QB Derek Carr impressed the National Football League when he became the Raiders starter Week 1 and played in all 16 games for the Silver and Black. Carr finished his rookie season with 3,270 passing yards and 21 touchdowns.
Just a year ago, the Fresno State-product participated in Jon Gruden's quarterback camp. The young signal-caller impressed the former head coach and current ESPN analyst at that time, and continued to impress him throughout the 2014 season.
"I just love the way he took control of the football team," said Gruden. "Looked like he was in complete control as a leader. He didn't look like he was pressing at all. He looked like he had very good command."
"Looked like he was in complete control as a leader. He didn't look like he was pressing at all. He looked like he had very good command."
The Raiders struggled throughout most of the season, but Carr never backed down. The rookie QB continued to improve despite facing adversity. "If you look at the last three or four games, they speak for themselves, against a very good Kansas City Chief team, against an outstanding 49er defense, even though they were shorthanded at some positions," Gruden explained. "I like the way he finished. I like the way he competes, from the start to the end of every game. He's much more athletic than people realize. And he has a cannon."
Gruden sees the potential in Carr and believes once a few pieces are added, the offense will be far more successful. "And if they can just continue on the path that they're on, adding good players and maybe a couple more guys to that skill set of receivers, the Raiders, once again, they can make their way back," said Gruden. "I'm excited for the Raiders as an ex-Oakland Raider myself. I really am impressed with Carr. I really root for him."
"I'm excited for the Raiders as an ex-Oakland Raider myself. I really am impressed with Carr. I really root for him."
The Raiders are full-go in their offseason workout program and Carr is taking the reins as the leader of the offense and of the Silver and Black. In just a few days, the team will grow through the 2015 NFL Draft. There are a lot of questions heading into the 2015 season, but Gruden, and much of the league, know that the Raiders have found their leader and their quarterback.