If you don't at least feel some empathy for Derek Carr, I don't want to be your friend. And I don't mean from, like, a lifestyle standpoint or whatever because he's a franchise quarterback who makes assloads of money. I'm talking about a man who's poured his guts out for a dysfunctional Raiders franchise in perpetual search of professional fulfillment and has just about jack shit to show for it.
You won't see Carr throwing his new coach Josh McDaniels and staff under the bus. He says here that he loves them and that they've had way more success than he ever has. I'm so sad just thinking about how true that is even as McDaniels looks to be on a collision course for his second failed head coaching tenure.
While he's not the cornball, cliche-spewing PR automaton that is Russell Wilson, Carr more often than not says all the right things at the podium. It's not inauthentic like Russ, though. It's just kind of that professional quarterback speak. But then, there are times where Carr keeps it totally real. We've seen him wear his heart on his sleeve on more than a few occasions, yet this one feels different. I'm not sure I've ever heard someone talk about the physical toll a long NFL season takes on players' bodies with this much passion and regret for how things are playing out.
"And for that to be the result, of all that effort, it pisses me off," Carr said in driving his main point home, fighting back tears as he discussed how much guys battle through just to make it to practice, much less suit up on Sundays.
Some Raiders folk seem annually ready to kick Carr to the curb. He just keeps coming back firing away and it's frankly inspiring to see. Based on how his career has gone to date, I can hardly blame Carr for being fed up. Like, when is this guy gonna get a real shot at a Super Bowl? I think he's more than a fine enough player to do so.
Carr saw his first head coach Dennis Allen fired four games into his rookie year of 2014. Next up was Jack Del Freaking Rio. In his third season, Carr played like an MVP but broke his leg at the end of the regular season, leading to a one-and-done playoff exit for that team.
Then came the holy shit storm that was Jon Gruden's second stint. Don't know if you noticed, but pretty much of the Raiders' recent first-round picks are no longer on the roster. No wonder the new Las Vegas regime didn't hesitate to ship away a first- and second-rounder to reunite Carr with elite receiver Davante Adams.
I was one of the idiots who thought Las Vegas would return to the playoffs in 2022. A more exotic defensive scheme under coordinator Patrick Graham with Chandler Jones now opposite Maxx Crosby to rush the passer. McDaniels' shot at redemption. The fact that Carr willed the Raiders through the darkness of 2021 to the postseason in the aftermath of Gruden's resignation. I didn't care about the AFC West allegedly being the best division of all-time. Thought the Carr-led Silver and Black could hang...
Fast forward to today and the Raiders have blown 17-point leads in three separate games and just lost to interim coach Jeff Saturday and the Colts 25-20. All but one of Las Vegas' losses have come by one possession. You could argue they're on the precipice of something great. Listening to Carr's words at this presser, it seems like he believes that. Just has to be a tough sell with the season pretty much over, barring a miraculous eight-game winning streak to close out the schedule.
I don't think we appreciate enough how much bullshit Derek Carr has put up with during his time with the Raiders. It's up to his fucking eyeballs and I think until this very Sunday, he'd brainwashed himself to grow numb to it and often overcome the nonsense. We might be seeing him break. I wouldn't mind him getting a fresh start somewhere else if, you know, Las Vegas hadn't just traded for his best friend from Fresno State who's one of the NFL's premier receivers. Also doesn't help that he hasn't had All-World tight end Darren Waller, who's dealt with a nagging hamstring injury.
Anyway the Raiders are a mess. Derek Carr ain't the problem and never has been. Take your "HE'S NOT A CHAMPIONSHIP-CALIBER QUARTERBACK" drivel someplace else. I'm not here for any of that noise whatsoever.