Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) drops back to pass against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Vikings win 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
That’s right Raider Nation, a rookie QB will be starting in week 1 of the regular season for the Oakland Raiders. This is something that has never happened in Oakland or Los Angeles in the entire history of the Raiders organization. History once again is going to be made by the Oakland Raiders. What will history say?
I guess it all depends on four things:
#1, the game cannot be too big for Derek Carr. A lot of rookie QB’s have a tendency to struggle with the speed of the game when they first enter into the regular season. Remember, Carr has only played in the Preseason, which is for the most part very vanilla. Players don’t always go full speed in Preseason. Still, I like his chances. Carr doesn’t appear to be fazed by the responsibility or pressure that comes with trying to win a ball game. Of course, when you throw a ball like he did and does, the Raiders could be ahead in a lot of their regular season games.
#2, the WR’s, TE’s, and RB’s must catch the balls that come their way. If there is one thing that has doomed this team in the beginning of the year for the past 3 seasons, it has been dropped passes. Though, it is encouraging when you see Brice Butler, Mychal Rivera, and Denarius Moore stretching out for Carr’s passes in heavy traffic. Plus, James Jones, Rod Streater, Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden, and Latavius Murray are pretty sure handed, and this will only add to Carr’s repertoire.
#3, the offensive line must protect Carr for a full 60 minutes of football. There’s no way around it, the offensive line must do their job to keep Carr on his feet and allow him the time to find the open man. Plus, the need to pave the way for the RB’s to bust out some big runs and keep New York’s strong defensive front honest is paramount.
#4, Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson must allow Carr to do his thing. Olson needs to let Carr get a feel for everything as it will unfold in front of him. I’m not saying that the play-calling will be too complicated for Carr, but I am saying that Olson doesn’t need to complicate things. Let the kid drop back and make his decisions. Carr has already shown the ability to read defensive packages at the offensive line, so let him call his own plays at the line if necessary.
Confidence is a key factor in a QB’s development and abilities moving forward in his career. So it’s always good to hear when a WR who came from an offense with a dominant QB makes a comparison to somebody like Aaron Rodgers. In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle, Jones stated,
"“He’s really calm, really cool in the pocket,” Jones said of Carr, per the San Francisco Chronicle. “He acts like he’s been there before. I’ve been calling him mini A-Rod since he got here.”"
Then there was Stefen Wisniewski’s statement about Carr,
"“He’s not your typical rookie,” center Stefen Wisniewski added. “He’s got an NFL quarterback older brother that’s been teaching him for years. He understands defenses at a very advanced level more than most rookies would. I think Derek gets way more prepared than most rookies would be.”"
Cool and calm under pressure, understanding defenses at an advanced level, a strong arm, not heady, great foot work, and he commands the confidence from his coaches and teammates, including the veterans. This is the guy I want running my offense, and Raider Nation will get to have him as the starter for the Oakland Raiders. I’m ready for some history in the making, as I’m sure the rest of Raider Nation is too. Go Raiders!