The Las Vegas Raiders decided to make a change at quarterback this offseason. Derek Carr’s time as the franchise’s signal-caller ended with Jimmy Garoppolo replacing him. While there’s debate about whether the Silver and Black made the right choice, ESPN’s Mina Kimes explains how the decision was more about fit than talent.
Although Garoppolo is new in town, he’s quickly integrating himself into the squad. Raiders center Andre James noted the leadership “Jimmy G” has as he begins to build a relationship with the veteran. Furthermore, James highlighted the quarterback’s ability to fit in despite being new to the team.
Plenty is being said about Garoppolo, so let’s look at the latest.
Mina Kimes believes Jimmy Garoppolo is the right fit for the Raiders
It’s no secret that a team needs a quarterback to win in the NFL. The Raiders had Carr for nine seasons under center, but this offseason, the franchise decided it was time for a change. Carr was released after recently signing a contract extension, and afterward, Las Vegas signed Garoppolo to a three-year, $72.75 million contract.
Although Garoppolo isn’t in the “elite” tier of quarterbacks, he’s familiar with head coach Josh McDaniels. Kimes believes Carr has more talent between the two, but the 31-year-old is the right fit for Las Vegas. “Jimmy G” knows what McDaniels wants to do on offense, thanks to the two spending ample time together In New England with the Patriots.
“I think Derek Carr, and I’ve said this before, is a more talented quarterback,” Kimes said recently on the Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny.
“[Carr’s] got more arm talent. I think he’s more likely to grow downfield. He plays out of structure. I believe all of that. But I also believe Jimmy G is probably to be better at a Josh McDaniels offense. That’s what really struck me last year. Like, Carr just never seemed to buy into it, and it requires buy-in. It’s not just an assumption that this offense is gonna be Patriots-like because it’s Josh McDaniels, everything they have done, everything this organization has done from a personnel perspective, speaks to the fact that they want it to look more like a Patriots offense.”
Even though the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback doesn’t have Carr’s talent, Garoppolo has leadership qualities that have allowed him to succeed in the NFL. The two-time Super Bowl champion took the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV and has won several playoff games.
Garoppolo’s ability to win isn’t going to jump out when watching the game tape. However, that’s all teams want to do in the NFL: win. The Raiders haven’t had many winning seasons, so beyond “Jimmy G” knowing McDaniels’ system, his ability to win games was likely another reason for his signing.
Raider Nation will be able to make their assessment of Garoppolo beginning Week 1. Furthermore, the fanbase will likely have their eyes on how Carr performs with the New Orleans Saints.
So, what do you say, Raiders fans? Do you agree with how Kimes analyzed the decision to switch quarterbacks this offseason?
Andre James praises “Jimmy G’s” ability to fit in with the team…
Aside from a system fit, Garoppolo is already meshing with his new teammates. It’s early, sure, but it does appear that the transition to the new signal-caller is a smooth one.
Maxx Crosby has previously praised the mentality that the veteran is bringing to the team. Raiders center Andre James validated what Crosby had said, emphasizing Garoppolo’s leadership. James noted that working with the signal-caller has allowed him to see certain traits that don’t appear on film.
“Yeah, it’s been awesome,” James told reporters. “It was funny. It was literally like a couple of days ago; it was me and his first time getting snapped together. So, we’re working together. It’s awesome working with a guy like that. He gives great feedback. He’s a great leader in that huddle. He leads us [really] well. And you want to block and play for a guy like that. So excited to have him.”
Garoppolo’s ability to lead is a crucial trait for the team. While he may not have the physical tools, if the veteran makes the group believe they can win any contest, it will go a long way in creating a winning environment in the locker room.
Additionally, Garoppolo shows that there’s more to him than just being a leader. James pointed to the Raiders quarterback having a laid-back attitude despite being new to the team.
“He’s just one of the boys,” James continued. “He comes in and he just kicks it with us, and he’s willing to hang out with us in the locker room. He’s just an ordinary dude, and that’s what we love. He’s just one of the guys. And I can’t say too much more about that.”
The NFL season has its ups and downs. Still, if Garoppolo can use his laid-back attitude to hold the team together during challenging moments, it adds to why Las Vegas rolled the dice to bring him in.
*Top Photo: Official Raiders YouTube Channel