Quarterback Derek Carr
Third-year quarterback Derek Carr has been a poised leader for the Oakland Raiders this season. Through seven games, Carr has thrown 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions. The Raiders signal-caller has been clutch in the fourth quarter, and will have another opportunity to showcase his talent this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carr spoke with media members Wednesday to chat about the upcoming game, and how the team will prepare.
Here are the quick hits from his time at the podium:
**Carr talked about the importance of having punter Marquette King on the team, and how he's a game changer.
"It's huge because then as a quarterback, you don't have to think about, 'Oh man, we have to get five or six more yards on this completion on a 3rd-and-28,' you know? You don't have to think about those things because he can put it inside the 20 from anywhere on the field. It really takes the guess work and 'having to fit one in there' situation, when you probably shouldn't, out of it. And, that's the whole thing that [Head] Coach [Jack] Del Rio's been teaching me. We talk about a lot of situations like this, it's a team game, from the quarterback position you can use all aspects of the team and that's just one of them."
The third-year quarterback shared what it's like to have tackle Donald Penn protecting him, and genuinely caring about his job.
"Donald's [Penn] the best, man. He's like a big brother. He wants to protect me more than anything. He gets mad even if his guy, his finger touches my jersey and the balls out. So, when you got guys that it means that much to them to do their job and it means that much to them that it makes them sick, not only to have a sack but for those guys to even touch you, you know you have the right person protecting you."
Carr discussed how rookie wide receiver Johnny Holton is continuing to grow as a player.
"As a rookie, you as any rookie, it's a long season and the hard thing for a guy like Johnny is he is someone that gives everything that he has and this is going to be the longest that he's had to give everything that he has. From camp until the end of the year and he's just got to keep watching those guys, watch how they work, watch how they take care of their body's. I think that's the progression that if he continues to do that, he's going to be a really good player in this league."
He acknowledged the amount of talent on the Bucs' roster, and is prepared to take on the challenge.
"We have to show up, especially against a really good Tampa Bay football team. They're young, talented, fly around. Obviously, we see what they do on offense. I couldn't tell you what specifically they do, but on defense you see the talent everywhere and first-round picks. I think their first four picks were on the defensive side of the ball this year and you can see them out there. They have a lot of talent. We just have to stay focused. We can talk about the stats and the win-loss and all of that at the end of the year, but as of now, we've earned all that but it doesn't matter right now."
Carr continued to break down Tampa Bay's defense, specifically the secondary and what issues they present.
"Very athletic. [Brent] Grimes is one of the most, pound-for-pound one of the best athletes in this league. It's not even close. That guy can jump out of the gym, he can stop on a dime, makes it real tough. I played against him when he was in Miami, real good player. Very, very good player. The other guy, the rookie [Vernon Hargreaves], he's a real good player as well. You can see it, you can see why he's a first-round pick. You can see why he went to Florida, why he's a high school All-American, all of those things. You can see all of those things about him and you know why."