When Jack Del Rio’s tenure ended, media and fans alike questioned the chemistry in the locker room. From idiotic speculation to press leaks, the Raiders appeared problematic. Yet, we will never know what exactly occurred. Rumors did not seem to take hold and form a permanent hold. Now, with so much turnover on the staff and roster, what players control the room? FPC Raiders writers Pete Camarillo, Ray Aspuria and Terrance Biggs discuss which players hold court in the lock room.
On offense the rah-rah leader will be somewhere between Derek Carr and Antonio Brown. Rodney Hudson will be a leader by example. On defense, Whitehead and Burfict will split leadership duties. We’ll see who wins out based on who their teammates look at when shit hits the fan.
That’s what makes this team interesting. Will the Leaders come from the top or the players? Will it be an established player or any number of new faces? The answer? Possibly none. Jon Gruden is everything for this team and that includes locker room leader. TBD.
Derek Carr should be the leader, without question. He’s been the focal point of the Raiders trials and tribulations and, as the signal caller whether it’s fair or foul, should get the blame and praise. Carr doesn’t run away from that mantle and we saw a promising glimpse of Carr’s onus of leadership when he told reporters during minicamps: “This is my team” and he would be a Raider for a long, long time. For a QB that is the ultimate self-effacing individual, having a little bite to his bark is a welcome sight. For better or worse, the Raiders are Carr’s team. He’s the man under the spotlight. I’ve always enjoyed his “it’s on me” attitude when things go wrong. Therefore, I found it equally as intriguing for him to say this team is his.
As the center, Rodney Hudson should preside over the locker room. First, he is the closest player to Derek Carr, literally and figuratively. Next, his play rates him as on of the two best centers in the NFL. Talent carries weight in this league. More importantly, accomplishment means most. Next, he’s the one making the line calls and keeping the offense functioning. If there is any discord, he will be the one to stomp it out. While he may not appear to own a commanding presence, Rodney Hudson is the heart of the locker room for the Raiders.