As Raiders regress, opinions differ on play of QB Derek Carr

Updated December 24, 2017 - 7:25 pm

PHILADELPHIA —The Raiders regressed in 2017.

That was clear before Sunday. Certainly, it is now.

With the Kansas City Chiefs’ 29-13 victory Sunday over the Miami Dolphins, the Raiders were eliminated from playoff contention. No more scenarios. No more chances. Their season will conclude Dec. 31 versus the Los Angeles Chargers. Naturally, this lost campaign that followed a 12-4 year is subject to scrutiny. Scouting, coaches, players — it’s all on the table.

On Dec. 17, coach Jack Del Rio effectively invited regression talk toward his quarterback when complimenting Derek Carr after a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He said that Carr’s play “reminded me of what we saw a lot of last year,” leaving space to infer something this year from Carr has been missing.

“Derek played with a lot of zest,” Del Rio added. “Just took off and made some plays with his feet. Played courageous. I thought he played well.”

The suggestion of a Carr regression is not shared throughout the Raiders’ building.

Teammates recently voted Carr to receive their Ed Block Courage Award. This came after his 2016 ended with a broken leg on Christmas Eve. He also missed just one game in October to three fractures in his lower back. On Monday evening, he’ll lead a team looking to upset the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Day at Lincoln Financial Field.

Carr owns an 88.4 quarterback rating, down from 96.7 in 2016.

That figure is part of a statistical rabbit hole anyone could explore. But context is often missing once underground.

“The bottom line is that man hasn’t changed one bit,” tight end Lee Smith said. “Sure, our record isn’t as good as it was last year. The nature of the beast is both coordinators, the head coach and the quarterback take the most (criticism) when things aren’t going right. And the character Derek has shown this year, especially when things have been adverse — compared to last year, everybody in the world loved on us and him. ‘MVP this, MVP that. Blah, blah, blah.’ This year, we have a losing record, and he hasn’t changed one bit.

“I think his faith life is the biggest thing in that. He’s the strongest Christian man I’ve ever been around. He’s led me in many ways more off the field than he has on. … I could talk about him all day long. I’ll stand by the fact that I think he’s the future of the NFL and the best quarterback under 30 in this business. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers aren’t going to play forever. That man over there is going to be the face of this league.”

Todd Downing is in his first year as the Raiders’ offensive coordinator.

His familiarity predates his current position, having served as Carr’s quarterbacks coach in 2015 and 2016.

“I think he’s had some really good football this year,” Downing said on Friday. “In a tough year, there can be a lot of critiques, and I think that sometimes it can get lost in the mix that there are some good things in there, too. Certainly, Derek showed great toughness on Sunday and stood in there and made some throws. That was pleasing to see, but I think he’s done a nice job with a lot of things this year.

“We just need to be consistent all around, the whole offense, up and down from me all the way down to practice squad guys. We’ve got to look for ways to be more consistent and be reliable.”

After each game, Downing and quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz evaluate Carr’s performance.

The scoring is perhaps more accurate than any external statistical indicator, given it takes into account a play’s design, progression and other factors that can be difficult to appreciate from the outside.

“They grade me pretty tough, and my grades have been where we want them to be,” Carr said. “But we want them to be better, obviously. That’s every year. But I definitely have worked, if anything, harder this year because I learned so much from last year. Every year, I find things where I can go harder into and things like that. We just haven’t executed at a high level as a team to be honest.

“So do I feel like I’m a better player today than I was a year ago, last year? Absolutely. I definitely do.”

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

Raiders Videos
Las Vegas Stadium Livecam
Vegas Nation Mailbag 10-16-2018
Elaine Wilson and Gilbert Manzano discuss The Raiders 27-3 loss to the Seahawks in London as The Raiders enter their bye week.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Fall To Seahawks; Cooper Out With Concussion
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken, Sports Columnist Ed Graney and sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over the Raiders loss to the Seattle Seahawks in London.
Derek Carr says the team will focus on improving – Heidi Fang
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr says the team will do what's necessary to improve following its 27-3 loss in London to the Seattle Seahawks.
Gruden on the Raiders loss to the Seahawks, Cooper's injury – Heidi Fang
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talks to media following the team's 27-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in London, England.
A look at NFL sports betting in London
With the NFL introducing England to different teams each year since 2007, Review-Journal columnist Ed Graney asked fans in London ahead of the Oakland Raiders vs. Seattle Seahawks how often they flock to them to place wagers on American football.
Would the NFL be accepted abroad?
Review-Journal columnist Ed Graney takes to the streets of London, England, ahead of the Oakland Raiders facing the Seattle Seahawks to find out if the NFL is accepted, if the game is understood and what its fan base is like outside of the United States.
Vegas Nation: Gruden Recaps Loss to LA Chargers
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda, Calif. as the team looks ahead to London following a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Fall To 1-4 This Season
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over the Raiders loss to the Chargers.
Raiders coordinators rave about Lynch's running style
Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther talk about Marshawn Lynch's style of running, and what he means to the team.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Defense Looks to Prevent Big Plays
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about the team's renewed focus on preventing big plays from the other team's offense, as the Raiders go into Los Angeles allowing the 27th most yards per game.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Week 5
Elaine Wilson and Gilbert Manzano answer all your burning Raiders questions leading up to their week 5 match up with Chargers.
Vegas Nation: Raiders O-Line Battling Injuries
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about Donald Penn being moved to the Raiders' injured reserve list, as well as other injuries on the team's offensive line.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Look Ahead to Rival L.A. Chargers
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken recaps the controversial calls in Sunday's victory over the Cleveland Browns, the effect Donald Penn's injury could bring, and the reinstatement of cornerback Daryl Worley.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Win Close Game Against Browns In OT
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken, sports columnist Ed Graney and sports writer Gilbert Manzano goes over the Raiders overtime win against the Cleveland Browns.
Vegas Nation: McCrane, rookie specialists practice at Coliseum on Friday
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about how the team's rookie kicker, holder and long snapper are preparing for kicking off the Coliseum dirt. Gehlken also provides an injury update ahead of the Raiders' Week 4 game against the Cleveland Browns.
Vegas Nation: Paul Guenther Speaks on New Rules
Bryan Salmond is in studio as beat writer Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda where Paul Guenther spoke out about the new roghing the passer rules on the NFL.
Raiders Stadium Construction - Sept. 27, 2018
Raiders Stadium construction video on September 27th, 2018. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation: Derek Carr Speaks on Hayes Torn ACL
Host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat-writer Michael Gehlken cover William Hayes's torn ACL from Sundays game, in which he suffered from trying not to land on Derek Carr.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Week 4
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano answer your burning questions about the Raiders and Jon Gruden.
Gruden, Carr critical of new roughing the passer rules
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden wants more clarity on new roughing the passer rules, while Carr reacts to Dolphins William Hayes' injury.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Prepare for the Browns
Host Bryan Salmond discusses the Raiders and Browns seasons so far before Sundays game.
Raiders Adopt Student Resource Room At Robert Taylor Elementary School In Henderson
Former Raiders player Leo Gray and Robert Taylor Elementary School principal Kim Basham talk about the new resource room at the school on Sept. 25, 2018 in Henderson, Nevada. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation: Nugent Suffers Injury in Miami
Raiders reporter Michael Gehlken talks about Mike Nugent's injury in Miami and the Raiders poor turnover differential through the team's first three games.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Drop to 0-3 with Loss to the Dolphins
Bryan Salmond and Gilbert Manzano are in studio while Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Miami on the Raiders loss to the Miami Dolphins.
More information on design of Raiders' practice facility in Henderson
Officials plan to finish the Raiders' Henderson headquarters by spring 2020. The planned facility would be home to offices, training facilities and 4 1/2 football fields.
Vegas Nation: Raiders fall short in Week 1 to the Rams
Bryan Salmond and Gilbert Manzano are in studio recapping the first game of 2018 for the Oakland Raiders. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
Raiders BBQ
On Friday, July 20, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden hosted — and paid for — a free barbecue for Raiders fans. Gruden teamed up with the Raiders and Ricky's Sports Theater and Grill in San Leandro, Calif. as a way to show thanks and gratitude for the support of the Raider Nation. Over 500 Raiders fans showed up to the event that had music, raffles, and appearances from Raiders alumni. This was the final event before the Raiders begin their training camp next week in Napa. Chris Booker Las Vegas Review-Journal
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like