Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) looks on during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

How good can Derek Carr be in Oakland?

His last name isn’t necessarily related with NFL greatness and he’s already slated to be “redshirting” this year, but when (yes, when) Derek Carr takes over the driver’s seat of the Raider offense, how good will he be?

The issue surrounding young Derek Carr isn’t necessarily his talent coming into the league form Fresno State.  It’s actually the reputation his brother had during his time in the NFL.

David Carr, the Houston Texans’ first ever draft pick in 2002, was deemed a bust after failing to record a single winning season in Houston in his first five years in the league.

August 29, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback David Carr (8) is pressured by New England Patriots linebacker Trevor Scott (99) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In David’s defense, he had absolutely no help offensively with Houston, especially with a group of matadors at the offensive line, who allowed David to get sacked 249 times during those five seasons.  David would become a solid backup throughout the rest of his career, spending a year each with the Panthers and 49ers, eventually finishing his career as Eli Manning’s backup in New York.  (By the way, David does have a Super Bowl ring as Eli’s backup.)

David never truly panned out as most thought he would have, throwing for just 14,452 yards in his career with 65 touchdowns and 71 interceptions.  Overall, David was sacked 267 times in his 11 year career, and started all 16 games in four of his five years as a starter in Houston, despite the constant beating he took under center.

After taking 76 sacks in his rookie year, David became shell-shocked and never progressed as a starting quarterback.

The Texans wanted David to be the face of the franchise, a role that he actually wasn’t ready for from the very beginning.  He had the talent to be a solid quarterback as his career went on, however he never had a veteran quarterback to learn from.

This is where Derek has a chance to be better than his older brother down the road.




The Raiders are not in a position where they’re forced to play their rookie quarterback anytime soon, and with the acquisition of veteran quarterback Matt Schaub before the draft, Derek has a chance to sit back and learn the nuances of the game from the sideline pressure-free, a luxury David never had.

Like his older brother before him, Derek proved he was a solid passer in his time at Fresno State.

Since becoming the full-time starter in 2011, Derek saw his numbers gradually go up year-by-year, throwing 3,544 yards with 26 touchdowns in 2011, to 4,104 yards with 37 touchdowns in 2012, to a career-high 5,083 yards with 50 touchdowns last season.  He also threw less than 10 interceptions in each of those three years.

Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws an interception to the Minnesota Vikings in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

In his preseason debut against the Vikings, Derek completed 10-of-16 of his passes for 74 yards with an interception off of the hands of his fullback Jamize Olawale.

Even though Schaub’s night wasn’t impressive at all (3-7, 21 yards), Derek’s was no better and he showed signs that he wasn’t exactly ready to take over the starting job just yet.

Raiders head coach Dennis Allen has been adamant about Schaub being the Raiders starting quarterback since he was acquired from Houston before the draft.

“We’ll evaluate everything as we move along, but the plan is to work Matt Schaub as the starting quarterback,” Allen said to CSN Bay Area.



Although he was able to move the ball downfield a little more efficiently than Schaub, also showing his quick release, Derek missed a few throws over the middle, throwing into double coverage on one throw, short-hopping a throw to a receiver open on a post route, not getting off of his first read, usually to the short receiver, and throwing the ball a bit high to Olawale, leading to the interception by the Vikings Kurt Coleman.

It was obvious that he wasn’t comfortable in the pocket for a majority of his time on the field, and even though he threw the ball quick, mostly short, he looked as if he rushed some throws and threw off balance.

There’s no hint coming out of Oakland that Derek Carr will definitely take over as the Raiders starter sometime this season.  The only way he plays this year at all is if Schaub either gets hurt or struggles immensely.  If the Raiders are out of the playoff chase after week 10, expect to see a preview of the Derek Carr era earlier than expected.



The Raiders are setting Derek up for success in the NFL, something the Texans didn’t do with David.

Everything is in place for Derek Carr to become a legitimate NFL quarterback and (dare I say it) the first Raiders franchise quarterback since Rich Gannon from 1999-2004.  If prepared properly, he could surprise a lot of people, and bring some respect back to his last name.

Tags: Derek Carr NFL Oakland Raiders

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