With OTA in full effect and the start of summer, the Raiders will look towards Derek Carr. In 2017, Carr’s season started promising. However, broken bones, atrocious playcalling, and drop derailed any chance the Raiders had. Now, 2018 arrived, bringing a new head coach and system. Immediately, Carr must adjust to the scheme change on the fly. FPC Raiders writers Pete Camarillo and Ray Aspuria discuss what they expect from Derek Carr
Derek Carr finally eclipses the 4,000-yard mark and sets a career high in touchdown passes. To date, his best career marks are 3,987 yards and 32 touchdowns (2015). With Jon Gruden calling the plays and the diversity that entails, Carr’s arm will be on full display validating his $125-million price tag.
Where Carr will struggle is the area Rich Gannon excelled — scrambling. Gruden hinted he wants to see Carr run more and Gannon was adept at sprinting for the first down. Yet Carr has been hurt in back-to-back season and it is reasonable to believe he is a little shell-shocked and will be gun shy to gallop upfield.
Carr might surpass 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2018, which will give him a career season. However, he will probably also surpass the 13-interception mark, which would make that a career high. Carr is going to be under a lot of emotional pressure but the AFC West also has the league’s best pass rushers. Secondaries in the AFC West are good too so, they will take advantage of Carr being under physical and emotional distress. A lot will be riding on DC this year, in terms of leadership and playmaking. The real key will be Carr’s completion percentage.
Granted, for as much talent that Carr possesses, he still needs a big season. With the AFC West and AFC, as a whole tightening, the Raiders need to climb faster. However, one area of improvement that could show will be fewer drops. In that case, Carr could expect a 3-4 percent completion percentage increase. While not a gamebreaker now, Jordy Nelson provides a stable route runner with sure hands.