rusty at times. As Lincoln Kennedy recently pointed out, Carr underthrew his receivers at key moments in that game. Maybe the Raiders need to reconsider having their starters play in some of those contests. In a rare occurrence, Hunter Renfrow also contributed to the turnovers as he fumbled a catch on Sunday. It just seemed like a lot of mental errors, uncharacteristic, especially for Carr. Last season, he had two games where he threw a pair of interceptions. Other than that, it was either one or none at all in the regular season.

As for McDaniels, he pointed out the lack of execution last weekend. Reading the play, running the correct route, and most importantly, the passing itself.

“I thought on the deep one, [Asante] Samuel made a great play. He was actually on somebody else and then came off and got back there to the deep part of the field and then [Drue] Tranquill made a really good catch on the one that Waller. So, there are always things to learn, we have to read the play properly. They have to run the right route. We have to protect the ball. You know, when it’s thrown, whether that’s the receiver or where we put the ball.”

The Raiders will bounce back, says McDaniels…

“So there are a lot of things that go into taking care of the football and not turning it over. And unfortunately, we have to learn a little bit the hard way after Week 1, but he’s [Derek Carr] had a great attitude, our whole entire group has. I think they’re committed to trying to play a turnover-free game.”

Fans will soon find out if Week 1 was simply a matter of their team’s having some rust. In the Raiders’ defense, the team did bounce back in the second half. McDaniels displayed an ability to make the right adjustments coming out of halftime. Carr, who is no stranger to comebacks, nearly pulled off another fourth-quarter win. The point being, however, is that the Raiders should be putting themselves in a position where they don’t need a miracle in the final quarter.

One of the biggest factors in getting them to that place will be the turnover battle. As Derek Carr and the Raiders face a blitz-heavy Arizona Cardinals team, that emphasis will loom large once again. Protect the ball at all costs should be this week’s mantra.

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*Top Photo: Official Raiders YouTube Channel

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