Derek Carr is having a fantastic first training camp in Las Vegas, and as expected, will lead the Raiders in their first season in their new city.
The Las Vegas Raiders wanted to upgrade every position on their roster this offseason, which is why they brought in Marcus Mariota to backup veteran starter Derek Carr at quarterback. Mariota got a lot of buzz through the first couple days of camp, especially with Jon Gruden calling him a dazzling playmaker, but that buzz has faded in recent days.
What has not faded is the play of Carr, who has looked sharp all camp long, and looks ready to take his game, and this franchise to the next level. Sure, we have seen him look good in camp before, but he has a different air about him this year, and comes into Year No. 7 with a big chip on his shoulder.
Whether it was being booed out of the stadium last season, or the fact that half the fan base, and most of the media feels he is mediocre, Carr is out to prove people wrong in 2020. That is good news for Gruden and the rest of the staff, who know they have a quarterback who can get the job done, now he just has to go out and start stacking wins.
Carr is coming off a solid 2019 campaign, one that saw him set a career-high in passing yards, and complete over 70 percent of his passes. However, he and the Raiders also lost five of their last six games, and failed to make the playoffs.
That is not going to stand in 2020, as the team has a brand new stadium and city, and want to get off on the right foot. Mariota was brought in to not only push Carr, but also to make the position group better as a whole, and it remains to be seen whether or not he will do either.
Mariota is coming off an injury, and learning a new system, so it is not a real shock that he has struggled with his accuracy this offseason. This has also been a strange offseason due to the current pandemic, so it is not the easiest year to come in and learn a new system, especially one as complicated as Gruden’s.
Mariota being here is a good thing, and earlier in the summer, I wrote about his arrival bringing out the best in Carr as he enters what many consider a make-or-break season. If Carr’s play, and attitude can continue into the regular season, there is no reason why the Raiders, with so many weapons on offense and an upgraded defense, cannot challenge for a playoff spot.