Following an 0-2 start to the 2022 season, one might expect the Las Vegas Raiders to feel increased pressure and a sense of urgency to win their first game of the season this week on the road in Nashville. But quarterback Derek Carr insists that isn’t the case—not because the team feels no sense of urgency, but rather because the sense of urgency is always at a high level.
“I think if I’m honest, the way that Josh [McDaniels] and everyone in this building have made our mindsets and the way we do it is, win or lose, it’s going to hurt, we’re going to correct it, and we’re going to work. Even on good days at camp [or] bad days at camp, we came in and did the same thing every day. He really tries to make it because he’s coached in some of the biggest games, he’s been around it. He knows that that’s the process of how to do it. And so, he’s just teaching us that there’s no heightened sense of anything. It should always be heightened. And he has really put that pressure on. I really mean it; he’s really put that pressure on us since day one,” said Carr on Wednesday.
Raiders Blog: Derek Carr isn’t worried about the 0-2 start
While McDaniels has indeed coached in some of the biggest games in NFL history, he did so with a team that had the continuity of having been coached by Bill Belichick for what is now going on well over 20 years. McDaniels has taken over a team with little depth and an abysmal first-round draft record over the last decade, and Carr himself is learning a new offensive system for the umpteenth time in his career.
“Like OTAs, I mean, Day 1, we’re learning the system. He’s correcting us and teaching us like we’ve been in it for eight years. But we immediately found out that this is the standard. So, if I’m honest, we came in and he’s the exact same Josh [McDaniels] and he expects the same thing at practice and all those kinds of things, honestly,” said Carr.
Sure, the coaching staff may teach the system like the team has been in it for the long term. Unfortunately, the fact is that the Raiders have not.
The standard of any coaching system should be excellence. So, there’s no question that McDaniels expects that of this team and has yet to see it come to fruition. A new system does take time to learn; that’s undeniable. Concurrently, Carr has shown that he can quickly become a highly effective quarterback in whatever system he plays in. Regrettably, though, in today’s AFC West, each week the Raiders spend getting up to speed is a week they get further behind the competition. While the team itself may not feel an increased sense of urgency to win, the fanbase surely does. In fact, it will only get more intense if the Raiders can’t get some wins in the coming weeks.
*Top Photo: Sports Illustrated