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#pounditWednesday, January 26, 2022

Articles tagged: Derek Carr

Derek Carr facing uncertain future with Raiders?

Derek Carr with a helmet on

Derek Carr has been a constant for the Las Vegas Raiders and a vital part of the team’s late-season playoff surge. That does not mean that his future with the organization is guaranteed, however.

With one year remaining on his current contract, Carr and the Raiders face a major decision this offseason. There is a possibility that the Raiders opt to move on from Carr, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Carr’s fate is likely tied to whoever the Raiders hire as head coach and whether the coach wants to fully commit to Carr or bring in a new quarterback.

The 30-year-old quarterback is poised for a significant contract extension, and questions linger about whether he would be worth it. He threw 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions this season, but his locker room leadership was vital in a tumultuous season and he played well when it mattered. Carr would garner significant interest if he became available.

Carr still fields a lot of criticism, but he’s proven to be a solid and durable NFL quarterback. Plenty of teams are lacking that and would love to have it, making him a valuable commodity for either the Raiders or someone else.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Bengal thinks Derek Carr could ‘tap out’ in playoff game

Pacman Jones before a game

A prominent former Cincinnati Bengals player may have given Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr some bulletin board material ahead of Saturday’s AFC Wild Card game.

Former Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones made an appearance on the “D&H Sports” podcast Wednesday to help preview Saturday’s game between Cincinnati and the Raiders. Jones spoke at length about Carr, and while the former cornerback had praise for the Raiders quarterback’s leadership, he also saw a scenario in which Carr wilts under pressure against the Bengals’ pass rush (at roughly 15:45 of the video).

“We have to make Derek Carr feel uncomfortable,” Jones said. “When he’s back there and feeling comfortable, he can throw the ball anywhere. Everybody knows he can throw the ball. But the first time you hit him, he’s one of the first ones that will tuck his tail and go in at halftime. So I think we have to be physical upfront, let him know it’s going to be a long day, and I think he’ll tap out.”

Carr has had to defend himself against the “soft” label in the past. Jones’ commentary isn’t necessarily anything new, nor is he a member of the current Bengals team. He could still use it as motivation if he wanted to, though.

As for Jones, this kind of talk has not always served him well in the past. Maybe things will be different now that he’s no longer an active participant.

Photo: Dec 10, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones watches during warm ups prior to a game against the Chicago Bears at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr shouts out Aaron Rodgers in postgame interview

Derek Carr with a helmet on

Derek Carr insists that the Las Vegas Raiders would not have been content with a tie against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night, and the quarterback seemed to credit Aaron Rodgers for helping him maintain that mindset.

The Raiders secured a spot in the postseason with an overtime win over L.A. Had the two teams tied, both would have gotten into the playoffs and the Pittsburgh Steelers would have been eliminated. There were times in the OT period where it looked like Las Vegas was angling for the tie, but Carr told NBC’s Michele Tafoya after the Raiders’ 35-32 win that his intention was to go for it. He mentioned how he texted with Rodgers about the situation.

“We knew no matter what we didn’t want to tie. We wanted to win the football game,” Carr said. “My mindset all day, I was even texting with Aaron Rodgers this morning, my mindset was to make sure we were the only team moving on after this.

“Aaron’s always been good to me since I came into the league. We became friends, so we talk. Aaron, I appreciate your encouragement today.”

Carr didn’t go into detail about what he and Rodgers discussed, but it seemed fairly obvious. Rodgers probably told him that he would be in trouble if he went into such a big game thinking about tying. That’s a recipe for failure.

Of course, the Raiders may have ended up with the tie had it not been for a horrible decision from Chargers head coach Brandon Staley. Carr and his teammates would have been fine with a tie, but getting into the playoffs with a win must feel that much better.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr made promise to Raiders after late-game interception

Derek Carr with a helmet on

Derek Carr led the Las Vegas Raiders on a game-winning field goal drive against the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. In doing so, he fulfilled a promise he made to his teammates just minutes earlier.

With the Raiders trailing 14-13 and roughly three minutes remaining, Carr threw a brutal interception on a deep ball into coverage. All the Browns would have needed after that was one or two first downs to ice the game. Knowing that, Carr made a promise to his teammates.

“After that interception, I told the guys, ‘Please, I promise we’ll win it, just get the ball back,'” Carr told reporters after the game, via The Associated Press.

The Raiders’ defense delivered. They forced a three-and-out and got the ball back at the two-minute warning. Carr then held up his end of the bargain by making some strong throws and taking Las Vegas from their own 39-yard line to the Cleveland 30. Daniel Carlson converted a 48-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Raiders to victory.

Carr made a massive mistake when he threw the pick. It could have easily cost the Raiders the game, but their defense answered the call. Carr deserves credit for taking advantage after his teammates bailed him out.

The Raiders improved to 7-7 with the win and remain squarely in the AFC playoff hunt.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr has blunt message for Raiders after latest loss

Derek Carr with a helmet on

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr sounds a bit frustrated with some of his teammates after the team’s third consecutive loss on Sunday.

The Raiders were on the wrong side of a 32-13 blowout at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. The team’s struggling offense failed to score 20 points or more for the third consecutive week, and the team is now 5-5 after a 3-0 start.

Speaking to the media after the game, Carr had a pointed message that seemed to be directed at some of his teammates. The Raiders have a short week as they play in Dallas on Thanksgiving, and the quarterback suggested it could be a good thing because it wouldn’t leave time for too much relaxation.

“In a way, it hopefully will be good for our guys,” Carr said of the short week. “Either we go home and we go to work or we can be out on the strip and we go to late dinners and these kinds of things, or we can get back to work and try to get a win.”

It’s an interesting comment, and it could certainly imply that Carr thinks some teammates have been doing a bit too much of that in Las Vegas. It seems a bit specific and targeted to be a routine and meaningless remark.

The Raiders have faced a number of distractions throughout the season, some particularly shocking and troubling. Carr’s message seems to be that nobody should be contributing to any more avoidable issues.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr offers strong words about Henry Ruggs situation

Derek Carr with a helmet on

Henry Ruggs is facing a lengthy prison sentence after he was responsible for a car crash that killed a young woman earlier this week, but Derek Carr has no intention of disowning his former teammate.

Carr was asked about the Ruggs situation during his media availability on Wednesday. The veteran quarterback expressed condolences for the family of 23-year-old Tina Tintor and also showed support for Ruggs. Carr said Ruggs “needs to be loved.”

Carr also revealed that he received a text message from Ruggs hours before the accident. The QB said Ruggs texted him and Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow a video of his golf swing. Reports have indicated Ruggs was at a Top Golf in Las Vegas prior to the crash.

Some have criticized Carr for supporting Ruggs, but Carr was not trying to minimize what Ruggs did. He was simply showing that he has unconditional love for his teammates. If you remember, he delivered a similar message after Jon Gruden was forced to resign as head coach of the Raiders.

Ruggs has been charged with DUI resulting in death and reckless driving. Police say he was traveling 156 mph seconds before the crash. His blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit. You can read more of the shocking details of the accident here.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5 biggest surprises of the 2021 NFL season thus far

Jon Gruden

The 2021 NFL regular season is now in Week 7 — boy, does it go by fast — and to say there have been a few surprises that stand out would be an understatement.

Things got off to a fast start league-wide and have not slowed down one bit. Whether it’s on the field or off of the field, the NFL is jam-packed with excitement, drama, and theater.

Here is a look at the five biggest surprises of the 2021 season (so far).

5. Kansas City Chiefs being average

Everything that goes up must eventually come down. The Chiefs are currently living that reality. They’ve split their first six games this season. At 3-3, they find themselves in third place in the AFC West (more on that division to come). But beyond just the .500 record, several of their superstar players are underperforming. Case in point: quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The former league MVP already has nine turnovers on the season, three shy of his career high. He has four interceptions over the past two games combined (don’t tell his mom). The Chiefs’ -8 turnover ratio is the second-worst in football. Defensively, KC is also allowing over 410 yards per game and an average of 29.3 points per game. Each of those marks are among the bottom five in the NFL.

4. Derek Carr an early MVP candidate

The Raiders decided to let Derek Carr air it out this season, and his aggression has gone through the roof. Yes, Carr has made some risky throws, and his accuracy is nothing to write home about, but he’s second in the NFL with 1,946 yards and 324.3 yards per game. Carr is also in the top half of the league in touchdown passes (10) and has tossed just four interceptions despite the new chuck-and-duck style. Perhaps more importantly, the Raiders are 4-2 under Carr, are tied for the AFC West lead, and three of their victories have come over teams who won 10-plus games in 2020. Whether or not Carr can keep up this pace remains to be seen, but few saw this start coming.

3. Myles Garrett gunning for all-time records

Through seven weeks, Cleveland Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett has amassed a league-leading eight sacks and is on pace for 23.0, which would be an all-time single-season record. And given how dominant Garrett has been this season, it’s entirely possible that Michael Strahan’s long-standing record finally falls. What makes Garrett’s early-season performance so impressive is that he’s dominating as much against the run as he is the pass. And when he does get home, he finishes. His eight sacks come alongside 17 QB hits and seven hurries, and are coupled with an equally impressive 24 tackles (nine for a loss).

2. Giants defense in shambles

Entering the 2021 regular-season, most believed the Giants would be kept afloat by their defense, which surprised under Patrick Graham a year ago. That has not at all been the case. In fact, the offense has outplayed the defense thus far. Graham’s unit, which plays Cover 2 more than any other team in the league, has taken several steps back. They have been unable to generate any natural pressure. Even when attempting to scheme in pressure, they haven’t hit home. The lack of pressure has allowed opposing quarterbacks to light up their secondary, including cornerback James Bradberry, who was a Pro Bowler in 2020. Not only will this regression take a toll on the organization, it might also cost Graham potential head coaching interest in 2022.

1. Urban Meyer and Jon Gruden

The situations surrounding Urban Meyer and Jon Gruden are very different but equally shocking. Meyer, of course, drew heavy criticism for staying behind in Ohio after his team lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4, only to later be caught on video acting inappropriately with a woman who wasn’t his wife (more here). He survived being fired (or divorced) but it’s certainly an early stain on his NFL career. Gruden, on the other hand, did not survive comments he made in private emails years ago. During an investigation into the Washington Football Team, several Gruden emails containing some ugly comments were discovered. He was immediately canceled, resigned as Raiders head coach, and was removed from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor, where he had previously sat alongside Warren Sapp and others.

Derek Carr offers thoughts on Jon Gruden resignation

Derek Carr with a helmet on

Derek Carr shared his thoughts Wednesday on Jon Gruden’s resignation after offensive emails the head coach sent became public.

The Las Vegas Raiders had a day off Tuesday, the day after Gruden resigned following a meeting with team owner Mark Davis. They returned on Wednesday to practice at their facility, which is the first time many members of the team spoke with the media.

Carr, who has been the Raiders’ quarterback since 2014, summed up his thoughts with one quote: “I love the man, I hate the sin.”

Carr added more.

“I don’t condone, I don’t talk that way. My kid’s won’t talk that way…it’s hard, because I love the man so much,” Carr said of Gruden.

He also acknowledged that opening up peoples’ private emails and text messages would make many people uncomfortable.

“No one’s perfect, if we just started opening up everyone’s private emails and texts people would start sweating … Hopefully not too many, but maybe that’s what they should do for all coaches and GMs and owners from now and see what happens,” Carr said.

Carr said he wasn’t going to drift too far into his emotions because he needs to focus on getting his job done as the team’s quarterback.

Carr was a Pro Bowler from 2015-2017 and has been working with Gruden the last four seasons. There were rumors early on that Gruden might want to part ways with Carr, but the team’s feelings on the quarterback seemed to have changed this year.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr responds to Joey Bosa’s ‘shook’ comment

Derek Carr

If nothing else, Monday’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers seems to have intensified a rivalry.

That continued Wednesday, with Raiders quarterback Derek Carr responding to critical comments made by Chargers defensive lineman Joey Bosa. Bosa had said following Monday’s game that Carr gets “shook” when put under heavy pressure, and that the team knew doing so would ensure that Carr “kind of shuts down.”

Carr got his chance to respond on Wednesday. He made clear that he loves Bosa, but did admit the comments ticked him off.

Carr is no stranger to criticism. That said, it’s obvious why this one struck a nerve. No quarterback likes to be seen as panicked or lost in the pocket. Just think of how much attention Sam Darnold got for this comment he made last year.

Carr was sacked four times in Monday’s loss. He’ll get his shot at revenge against Bosa and the Chargers when the Raiders host them in the regular season finale in Week 18.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia via CC BY-SA 4.0

Derek Carr shares his ambitious career goal

Derek Carr

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is thinking about his future, and he’s pretty confident that he hasn’t even played half of his NFL career.

Carr said Wednesday that his hope is to play another 15 years in the NFL — an ambitious goal for the 30-year-old quarterback.

“I feel like I can play another 15 years, without a doubt,” Carr said, via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “Nothing’s hurting. It’s the middle of camp, and I feel great. I feel strong, I feel fast, I feel explosive. And I think it’s just the way we train now.

“I feel like I’m 20. I honestly believe this — that our generation, the way we can take care of our bodies with football, I think 30 is the new 20. … That comes from science, and that comes with more understanding.”

15 more years would mean Carr is playing until he’s 45. That’s pretty much unheard of unless you’re Tom Brady. That’s somewhat ironic when you consider recent stories about what Brady may think of Carr.

If Carr can accomplish this feat, more power to him. That said, it probably isn’t even fully up to him. Injuries can happen to anyone. Even if he stays healthy, the question can become whether anyone will still think he’s worth signing once he’s into his 40s. If Carr wants to meet his goal, he’ll have to play at a high enough level for long enough to justify being on a roster.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia via CC BY-SA 4.0