Raiders QB Derek Carr finds rhythm with Cooper, Crabtree

Updated August 15, 2017 - 9:41 pm

NAPA, Calif. — The 15-second internet video that went viral Tuesday features an overworked smoke machine, a blue car and a stone-faced Derek Carr in a light blue denim jacket. Electronic music pops in the background. Finally, a white screen teases in black letters: “DEBUT SINGLE 2017.”

This video was posted at noon on Carr’s official Twitter account.

A message accompanied it: “Can’t wait for you to see what’s next” with a website link to

But Carr does not have a music single forthcoming. And he did not send this message himself. He was too busy on the practice field, finding a rhythm with his top wide receivers that largely has been missing from training camp.

The Raiders raised their offense an octave or two Tuesday. Wide receiver Amari Cooper practiced for the first time since Aug. 3, this after missing six straight practices and seven of the past eight. Carr and Cooper did not skip a beat, and wide receiver Michael Crabtree produced a score to remember.

The real teaser Tuesday wasn’t on Carr’s Twitter account.

It was here on the field, a preview of what the Raiders’ passing game could be in 2017.

Cooper showed no visible signs of injury in his return — aside from a medical compression sleeve he wore over his left leg. The exact nature of his injury is unclear; Raiders coach Jack Del Rio is not required to disclose medical information to reporters at this stage of the year and so doesn’t.

A sideline grab here. A deep touchdown over the middle there.

Cooper looked like Cooper.

For that matter, so did Crabtree. Trust may be the most important aspect of a relationship between a quarterback and receiver. A quarterback must trust his receiver to read a coverage the same way he does. He must trust that he’ll break off his route at the expected time. He must trust that, when the ball is thrown into a tight window, the receiver will find a way to haul in the pass.

It is on this third aspect that Crabtree especially thrives.

He demonstrated as much Tuesday when Carr lobbed a pass on a fade route toward the back-right corner of the end zone. Crabtree somehow caught the ball over his shoulder and tapped his feet inbounds, all while falling to the grass and securing the score. The play was among the Raiders’ finest of the entire camp, which will conclude Thursday.

“He’s got great hands,” Carr said recently when asked why he seems comfortable throwing to the ninth-year veteran. “I think he probably makes it look a little more comfortable than I do the way he catches the ball sometimes. Honestly, we get along like brothers. We’ll argue about something and then 30 seconds later talk about, ‘Just throw me the ball,’ kind of thing. It’s just our relationship is so cool, so fun because we’re the same. Super competitive. We both know how things should get done and how we want them done.

“I think that that’s what brings the best out of us. I know I can rely on him no matter what.”

Carr’s music trailer video was made in jest.

While not available for comment, he explained via a team spokesman that the marketing campaign is linked to a series of television commercials that will broadcast in California’s Central Valley. Carr grew up in the Bakersfield-Fresno area and is partnering with a credit union in that region.

One Tuesday teaser was fake.

The other, the Raiders hope, will prove very real.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation: Lynch Getting 'Hyphy' and Mexico Earthquake Impact
Michael Gehlken joins Bryan Salmond in the studio to discuss how the NFL looks at Marshawn Lynch after getting "hyphy" on the sidelines, and how the Mexico City Earthquake is going to affect the game between the Raiders and the Patriots. They also compare the stats between Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins to see how Carr stands against the Redskins quarterback.
Social Sound Off: Raiders Beat The Jets
Bryan Salmond and Kelly Stewart go over your tweets from the game where the Raiders won their second game of the season.
Construction comes to life at Raiders Stadium site in Las Vegas
Construction activity is coming to life at the Raiders Stadium site in Las Vegas. Heavy vehicles, cranes and water trucks were visible at the site at Russell Road and Dean Martin Drive, just west of Interstate 15. A formal groundbreaking for the $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed stadium is expected in late November. Plans indicate the stadium will be 225 feet tall with 10 levels. It is also expected to gave a see-through video wall.
Mack, Joseph and Penn on the Raiders win over the Jets
Oakland Raiders' Khalil Mack, Karl Joseph and Donald Penn talk about defeating the New York Jets in their home opener, 45-20.
Carr on how Crabtree and the running game led to their win over the Jets
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr spoke to reporters during his post-game new conference about how special a player Michael Crabtree is and how effective the running game was in their 45-20 win over the New York Jets.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Improve to 2-0 with Easy Win Over Jets
Bryan Salmond, Michael Gehlken, Ron Kantowski and Gilbert Manzano break down the Raiders 45-20 win over the New York Jets, including the party-like atmosphere, Marshawn Lynch's impact on the team as well as another solid performance from the defense.
Nacion Vegas: Los Raiders Derrotan a los Jets
Los Raiders derrotan a los Jets, 45-20. Crabtree tuvo un día espectacular con tres anotaciónes. Lynch hizo una anotación debutando en su ciudad natal.
Vegas Nation: Conley to Make Debut, Penn Signs Deal
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken discuss Donald Penn's new contract extension as well as first-round pick Gareon Conley is set to make his NFL debut on Sunday against the Jets
Raiders, Donald Penn finalize 2-year, $21M extension
The Raiders and Donald Penn have finalized a 2-year, $21 million contract extension. The veteran left tackle is now under contract through the 2019 season. All of the team’s five starting offensive linemen to begin the season are signed through at least the 2018 campaign. Penn, 34, skipped all of training camp amid dissatisfaction with a $5.8 million salary. The Raiders waited until after Sunday’s season opener versus the Tennessee Titans before making a concerted effort to negotiate.
Vegas Nation: Lynch Fined, Sean Smith Sits Out
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken discuss Sean Smith missing Thursday's practice with a neck injury as well as Marshawn Lynch receiving a fine for his actions against the Titans.
Vegas Nation: Raiders maintain healthy roster
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken discuss today's Raiders news, including what the environment might be like for Marshawn Lynch's first regular season game in Oakland as well as the health of the roster heading into the matchup with the New York Jets.
Vegas Nation: Tavecchio Makes Strong NFL Debut
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken break down Giorgio Tavecchio's solid performance against the Titans on Sunday as well as the Raiders defense playing better than anyone expected them to. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
pos-2 — ads_infeed_1
post-4 — ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like