Raider Nation, let’s agree that the recent buzz surrounding the team has grown tiresome, especially for the players.
Wednesday afternoon, tight end Lee Smith – who doesn’t often speak with the media – asked to speak with reporters to put the rumors and speculation swirling to rest. He addressed the “ridiculous” and “laughable” attacks on quarterback Derek Carr, reaffirming his support and trust in the team’s signal caller.
"Attacking his character, attacking him as a leader on this football team is a joke,” Lee stated sternly. “I hope that everyone hears me loud and clear at what a joke it is. It’s frustrating. It’s annoying, and it’s laughable and not fair to him."
No one on the team is denying the Raiders subpar start in 2018; 1-5 is not where Smith, or any of his teammates expected to be at this juncture. Smith said Wednesday that there is no problem with accountability when it comes to Carr and his production.
“I think there’s a lot of us that need to get better, we’re 1-5, and Seattle was ugly,” Smith said. “I don’t think there’s any hiding that it was an ugly football game from just about everybody on the field. Derek was running for his life, we couldn’t run the ball, we couldn’t throw the ball, and we couldn’t do much good anywhere. Our field position was terrible all day, so I think all of us need to look at each other. Derek is always going to come in here and tell us when he needs to play better, that’s something that he does on a daily basis.”
It’s all about accountability, and right now the players on the Silver and Black – according to Smith – have no problem looking in the mirror and facing the reality of the situation. The team needs to play better, and getting a win Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts would go a long way. It won’t get the Raiders back to .500, but as long as the players continue to band together and trudge through the mud, I’m confident they’ll come out of it on the other side.
You can watch Smith’s full statement, below.