After four seasons, the enigma that Derek Carr evolved into continues to defy explanation. Armed with 125 million dollar contract, Carr should reside as the face of the organization. Yet, that moniker remains vacant. In all honesty, the Raiders do not employ a single face of the franchise. Although Carr makes top money, is he the one. In addition, is he the long-term answer? Below, you will find questions and answers pertaining to the Raiders and their quarterback.
Is Derek Carr the third-best passer in the AFC West?
If you look strictly at the first three games, that answer is no. Actually, he would rank at the bottom. Every quarterback in the division owns at least one victory. For the better part of over a decade, Phillip Rivers sat alone, minus a Broncos’ title run. Now, with Patrick Mahomes looking sharp and Case Keenum looking decent, Carr sits at the fourth spot, for now.
What lead to the inconsistent Carr?
In reality, changing systems frequently will often change a passer. Yet, for all of the lack of stability, Carr managed to compile similar yardage. Initially, I believed that Carr played gun shy since breaking his leg. Yet, if you look at selected games, he moved well and climbed the ladder. At this point, none of his issues is physical. Meanwhile, dealing with various coaches and coordinators would wear him out. Now, he faces a head coach that breathes offense. As a result, Carr’s completion and stress level will rise.
Will the Carr/Gruden dynamic work?
When the Raiders won under Gruden in the past, Rich Gannon played. Gruden and Gannon enjoyed a different dynamic. Gruden could bark and Gannon, Gannon would bark back. While he did what Gruden asked, Gannon would speak up. By nature, Carr defers to his coach and will always throw himself under the bus.
However, as Carr ages, you could see a bit of a turn. While he will never slam the door or curse at Gruden, Carr shows sparks. Remember this tweet. Although not a direct shot, he does make his feeling clearly known. Moreover, this quote about Amari Cooper bailing on a route raised eyebrows. For the Carr/Gruden partnership to flourish, the passer needs to stand up.
On balance, the Raiders invested millions in Derek Carr. In that case, they remain committed to him. However, he must find that rhythm on and off the field. Blessed with ability remains only part of the solution.