The Oakland Raiders’ Head Coach Dennis Allen announced on Monday that rookie Derek Carr is the starting quarterback in week-one and beyond.
The original thought was if Matt Schaub wasn’t healthy, Carr would start. Schaub was plenty healthy yesterday as he took second team reps and threw the ball well. There seemed to be no lingering effects from the tendonitis in Schaub’s elbow.
Carr was not only impressive in his first start, but he has been impressive throughout training camp.
“We made the decision to go with Derek Carr as the quarterback,” Coach Allen announced during his post-practice press conference. “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 out there and helping us win football games.”
The Raiders will travel to New Jersey to face the AFC East Jets. Head coach Rex Ryan is known for his defensive scheme and will be sure to test Carr with multiple blitz packages. Maybe thats what Allen is counting on.
“I think he’s [Rex Ryan] going to be who he is and he’s going to call the defenses how he’s called them before,” said Coach Allen. “You never really know what you’re going to see in the opening game of the season because generally you don’t show a ton of stuff in the preseason, but I would expect that we’ve got to be ready to see a lot of his pressure package and trying to get after a young quarterback.”
Photo by Shawn Jonas
Raiders’ veteran wide receiver James Jones compared Carr to a pretty good quarterback he used to play with in Green Bay.
“No, it didn’t surprise me at all. I’ve been calling him Baby A-Rod since he got here. I used to train with DC out in Fresno, so I’ve been calling him Baby A-Rod even when he was in college. He throws it natural, so I hope he takes advantage of his opportunity, but like I said before, we had a real good quarterback competition, and he won it.”
Jones has been impressed with the young quarterbacks growth this off season.
“Definitely. I was talking to a couple of the guys actually on Thursday when we played. I was saying, even if he were to come out there and throw five interceptions, he’s real calm, real cool in the pocket. He really acts like he’s been there before. When you see a rookie come in like that and he’s able to handle himself like that, he’s ready to play. Whether he’s a quarterback or a wide receiver or whatever, he looked ready to play,” Jones added.
Raiders’ fullback Marcel Reece credits Schaub for mentoring Carr right from the beginning.
“I think so. When you come in as a rookie, you look for a veteran in your position group, in your room to help you every day, and Schaub has been that for him, and he’s going to continue to be there for him, and we support each other as a team and we know that it’s always a competition, but the bigger picture is we’re all in here for one reason and that’s to win games,” said Reece.
Injury Updates: Nick Roach didn’t practice yesterday (Concussion). Chimdi Chekwa still out of practice. Menelik Watson was practicing, but Khalif Barnes was working with the first unit.