Updated March 2, 2021 - 3:54 pm
The trip to Tulum, Mexico, last week was supposed to be a getaway for Raiders’ fullback Alec Ingold. But whether it’s scratching the constant itch to hit the gym or catching up on all the news back home, Ingold can never truly bring himself to hit the off button.
Hence the red he started seeing when word began showing up on Ingold’s Twitter timeline that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson would be open to playing for the Raiders.
Nothing against Wilson, a proud Wisconsin Badger just like Ingold. It’s just that Ingold is fed up with all the speculation that incumbent Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is perpetually on his way out of town.
“When you have a quarterback like Derek and a leader like Derek and a guy that puts us in the right situation to win ballgames like Derek does, it’s tough to keep reading about how he’s on the way out and how someone else is coming in,” Ingold said. “Look, Derek is going to be the first guy to say he doesn’t listen to it. He doesn’t buy into it. And in the business of football, he’s going to give all the right answers and be polite and everything. But as his teammate, that guy does pretty much everything right and he still gets hated by some people in spite of that. And that’s tough.”
That is why Ingold was so frustrated last week with the news that Wilson would waive his no-trade clause to play for the Raiders. Not so much that Wilson has his eye on Las Vegas, but how it related to Carr.
“It’s the general belief that Derek Carr isn’t the guy,” Ingold said. “That doesn’t make sense to me. I just don’t understand it. Because he is the guy. In our locker room, there is a sense of pride that we have our guy and we’re gonna ride with our guy.
“That is what bothers me more than anything. I can’t understand how anybody isn’t ecstatic to have this guy as the quarterback. By the way he plays. By the way he competes. By the way he leads. There is a sense of confidence around here that Derek Carr is our quarterback.”
Carr is coming off the best year of his career. He led a Raiders offense that scored the 10th most points in the NFL. That wasn’t enough for the Raiders to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Thanks to a late-season slump, they finished 8-8 after starting the season with six wins over their first nine games.
But Ingold said the late-season swoon does not fall on the shoulders of Carr.
“We’re probably three plays away from being 11-5 last year,” Ingold said. “But in no way was Derek Carr responsible for those plays. That’s just the reality of the situation. We didn’t make those three plays and that’s on us as a team and we take full responsibility for that.
“But we truly believe we are much closer to making those plays than people might think. What’s so frustrating is, if we make those three plays, and we finished 11-5, what are people saying about Derek Carr at that point? It’s a completely different narrative.”
Most importantly, Ingold believes Carr is the quarterback capable of delivering the Raiders to their goals and objectives.
“I remember my first season, Derek came and spoke to all the rookies, and all he talked about was the singular goal of making the Super Bowl,” Ingold said. “That was my first impression of Derek Carr. From that day moving forward, that is all I’ve seen from him in how he works and how he plays and how he performs.
“That’s his mentality and that’s all he cares about. And I think that same mentality runs throughout this locker room. Not just in the belief we have in Derek, but the confidence that we are a lot closer than people realize. The bottom line is, I believe Derek can take this team and this organization to a Super Bowl.”