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Player Profile: Derek Carr


The Raiders selected QB Derek Carr in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Photo by Tony Gonzales

The Oakland Raiders drafted who they hope to be the quarterback of the future – QB Derek Carr – with their second round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Carr, out of Fresno State, totaled 12,482 yards, 1,086 completions and 113 touchdowns, all of which are Mountain West Conference records. He led the nation in total offense (5,199 yards), total passing yards (5,082 yards) and passing touchdowns (50) as a senior in 2013.

The 6'3", 214-pound quarterback joined a veteran quarterback room when he arrived in Oakland at the beginning of May. QB Matt Schaub is entering his 11th NFL season and is slated to be the Raiders starter. QB Matt McGloin started six games for the Silver and Black in 2013 during his rookie season and QB Trent Edwards has started 33 games as he enters his sixth NFL season.

All of that experience is beneficial to Carr as he acclimates to the highest level of football. "It helps a lot because you get to see the tempo they do things, the standard and all those kind of things," said Carr. "There's nothing like experience and NFL-wise I have none, so it's nice to watch those guys work at practice and learn things from them. It'll only makes me better and ultimately we help each other get better."

Carr grew up in Bakersfield, Calif., where he was exposed to football at an early age. His brother, David, was the No. 1 overall selection of the 2002 NFL Draft and played for 11 seasons. While David never played for the Raiders, Derek was no stranger to the Silver and Black.

Although he'd worn Raiders gear many times before, putting his very own jersey on and running out to the field for the first time was an entirely new and exciting experience. "I have worn Raiders gear a lot before, but being able to put my own jersey, my own helmet, on for the first time, run out to the practice field, it was surreal," said Carr. "It was kind just like I was out here just playing around until I saw [Justin] Tuck walking around, talked to Tuck, [Darren] McFadden…Talking to all these guys it's like, 'wow, we're really teammates now.' It was surreal but it was exciting to work with those guys."

His surreal experience really began when he received the phone call from the Raiders Draft Room on the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft. "As soon as I saw the 510 area code, I just got so excited because I knew what that meant and I knew they were on the clock next," said Carr. "So my whole family, they all shouted out, but then they had to be quiet at the same time. It was real exciting."

Ever since that day, Carr has been solely focused on being the best teammate and player he can be for the Silver and Black. "I'm definitely giving this job and this opportunity everything that I have and no one is a harder critic on myself than me," said Carr. "I'm going to go out and try to be my best, try and do my best, and give these fans what they deserve. I'm going to do everything I can to help this team and help us get us to a championship level and I feel like they deserve one."

His work ethic and talent has not gone unnoticed through the offseason program.  "He's progressing well," said Schaub. "A lot thrown at him in a short period of time, but I feel like he's handled it well and he's handled the group well. There's always stuff you continue to work on no matter if you're a rookie or an 11-year player. But he's progressing nicely, understands what to do and how to call the plays. That's always a tough thing, getting out of the huddle with young players. But he's progressed really well."

Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson feels comfortable giving Carr extra snaps in practice after seeing what the young quarterback can do. "He's a guy that's got a great amount of confidence. He's an extremely intelligent player," said Coach Olson. "He's one of those guys that you don't feel the game is too big for him. There's not any anxiety or nervousness when he enters the huddle. He's a very mature player and, because of that, we felt after being around him that we should accelerate that learning curve for this player. Let's give him a chance to get in there with the one and two huddle and see how he does."

As Carr progresses, he never lets himself feel satisfied because he always wants to be better. "I'm not satisfied with being all right or just good," he said. "I want to push myself to be the best that I can at everything. I try not to ever let myself get comfortable."

His desire to always improve speaks to the style of play fans at Fresno State witnessed throughout his college career. "Passionate – whatever it takes to win," said Carr. "I'm not big into stats and those kind of things; I'm all about whatever I can do to help the team win, whether it's a fake after I hand the ball off, whether it's how I prepare…Whatever I can do, however I can help us win."

Although Carr was the leader of his college team, he never let that role go to his head. It was always about the team. And now, as a Raider, it's the same mindset. "I'm just really just focused on trying to be a great teammate and trying to be a better quarterback each and every day."

Carr prides himself on being a great teammate, and that loyalty carries over to his life off the field. "I'm definitely loyal, a person of integrity. What you see is what you get; it doesn't change. I'm a very faithful person, obviously to my faith, my wife, my family, my friends."

His own focus on loyalty makes him appreciate the Raider Nation even more. "They're diehard; they love their team," said Carr. "I can't tell you how happy I am to be a part of it because obviously we have the best fans in the world. I've said that before and I'm definitely sticking to it now."


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