Derek Carr is a huge Kobe Bryant fan and planning to honor his idol this season.
The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback told reporters on Tuesday that he is planning to wear an arm sleeve this season to honor Kobe, who wore one when he played.
“What would be a cool way to honor Kobe Bryant? He always wore an arm sleeve on his arm. I was like, ‘Well, I can’t wear one on my right arm, so I’ll wear one on my left arm,'” Carr said.
Carr says he even developed a personal relationship with Bryant that influenced him.
“He just meant so much to me. Then, when I got to know him. Then, he followed me on Twitter, that blew my mind. That was the day of my life. Just getting to know him, talk to him, have conversations with him, just what he meant to me as an athlete. The Mamba Mentality is trying to be the best version of yourself every day. I have the big old poster in my office, my weight room now with that Mamba Mentality mantra on it. It’s just a way to honor him, so I’ll wear it all year. The only reason is to honor him and just what he meant to me as a kid growing up.”
Carr grew up in Fresno, Calif., a few hours north of Los Angeles. That was close enough for him to become a huge fan of Bryant, which has carried throughout the years, including during Carr’s professional career.
The 29-year-old quarterback is entering his seventh NFL season. He passed for 21 touchdowns and 8 interceptions last year, but is facing competition at quarterback from Marcus Mariota.
Jon Gruden and Derek Carr have seemed like something of an odd couple to this point of their relationship, but one player who witnessed the dynamic firsthand thinks that they work together just fine.
In an appearance this week on “The Pat McAfee Show,” former Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson was asked about the mainstream media narrative that Gruden and Carr don’t get along.
“I mean, you see Gruden on the sideline where I assume if it was mic’d up, there would be a lot of beeping going on and you really wouldn’t understand what he was saying,” said Nelson. “And Derek is a more of a calmer, obviously Christian dude that is not gonna cuss anyone out or do anything like that. So I think their two demeanors and personalities might clash. But they honestly get along great. I mean, it’s a good balance.
“There’s a couple times when I was there they got a little fiery at each other,” Nelson added. “But that happens with everyone … The one thing I think that works great with those two, Derek is extremely smart and puts in so much time and work that he can handle everything that Gruden’s throwing at him.
Nelson spent the final year of his career in 2018 with the Raiders, catching passes from Carr. That season also marked Gruden’s first with the team.
Rumors abounded last season that there was a major disconnect between Gruden and Carr, and they may have only grown louder when the Raiders brought in Marcus Mariota this offseason. But that perception is probably more rooted in the difference in their personalities, as Nelson says, rather than an actual rift.
If you believe the rumors, the Las Vegas Raiders looked into signing Tom Brady this offseason. That would have pushed Derek Carr off the team.
Carr, though, never felt threatened by the rumor mill, and credited coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock for being transparent with him.
“No,” Carr told Vic Tafur of The Athletic when asked if he had ever doubted he’d return as the team’s quarterback. “And I say no without getting into too much detail. I knew some of the things that were going to be said and I knew some of the things that were going to be thrown out by the media. I knew a lot of those things. And then I’d wake up in the morning and those things would happen. And, I would just laugh. Obviously, people would be like, ‘Oh my gosh, did you see this?’ And then they’re asking my teammates questions, and it’s like … I just don’t care enough anymore to call my teammates and tell them, ‘Don’t worry about it, we’re good.’ I just didn’t care enough.
“But from what they told me — I can tell you that Mr. Mayock and Mr. Gruden both called me and said that they did their due diligence on everything. … And they can tell you that in their own words. I am not going to say what they said, because it’s kind of awesome and I don’t want them to have to answer for it. But I felt very comfortable with what they said.”
While the Raiders publicly stood by Carr, rumor had it that they pursued Brady right up until the end. Regardless, it’s still Carr’s job, and he’ll be expected to make progress with a new-look Raider offense in 2020.
Rumors have been swirling for about two years now that Derek Carr may not be with the Raiders much longer, but head coach Jon Gruden continues to insist he has no plans to part ways with the quarterback.
When asked about Carr at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, Gruden said he can’t address every rumor about his quarterback but is looking forward to building around Carr going forward.
“I really think Derek is a heck of a player and I got a lot of respect for what he has done with some tough circumstances,” Gruden said, via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “So, I’m not going to answer every media rumor out there. I just can’t do it. I’m just going to listen to my Sirius Rock n’ Roll classic vinyl and keep working. But I love what Derek Carr brings to our team and anxious to continue to build around him.”
Many interpreted that as Gruden’s way of saying Carr will remain with the team in 2020, but the coach also said the Raiders need to improve at the quarterback position. However, he didn’t necessarily mean improving by bringing in someone to replace Carr.
Earlier in the week, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock left the door open for the Raiders to move on from Carr. If the Raiders have a chance to sign Tom Brady, it’s impossible to imagine Mayock and Gruden opting to keep Carr rather than making a run with the greatest QB of all time.
While Gruden has vocally backed Carr as the Raiders’ long-term quarterback, there were some reports late last season that indicated the quarterback’s days with the team may be numbered.
The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas this offseason, and general manager Mike Mayock has seemingly confirmed that there is a chance they may not take Derek Carr with them.
Mayock was asked about Carr at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, and he said he has been “very happy” with the veteran quarterback. However, Mayock left the door open for the Raiders to move on from Carr when he said they will examined the possibility of upgrading every position on the roster — including QB.
That may seem like an obvious statement for a GM to make, but do you think the Green Bay Packers would say the same about their quarterback situation? How about the Kansas City Chiefs? The Seattle Seahawks? You get the picture.
If the Raiders truly believed Carr was their franchise QB going forward, there’s no way their GM would be talking about possibility upgrading at that position. Carr has been mediocre at best in his two seasons under Jon Gruden, throwing for just over 4,000 yards each year and tossing 40 touchdowns compared to 18 interceptions. There has been a belief since Gruden returned to the Raiders that the coach may want to find his own QB at some point rather than the one he inherited, and no one would be stunned if that happened this offseason.
While Gruden has vocally backed Carr as the Raiders’ long-term quarterback, there were some reports late last season that indicated Carr’s days with the team may be numbered. Mayock’s comments on Tuesday weren’t exactly a denial of that.
We are entering the season of NFL trade rumors, and some players appear to be eager to fuel their own speculation as the offseason gets underway.
One of those people may be Derek Carr. The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback posted an image of himself with former teammate Khalil Mack on Instagram, spurring a host of trade rumors and potential links to the Chicago Bears.
So is there anything to this? Not according to Carr’s brother David, an analyst for NFL Network, who exposed Derek’s trolling.
“His son’s favorite movie is Trolls. He’s just having fun. It’s the offseason,” David Carr said, via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.
In other words, nothing to report. Derek Carr’s $18.9 million salary is too big for the Bears to absorb without clearing some cap space first anyway. It does not, however, mean there’s no chance the quarterback is dealt by the Raiders this offseason — it’s certainly within the realm of possibility.
Antonio Brown has yet to find a team to sign him as the NFL continues to investigate his off-field behavior, but that has not stopped the star wide receiver from talking smack to other players on social media.
Brown took aim at two former teammates in some of his latest tweets on Monday. He first fired a shot at Derek Carr, implying that he believes the Raiders are going to dump the quarterback this offseason and that Carr won’t be moving to Las Vegas with the team.
Carr is coming off another less-than-stellar season with the Raiders, and many believe Jon Gruden will look to make a change at the quarterback position this offseason.
Brown then took a swipe at Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had beef with Brown all throughout the offseason. Smith-Schuster said during the summer that he was ready to take over the No. 1 receiver role in Pittsburgh with Brown gone, but he had a disappointing year. Brown called him “Boo Boo” and told him to “learn some respect.”
The 500 is likely a reference to Smith-Schuster’s receiving total, as he had just 552 yards in 12 games this season. Some of that was due to Ben Roethlisberger going down with an injury early on and Smith-Schuster battling some injuries of his own, but Brown doesn’t seem to care.
Brown refuses to keep a low profile on social media even amid reports that one NFC team wants to sign him. He also recently blasted Ben Roethlisberger again, and he has made it clear that he is not going to change his ways. Time will tell if that impacts his chances of finding another job in the NFL.
As the Oakland Raiders finish off a disappointing season, it appears there may be changes beyond just the move to Las Vegas for 2020.
In a new column, Michael Lombardi of The Athletic writes that a “significant disconnect” exists between coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr after two seasons together. In Lombardi’s view, Carr does not demonstrate enough of the qualities that Gruden prefers in quarterbacks, namely mistake avoidance and a certain fire and toughness.
Lombardi believes that the 10-20 record Gruden has amassed since rejoining the Raiders will not sit well with the coach. Lombardi also thinks the Raiders will draft a quarterback and use Carr’s relatively affordable contract as a trade chip.
Gruden has vocally backed Carr as the Raiders’ long-term quarterback, but that was a year ago now. Carr’s numbers in 2019 haven’t been a huge improvement on 2018, and Oakland still isn’t winning. That may be enough for Gruden to stake his tenure on a new quarterback if he doesn’t think Carr can ultimately get the job done.
The referees cost the Oakland Raiders at the end of their home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
The Raiders blew a 16-3 lead and lost 20-16 on a touchdown by the Jags with 31 seconds left. Their comeback cause was aided by a bad call by the refs.
The Raiders had a second-and-9 at the Jacksonville 46 with 2:12 left and Derek Carr scrambled towards the right sideline for a gain of 12 and first down. After picking up the first, Carr made the heads-up decision to slide inbounds, which should have kept the clock rolling until the 2-minute warning. Instead, the refs botched the call and said Carr was out of bounds, which stopped the clock with 2:05 left, forcing the Raiders to run another play before the 2-minute warning. The decision essentially gave the Jags another timeout and saved them nearly a minute in game clock.
Jon Gruden tried to challenge that Carr was out of bounds, but he was told that was not something that could be challenged, so he lost a timeout. The Raiders were also penalized for delay of game.
Instead of having the ball 1st-and-10 at the Jaguars 31 with two minutes left and Jacksonville only being able to stop the clock once with a timeout, the Raiders had a 1st-and-15 at the Jaguars 36 with 2:05 left, and the Jags had the 2-minute warning and a timeout.
The Raiders ran the ball on first down, then there was the 2-minute warning. They ran on second down, and the Jags used a timeout. Then facing a third and long with 1:55 left, the Raiders passed the ball and threw incomplete. They had two tries at a field goal due to a penalty, missed both attempts, and the Jags got the ball back at their 35 with 1:44 left.
Had Carr correctly been ruled down in the field (when a player slides to give themselves up, the ball is spotted where the player begins the slide), the Raiders would have had first down after the 2-minute warning. They would have been able to run on first, second, and third down before attempting the field goal, and the Jags would have likely only gotten the ball back with around 45-50 seconds left.
Oakland benefited from a bad spot in a win over Cleveland last year. This time around, they were on the negative end.
Combine this ending with this being the final home game for the Raiders at the Coliseum, and you can understand why Raiders fans were so rowdy after the loss.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense completely shut down the Oakland Raiders in Sunday’s 40-9 win. There’s apparently a very good reason for that.
Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu says his defense knew exactly how to defend against Derek Carr because the Raiders’ formations were predictable.
Mathieu is right — Carr’s game is throwing to his tight ends and running backs. He doesn’t take a lot of shots downfield. The Chiefs seemed to know what was coming as evidenced by the two interceptions they got — one by Mathieu, and another that Juan Thornhill returned for a touchdown.
Oakland was held to just three points until finally scoring their first touchdown of the game with under a minute left. They have only scored 19 points in two games against KC this season, both losses. The Raiders have now dropped two in a row and are 6-6 on the season, while Kansas City is 8-4.