May 16, Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) takes the snap at rookie minicamp at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders Should Not Fear Starting Derek Carr


Sometimes the success or failure of a season rests on picking the right quarterback.  For the Oakland Raiders, they can’t afford to make a rash call.  It’s not about experience anymore.  It’s about choosing who deserves to play the most.

Dennis Allen cannot tie his boat to Matt Schaub based on the past

There was a reason the Raiders traded for quarterback Matt Schaub.  They felt that the former Houston Texans Pro Bowler deserved a fresh start after his ugly 2013 campaign and at age 32 has enough left in the tank to get the Raiders over the playoff hump for the first time in 12 years.  It seems like a perfectly sound strategy provided Schaub looks like he deserves that chance.  One elemental truth of the NFL is players don’t get recognition for past accomplishments, not until they retire.  Yes, Schaub went to two Pro Bowls and got Houston to the playoffs twice but those achievements have no bearing on the present.  What matters is whether Schaub looks like the best quarterback on the field.  If he doesn’t, he shouldn’t play.

Carr in very similar spot to Russell Wilson

That is why there may be internal belief among the Oakland Raiders that rookie 2nd round pick Derek Carr has a chance to push for the starting job.  Carr has the tools to play in the NFL from the cannon arm to good height and command of the huddle.  His drawbacks are all nitpicks regarding his thinner frame and inexperience in a pro style offense.  In many ways Carr sits in a similar position as Seattle Seahawks starter Russell Wilson. A 3rd round pick in 2012, nobody really expected much from him as a rookie coming out of Wisconsin.  Yet by the time the preseason started Wilson had performed so well in training camp and his preseason games that head coach Pete Carroll was forced to consider starting him over high-priced trade acquisition Matt Flynn.  The results speak for themselves.  So what happens if Derek Carr does the same thing?  Say he begins to draw the attention of teammates in training camp and then outperforms Matt Schaub during the preseason.  Will Dennis Allen have the guts to do what Carroll did or will he stay the course and go with experience?

One thing about winning in the NFL is the ability to manage fear.  Derek Carr is a rookie.  There is no disputing that fact.  Starting a rookie is as risky as it gets.  Still, if the Oakland Raiders want to win they have to play their best players.  That should not exclude the quarterback position.

Tags: Dennis Allen Derek Carr Featured Matt Schaub Oakland Raiders Popular Russell Wilson

  • James Schroeder

    I believe there is competition at every position. They all push each other for that starting role and the quarterback position isn’t any different. Of course the Raiders would like Matt Schaub to resurrect his career in Oakland so that Derek Carr will have an opportunity to learn and develop his skills set before he is thrown into the fire. Remember, although Carr had great numbers (overall) in his college career, he had the worst rating amongst any college quarterback while under pressure. He will get better at this and develop into the Raiders future quarterback, but for now he has a long ways to go. There will be people that will have us believe that Schaub is being pushed. I would expect him to be pushed and I’m sure even he would expect to be pushed. That’s the whole purpose of the off-season programs this so that they’ll push each other to bring out the best in one another. Just like any other football team the Raiders want to put the best players on the field and even the quarterback position isn’t safe. With that said, yes it will take a catastrophic event for Derek to beat out Matt. Impossible NO but certainly unlikely

    • Erik Lambert

      Valid points, James. I’m merely leaving it open that if Carr outperforms Schaub the Raiders can’t let fear stop them from giving him the football.

      • James Schroeder

        To your point I will say this. I would only not fear putting in Carr if the new O-line proves they can offer him ample protection. If he doesn’t have that and he falters, that could shatter his confidence as a first-year rookie. Remember he doesn’t have the mobility to get himself out of pressure situations like Russell Wilson does he is a pure pocket passer and will rely heavily on that offensive line. I think he’ll be fine, but with any new player only time will tell.

        • Erik Lambert

          That’s a fundamental truth regardless. If the Raiders don’t pass protect, it won’t matter who is under center.

          • Chris Schroeder

            That is true with the quarterbacks currently on the Raiders roster, but with a mobile quarterback the level of protection wouldn’t need to as good. That is also is a fundamental truth. Jonny Football is the perfect example of that philosophy. Russell Wilson, Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Michael Vick are all quarterbacks who could thrive even with an average O-line as opposed to a pocket passer who needs an above average to great O-line in order to allow his receivers time to get open, otherwise they’re more subjected to QB sacks, fumbles, hurry up throws which lead to interceptions. So I believe a good O-line is imperative for the Raiders specifically because they do not have a mobile quarterback on the roster. IMO!

  • trinity

    If I was a raiders fan, i would want Carr in sooner rather than later. Schaub was just a tragedy last season. and sure, he could bounce back. But the reason I’m not confident is because it wasn’t all physical mistakes by him. He seemed mentally shot and his confidence looked shattered. That’s far worse than just making mistakes.

    • James Schroeder

      “A tragedy” just curious. Did you watch any of his games last season? He was picked off by Tremain Brock, Alterraun Verner, Daryl Smith, and Richard Sherman. Most of these happened late in the fourth quarter and two of them against the top two defenses in the NFL against some of the best defensive backs in the game. Also, he was on the verge of beating Seattle “the defending Super Bowl champs” and literally just fell short with the pick 6 to Sherman which eventually led to the Seahawks winning in overtime. These pick 6′s all took place when Matt Schaub was under extreme pressure and broken offensive line protection, and poor route running and lack of effort by his receivers as is clear on film. To top it all off he wasn’t even allowed to call audibles at the line of scrimmage because of Gary Kubiak. A tragedy Matt Schaub certainly was not for the Texans.

      • trinity

        Yes, I did watch. If that’s your opinion, ok. My personal opinion is that I don’t care what players picked him off, what quarter he was picked off in, and I don’t care if he was under pressure because all that says is that he folded disastrously under pressure. What matters to me is that this guy continually gave the other teams points directly from his hands. I agree kubiak played a part. But one could argue that the mistake that cost him his job was sticking with schaub even after the team was crumbling around him. How he does in Oakland remains to be seen. I am not confident however. Time will tell.

        • Dannee Frey

          IF I WAS A RAIDERS FAN

          Then who are you a fan of?

          • trinity

            Broncos and saints. Saints are my hometown team, and Peyton is the reason I started liking football. Why?

          • Dannee Frey

            My first question is… Why are you in a raiders post, and then discuss my team?

          • trinity

            Lol because they aren’t my favorite team, I can’t know about their players and have
            An opinion? That makes no sense. I comment on just about every team, because I’m knowledgeable about just about every team.

          • Dannee Frey

            You didn’t say you had a favorite team!!! Again, who did you pull for in the Colts-Saints bowl?

          • trinity

            Lol that was a hard fucking game for me. It was a tough decision but I went with my hometown boys

          • Dannee Frey

            That’s like me saying I don’t know who to root for when Gruden (who I love and miss) coached against raiders! This is my guess… You are between 18-24 and have never strapped on a helmet? There is no way a true fan can have multiple teams and then to go against the reason you like the game in the first place (Peyton). Therefore, whatever you say has no creditibility. I think a broncos saints fan (what ever you are) should just keep your lack of knowledge comments to yourself and go ask Manning how he’s gonna beat the Seahawks!!!!

          • trinity

            Lol hey, whatever you say bro :). We’ll see who is without knowledge when schaub takes the field. Best of luck lol.

          • Dannee Frey

            Did you notice team was singular and not plural?

          • Dannee Frey

            Oh ok, you have two favorite teams. Broncos…!!! Saints. So who did you pull for during Colts-Saints bowl game?

  • ReddFox

    I’d like to see Carr sit if possible.

    • Erik Lambert

      Hey if Schaub proves he should start, by all means. But there is no reason to hold Carr back if he’s the best quarterback in camp. That wouldn’t be fair to the team.

      • ReddFox

        We won’t know that until the Season Starts and real bullets start to fly.

  • raider_nation

    Coach DA will put the best player out there who could win games, ( Pryor over high priced Flynn.) No doubt about it.

  • Frank

    Schaub will not let a rookie beat him out he has too much experience. This isn’t the first time he’s ben pushed by a rookie. It’s good for Carr to sit and learn for a couple of years while Schaub is leading us to the playoffs. We all seen what happen when Russel was thrown into the fire. Go Raiders kick some donkey butt.

  • scout Brown

    Kedrick Rhodes west Alabama running back how could the nil miss on a great back like him