Derek Carr Success No Shock to David Carr


Sep 20, 2013; Fresno, CA, USA; NFL former quarterback David Carr (left) walks off the field next to his brother, Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr (4) after the Bulldogs defeated the Boise State Broncos 41-40 at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr’s last name may have invoked some concerns during the 2014 NFL Draft when the younger brother of former first overall selection David Carr dropped to the Oakland Raiders in the early stages of the second round. Derek, a 50 TD, 5,000 yard passer at Fresno State, drew plenty of comparisons to his brother David who was the Texans very first draft pick and never lived up to the expectations on a struggling franchise team in Houston.

That led some scouts and general managers to knock Derek Carr off their first round boards as they were unsure if the now successful rookie would be able to have a better career than his older brother. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie had the foresight to see David Carr’s struggles as a positive, knowing that the youngest Carr had the advantage of a starting NFL quarterback showing him the ropes as he became a legend in college in his own right at Fresno State.

Part of that success has been playing on a non-expansion team as Derek Carr hasn’t been sacked nearly as much as David was, something that Carr told Jerry McDonald of Inside Bay Area was his biggest concern surrounding his younger brother’s rookie season after his own disasters as a young quarterback.

“That’s all I cared about when they said he was going to be the starter,” David Carr said in a phone interview with McDonald. “It could have been a disaster. He could have gone out and got sacked 60 times. It’s hard to be successful if you’re laying on your back, so it’s been great for him.”

With David often working with his teenage brother before he became a star in high school and at Fresno State, the oldest Carr brother is not shocked that the quarterback learning curve hasn’t been a challenge for Derek. Something evident in Derek Carr’s 3,000 passing yards and 20+ TD’s heading into Week 17.

“I didn’t think the learning curve would be as great for him as it would be for another young quarterback coming in, and we were right,” David said while adding that his brother is only going to improve following his rookie successes. “He’s only going to get better from here and really there’s no ceiling to how good they can be with him.”

David also added that his brother’s mental preparations helped him earn the Week One starting job thanks to his maturity as well as his fundamental knowledge of the game from being such a hard worker.

“Usually for a rookie it’s the mental side that holds them back from taking over for an older quarterback,” Carr said. “In this case, that wasn’t an issue. The Raiders had no choice because he was already physically ready and once he showed he could process the information, what else were they going to do? You have to play him.”

The oldest Carr brother with NFL experience, David also taught Derek to be a leader and put the team above himself. Something that the Raiders starting quarterback has ran with in becoming a fan and locker room favorite thanks to his dedication to Oakland teammates as well as the fans as a rookie starter.

“I think the biggest thing I told him going in is don’t be selfish,” David said to McDonald. “The best leaders are the ones that think about the team, think about the guys around them and how to get them to the next level, and then in the process of that they become great leaders. He won those guys over because of his preparation.”

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David Carr’s presence has surely helped his younger brother, which makes it exciting that the Raiders have a quarterback who is more mature than his years as they hope that Derek Carr becomes the face of the franchise on offense from years to come. Having the support system that includes a former starting quarterback in the NFL helps that process immensely, hopefully David’s knowledge continues to help Derek as the Raiders star rookie progresses into a more polished version of himself.