Marcus Mariota has looked outstanding since putting on the Silver and Black, and that is only good for both Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Las Vegas Raiders made it a point to get better at every position on the roster this offseason, and that included at the quarterback spot. While Derek Carr will remain the starter for the team’s first season in Las Vegas, they did bring in a talented backup for the first time in his career in the player of Marcus Mariota.
Last season, Mariota played his way out of the starting spot in Tennessee, and was replaced with Ryan Tannehill, who eventually led the Titans to the AFC Championship Game. Mariota had been dealing with an ankle, and his time in Tennessee had come to an end, so latching on with the Raiders was a fresh start for him.
From the jump, general manager Mike Mayock had stated that they have to “fix” him, and in his short time with the franchise, he is getting rave reviews. Since training camp has started, he has been impressive, and the head coach chimed in on Friday.
As Vic Tafur from the Athletic tweeted out, Jon Gruden stated Mariota was downright “dazzling.”
There is no doubt that this is an area where Mariota has had more success than Carr over the years, and it is also an area that Gruden expects his quarterbacks to succeed. The fact that the Raiders have a quarterback that can do these kinds of things has to give Gruden a sign of relief, especially if Carr goes down for any reason in 2020.
Not to be outdone, Carr showed that he can also make some moves with his feet, something he has shown the ability to do early in his career. He is an incredible athlete, and if he can make more plays with his legs this season, it will go a long way towards this Raiders offense being elite.
Carr with a Play of the Day
In fact, ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez stated that Carr had the Play of the Day, only with his feet.
Carr is never going to be the kind of quarterback who dominates in the rushing column like a Lamar Jackson or Michael Vick, but he is a guy who has the athleticism to at least make plays with his legs. That has been the knock on him since Gruden arrived, so it is nice to see him running with the ball, albeit against a defense that cannot hit him.
I said it when Mariota was signed, and I will say it again, him being with the Raiders can only have a positive effect on Carr and the rest of the franchise. If he can push Carr everyday in practice, we will see the best version we have seen since the 2016 NFL season, and that could lead to a whole lot more notches in the win column.