Who should get more and less playing time for the Oakland Raiders
By Matt Holder
Fewer Reps: Derek Carr
By any means, this is not meant to be an indictment on Derek Carr’s status with the team. Personally, I think he will be the starter Week one in Las Vegas but will have a short leash. Regardless of his future with the team, Gruden should still consider giving the quarterback some time off.
If the organization does feel Carr is the right man under center, then it’s not worth trotting him out there every single play and risking injury in games that don’t mean anything. Also, the veteran might benefit from taking a step back and helping coach up the other signal callers on the roster. After all, they say the best way to learn is to teach.
On the flip side, giving more reps to someone else gives the Raiders a chance to see how the offense performs without Carr. Many people have blamed the receiving core and/or Gruden for the team’s offensive woes, so a change at quarterback could shine some light into that situation. If the offense starts sustaining drives without the six-year starter at the helm, then maybe it is time to move on but the organization will never know until a change is made.
Reducing Carr’s playing time does not have to result in a full-on benching, but at least a few series off would be in Oakland’s best interests. At this point, the organization has nothing to lose.
More Reps: DeShone Kizer
A lot of people were confused when the Raiders claimed Kizer off waivers because Gruden kept backup quarterbacks, Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman on the roster. However, Peterman spent the entire year on injured reserve and Glennon was demoted to third-string, so the claim makes a lot more sense now. Moving forward, Chucky can make himself look even smarter if Kizer can become a viable backup for the team.
The best way to evaluate the Notre Dame product’s future with the Silver and Black is to see what he can do against legitimate competition. Sure that’s partly what the preseason is for, but the only difference between next August and Oakland’s next two games is the Chargers and Broncos starters will be wearing helmets instead of baseball hats.
If Kizer performs well, then the Raiders don’t have to spend time looking for a backup in the offseason or his trade value will increase, otherwise known as the Matt Flynn effect. Worst case scenario, Gruden finds out why the young quarterback is on his third team in three years and search for a legitimate QB2 continues.