A day after the Oakland Raiders’ rookie quarterback Derek Carr was named the starting quarterback, he spoke to the media.
It doesn’t take long to figure out that Carr is a humble, yet extremely confident, well grounded young man. The rookie was happy to receive the news that he was the Raiders’ new signal caller, but the QB situation didn’t consume him, in fact he didn’t really think about it.
“To be honest, I was just excited,” Carr said. “I wasn’t really thinking about it, the more you guys get to know me, you know I’m not lying to you, I really wasn’t thinking about being the starter, being the backup. I was really focused on learning the offense the best that I could so that way, when I got on the field, whenever that time was, I could help this team win. Because that’s all I care about, is the Raiders winning. So, when he told me [Dennis Allen], I was excited but it wasn’t like I was thinking about it, is he going to tell me, is he not? It was really a surprise because I wasn’t thinking about it, ” Carr added.
He gave thanks to God and the Coaches, along with his Family. He also gave Matt Schaub credit for helping his progression since coming to Oakland.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Carr said. “Obviously I praise God for everything, every opportunity, everything I’ve been given first and foremost. I was raised great, had some great coaches, had my brother, had my dad to learn the game. But when I got here, ‘Schaubby’ [Matt Schaub], I don’t want to say take me under his wing, but he said, ‘If you need anything, just ask.’ So, I wasn’t scared to ask and once he saw that I really cared about what we’re doing here, he just opened up and full on helped me with anything, any questions. Even during games when he may have just taken a sack, got hit. Usually if I get hit, I don’t want to talk to anybody, I’m mad. I’d ask him, ‘Hey, what was the call there?’ And he’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, it was this, this and this.’ I was like, ‘Oh, thanks,’ because he genuinely cared about me growing as a rookie.”
The Rookie is very close to his family, including his brother David Carr, the former number-one overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft.
“He was fired up. He was excited for me,” Carr said in regards to telling his brother the news. “The whole family was excited obviously, but at the same time it’s just football. It was an excitement, ‘Hey, congrats,’ and then we went about our lives. In our family, football is not everything. So it was cool, it’s a wonderful opportunity, but that was it,” Carr added.
Sheryl Carr, Derek and David’s mother, left this comment on Silver N Black Podcasts’ Instagram account, after posting a photo of Derek and telling the news that he was named the starter.
Carr sees himself as more than just a football player and seems adamant that people view him as such. “I know who I am as a person and when people think of Derek Carr, I don’t want them to think of, ‘He’s just a quarterback, he’s just a football player,’ because that’s not what I am. First and foremost, obviously I’m a Christian. I love my family, I’m faithful to them. I’m a husband, I’m a dad, I’m a brother, I’m a son, and then I just happen to play football. So, by going through what I went through in my life, I know who I am as a person, so when I step out on the football field, this is just fun for me,: Said the rookie.
Carr’s first test is this Sunday against a New York Jets’ defense that will throw a lot of different looks at the young QB.
“He’s got a great blitz package,” Carr said in reference to Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan. “He’s got, obviously, a lot of different looks that he’ll show. Me being a rookie, he’s probably going to want to show them all. I go in and expect as much as I can, I expect everything. Then if something doesn’t happen, then I’ll be surprised. That’s how I have to prepare. I have to prepare for everything, even maybe for something he hasn’t shown but could show.”
Even though Carr says it’s just football. He grew up a Raiders’ fan, so his situation is unique and possibly a dream come true.
“Oh, yeah, no doubt,” Derek said. “That kid in you, when you’re finally a starting quarterback, one of 32 people in the world doing this job, it’s really cool. Don’t get me wrong about me saying it’s just football, I love what I do and that’s why I’m so passionate, that’s why I give everything I have to it. I just say it just because it’s not going to define who I am. But, absolutely. I was very excited. Don’t get that wrong, I was so excited, because growing up, my uncle was a Raider. I was so excited to be the quarterback, but in the end, I’ve got to go out and work,” Carr added.
Photo By Shawn Jonas
“You’ve got be all-in in every aspect of your life, that’s how I take it,” Carr said. “I’ve been around some good teams, I’ve been on some teams that weren’t good at all and I was the quarterback for all those teams. The one thing that I could say about the best teams that I was on, is that the people that were all-in to the program, on the field and off the field, and in life, were the best teams that I was on. Maybe not the most talented, but it was always the best teams that I was on because we would go out and play for each other. We weren’t playing selfishly, we weren’t playing because we wanted to be all-conference or now pro-bowlers or those kind of things. We were literally playing because we didn’t want to see the guy next to us fail. If we have that mindset, then it should be all good,” Carr added.
Carr will be the eighth different Week 1 starter for the Raiders in the last 10 seasons. He is the fourth in as many seasons.
According to The Elias Sports Bureau, the Raiders have not started a rookie QB in week 1 since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.