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Raiders’ Derek Carr still seeking respect

The Las Vegas Raiders loaded up this offseason, and for quarterback Derek Carr, the moment is now to prove himself to a nation.

Raider Nation doesn’t need any convincing, it’s the rest of the actual nation.

For Derek Carr, it’s been a long road. Since being drafted in the second round out of Fresno State in 2014, Carr has largely vacillated between being seen as decent and good, but rarely outside those confines. He has helped the Raiders earn two playoff berths in his career despite their extreme annual disfunction.

Entering 2022, Carr has a new opportunity. He was reunited with former Fresno State teammate Davante Adams this offseason, when Las Vegas traded first- and second-round picks for the All-Pro receiver. The Raiders also signed edge rusher Chandler Jones, hoping to bolster one of the league’s leakiest defenses from a year ago.


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Perhaps most importantly, Las Vegas hired former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as head coach, giving Carr an alley on the sideline. Between the infusion of McDaniels and Adams into the organization, Carr has a chance to shine in a way he’s often teased he can.

On Tuesday, the Raiders hosted a joint practice with the Patriots, and Carr talked about what he gleaned from the experience, per ESPN:

“Joint practices, they show more stuff [so] it’s not as vanilla. That’s something I’ve always loved about it. And when you practice [with] two coaches that know each other, too, I mean the guys are keeping each other safe. So you’re getting full speed to impact. You know who won the rep. I just love the different looks you get. It’s a different defense. It’s a different philosophy.

“I think you can get a lot accomplished, rather than just 14 or 15 snaps in a preseason game.”


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For Carr, success will now be measured by wins more than stats. The Raiders haven’t won the AFC West or a playoff game since 2002. Carr has only played in a single postseason game — last January — because the first time the Raiders went in his career, 2016, he sustained a fractured leg in Week 16.

But while wins are paramount for both legacy and respect, the stats count too. Carr has eclipsed 30 touchdown passes and 4,200 passing yards in a season only once, the latter coming with 4,804 last season. Can he post a career year with Adams, slot receiver Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller as targets?

The Raiders are finally surrounding Carr with stability and a real opportunity to thrive. It’s his moment to seize.

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