By now, everyone knows that the Oakland Raiders have tabbed rookie second-round pick Derek Carr as their starting quarterback. He beat out Matt Schaub to earn the starting job that begins Sunday against the New York Jets. Like with any rookie, especially a quarterback, the Raiders are going to have to show patience as Carr goes through the immanent growing pains of an NFL quarterback.
“We made the decision to go with Derek Carr as the quarterback,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “There are a lot of factors that were involved in that. It’s not an indictment on Matt Schaub at all. I still feel very confident in Matt Schaub. I think it says more about where we feel Derek Carr is and his progression. After watching him all throughout training camp and in the preseason, you just see a guy that continues to develop and continues to be mature beyond his years as a quarterback and a guy that we feel very comfortable putting him out there and helping us win football games.”
Make no mistake, the Raiders made the right decision to go with Carr as proven by the play of Carr and Schaub throughout training camp and preseason. He is the future of the franchise, it just turns out the future is starting earlier than expected. Now, the difficulty is allowing Carr the opportunity and support to be successful. Many a rookie quarterback has been destroyed because they were put into a situation to fail. The Raiders are taking the first steps in helping him by committing to Carr long term, not just a week to week starter.
“No, Derek [Carr] is the starting quarterback and we feel very good and very confident about where he’s at and his ability to go out and lead us to victory,” Allen said.
Committing to Carr is massively important. He has so much coming at him as be begins the process of being a starting quarterback that the last thing he needs is to worry about losing the job after a bad performance. That is part of the patience the Raiders need to show. Carr is going to have bad game, like any player in the league, let alone a rookie quarterback.
The positives for Carr are his high level skills. Carr has tremendous arm strength that was on display against Seattle in the preseason finale. He is a mature and intelligent quarterback, which may be his greatest asset as he takes on this challenge. He also has the ability to energize his teammates, which shows his leadership ability.
Carr has all the tools, but it is up to the Raiders to nurture them. They cannot afford to put Carr in situation like the team had last season where there is no plan at quarterback. Each week there were questions about who would start. This year, it is Carr and Carr only. He takes the reins through the good and the bad. The hope is he gains the experience and knowledge to help him develop into the future of the franchise.
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