After Derek Carr stepped off the field in Kansas City, the eyes of a fanbase beamed its disappointed glare upon him. Once again, the Raiders failed to win at Arrowhead. More importantly, any realistic thought of an AFC West championship appeared lost. Now, with four game remaining, Carr faces another quarterback that seemingly rejuvenated his career. Granted, Ryan Tannehill’s recent success remains a small sample, yet could provide needed clues into fixing what ails Carr and the Raiders. I sat down with FPC National writer Tyler Kading for insight regarding Tannehill.
What do you attribute the Tannehill renaissance to?
I wouldn’t exactly call it a renaissance, to be honest. We saw this quarterback a lot in Miami, just never this consistent. I think getting away from Adam Gase and getting into a positive football environment definitely helped, as well as getting a very good (and underrated) supporting cast around him. Of course, he is going to post better numbers and win more games with a better team and a better coaching staff surrounding him. However, looking specifically at Tannehill, I wouldn’t say the difference is as vast as is believed.
From his days in Miami, where do you see the improvement?
Consistency. His highlight reel in Miami stood up there with the highlight reels of the best quarterbacks in football, he just had a lot of lowlights those guys didn’t have. It was no secret that if he was ever going to stop making stupid mistakes, he was going to see a massive spike in productivity and a massive perception boost.
However, a large part of me thought that was never going to happen. Tannehill was never Jameis Winston; you can live with a lot of lowlights when the highlights are so good, but he was never going to be seen in that elite tier because his list of lowlights looked like a CVS receipt in Miami. Now that it doesn’t, you can see what he has been able to do. I give a lot of credit to Arthur Smith, Pat O’Hara, and the Titans coaching staff for helping him become a lot more consistent.
Looking across the field, Tannehill sees Derek Carr. What could Carr learn from Tannehill going forward?
Don’t be afraid to be a gunslinger. It goes a little bit against Jon Gruden’s coaching style, and the Raiders definitely don’t have the personnel in the recieving corp for it, but I’m of the opinion that you can live with bad interceptions when you are making some elite throws. While he isn’t a top tier QB, I do believe Derek Carr has the talent to make some incredible throws. He just doesn’t give himself the opportunity. There will be some road bumps and you will get laughed at (Miami Tannehill). Yet, you will be a productive quarterback.
Given these points, Derek Carr can be salvaged with the Raiders. Ironically, nothing Carr needs to fix resides below the shoulders. Blessed with arm talent, mobility and accuracy, Derek Carr can physically lead the Raiders into the future. Now, can he connect Tannehill’s mental approach?