After a lot of drama, everything returned to normal Saturday with Antonio Brown’s return to practice with the Oakland Raiders.
Brown’s return to the team walkthrough was very impressive to quarterback Derek Carr, who was amazed by Brown’s recall and sharpness despite his time on the sidelines.
“The man’s recall is unbelievable,” Carr said, via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “He came in and no mental errors, and in this offense, that’s not easy to do. Especially, whenever you have a day off … you come back and you’re like, you’ve got to stay on Coach Gruden’s offense all the time. You can tell Antonio’s been studying because he came out and didn’t miss a beat.”
This is going to be music to Raiders’ fans years after a lot of negative headlines involving Brown lately. He’s still one of the most talented players in the league, and if he can emphasize that and not the off-field drama, the Raiders should be happy with their acquisition after all.
Derek Carr took a career-high amount of sacks last season while rushing for a career-low amount of yards in his first season operating Jon Gruden’s offense. For the upcoming season, he’s planning to make some changes to those numbers.
The Oakland Raiders quarterback said from training camp Saturday that he has been working hard all offseason on increasing and improving his scrambling.
Here is his quote via the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken.
Raiders QB Derek Carr seeks to scramble more in 2019, looking to work through his progressions more quickly and then tap into athleticism. Carr was sacked 51 times, a career high, and rushed for 47 yards, a career low, during first season in Jon Gruden's system. pic.twitter.com/h5xiBUNEw8
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) July 28, 2019
“I feel like I’m athletic enough to do some damage that way. I haven’t done (that) well enough and I plan on doing that,” Carr said.
Carr threw for a career-low 19 touchdowns last season. His 4,049 yards and 68.9 completion percentage were career-high marks, though they are somewhat misleading considering Carr rarely looked to make big plays down the field and also made some other questionable decisions.
- Derek Carr
The NFL has been a quarterback’s league for many years now, and teams typically go as far as their QB will take them. For franchises like the New England Patriots, that is a comforting feeling. For others like the Denver Broncos who are facing uncertain situations at the position, it leaves fans not knowing what to expect.
Like every season, there are going to be quarterbacks who exceed expectations in 2019 and those who fall well short. Here are several we believe could leave fans disappointed this upcoming season.
1. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
Garoppolo is working his way back from ACL surgery, which is never easy. Like we have seen countless times with quarterbacks in the past, he will likely have to work through some rust no matter how healthy he is. It should also be noted that Garoppolo was not playing all that well before he got hurt last year, as he had just five touchdown passes and three interceptions in three games.
The 49ers were linked to both Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason because they have serious question marks at the wide receiver position. They tried to address that by drafting former South Carolina star Deebo Samuel in the second round, but the questions remain. Between the time off and the inexperience around him, Garoppolo may have trouble living up to his massive contract in 2019.
Which quarterbacks provide the worst value based on their contracts compared to their likely production in 2019? We have already identified the 10 best values at the position, starting with MVP Patrick Mahomes. Now, we turn to the opposite end of the spectrum, players that are being paid handsomely but where the value is not there.
Here’s a look at 10 quarterbacks who will provide the worst value based on their 2019 contracts.
10. Chase Daniel, Bears
Bless my boy Chase Daniel, who has made a great living as a backup. He has started four career games in the NFL and has a cap charge of $6 million this year. He will have earned over $30 million in the NFL after the upcoming season. That’s not bad money if you can get it, but when teams are able to sign guys like Ryan Tannehill and Blake Bortles for over half that amount, he’s not a very good value, while making more than a sizable minority of starting QBs on their rookie deal.
Jon Gruden wasted hardly any time in his first season back with the Oakland Raiders last year publicly criticizing Derek Carr for his poor play, but apparently the coach is planning to take a new approach in 2019.
On Tuesday, a reporter asked Gruden a seemingly standard question about what strides he would like to see from Carr this season. Gruden responded by complimenting Carr and saying he does not want to critique the quarterback through the media.
Gruden asked what strides he wants to see Carr make in Year 2 with offense: “I’m not gonna critique Derek Carr in the media … He’s one of the best arm talents in football.”
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) May 21, 2019
This is the same Gruden who had no problem calling Carr out for missing some deep throws after the very first game of the season last year. The coach said after another loss a few weeks later that he did not regret calling a pass play on 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line because Carr should have known not to throw the ball.
Gruden and new Raiders general manager Mike Mayock have said they are committed to Carr, but you have to wonder how long all these positive vibes will last if Oakland gets off to another bad start. Even if Gruden stays true to his word and doesn’t criticize Carr in the media, we’ve seen him light into Carr on the sideline during games. The leash probably won’t be very long for Carr in his second season under Gruden.
David Carr is widely considered to be one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, but at least the former quarterback has a good sense of humor about it.
Carr began his career with the Houston Texans after he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2002, and he ended it as a backup with the New York Giants. Carr wore jersey No. 8 during his time in New York, which is the number that was just given to rookie Daniel Jones. Carr sarcastically called that a “bold move” and said Jones didn’t even ask his permission.
— David Carr (@DCarr8) May 3, 2019
Over two separate stints with the Giants, Carr appeared in a total of 11 games and completed 32 passes. He was a full-time starter for five seasons with the Texans, and he completed 58.8 percent of his passes while throwing 59 touchdowns compared to a whopping 65 interceptions during that span. Carr was a star at Fresno State like his younger brother Derek, but Derek has already had a much more successful NFL career.
The Giants, of course, are hoping Jones goes on to enjoy a lot more productive of a career than Carr did. If he turns out the same, general manager Dave Gettleman will be crucified for picking the former Duke star even more than he already has been.
We all love anonymous scout opinions, where people that refuse to put their name on something dish on a young man. Sometimes, though, the concerns and issues pointed out by someone in confidence prove to be accurate. I thought I would take a look back at some recent past quarterbacks who have played enough for us to make an evaluation, and see if the scouting comments proved prescient or problematic.
Bob McGinn, who used to write for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel compiled scout comments on the draft for years, and so I am looking at what he relayed for the 2011 to 2014 drafts.
2011, of course, was the year of the lockout and also the year that Cam Newton was entering the league. That entire spring was full of negative comments about Newton, most notably with the controversy involving Nolan Nawrocki’s assessment of Newton.
I could not find a recap that went down each QB individually, like some future editions, but McGinn did go in depth on Newton.
Let’s start of with this fire assessment from one scout. “I don’t like any of them, really. There’s no Sam Bradfords. There’s no Josh Freeman. I think they’re all second- or third rounders.” That one does not stand up well to history. Freeman flamed out soon after and Bradford never became a star, while Cam Newton won an MVP award, Colin Kaepernick appeared in a Super Bowl, and Andy Dalton has started for almost a decade.
Bill Polian was quoted as saying there was a big dropoff after Cam Newton, but of the 24 personnel people interviewed by McGinn, most thought Newton would be a bust. Sixteen of them had Blaine Gabbert as the best quarterback in the class, and only two thought Newton would be a perennial pro bowler.
Some scouts did favor Newton, though. One said, “our coaches just ripped his (expletive), but I’d take him top-10. This guy is so talented, so much a winner, such a force.”
That scout has largely been proven right.