Quarterback Derek Carr
Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Kirk Morrison recently appeared on 95.7 The Game's Mornings with Chad, Joe, & Lo. During his time on the air, he discussed the possibility of a potential Raider playoff run and the team as a well-balanced unit coming into the upcoming NFL 2016 season.
Here are a few highlights from his interview.
**Morrison praised the Raiders for all the work they've put in recently, but in order to succeed, the team needs to continue building on its foundation.
"I think everybody sees that the expectations are definitely there, obviously for what they've done in the offseason. With all the signings, they had a great draft class, free agency, all of that, but I think now is a time where this team has to start from the ground up. Still have a foundation, set that, and then just go out there and win games and let everything kind of just happen."
Quarterback Derek Carr's improvement over the past two seasons has been substantial, but Morrison thinks that this is the year he can fully blossom into an elite quarterback.
"He's in that same category as [Minnesota Vikings quarterback] Teddy Bridgewater. Its guys who we saw in year one, you said you saw the talent, you said these guys can play, and in year two you saw a little bit of the ups and downs, but you saw the improvement. Well this is year three, year three in the National Football League is where the light bulb goes off, it is either you get it or you don't. I think this is that year that Derek can take off, and it's really about what does this team allow him to do, as far as the offense."
He acknowledged the defensive prowess and the amount of talent the team has sitting beneath the surface.
"Defensively they now have the depth, that's the one thing they've never had is depth, meaning 'hey a front line starter goes down the next guy goes in,' and there's a big drop off, they don't have that drop off now. The competition is there, especially defensively, to the point where I think that when you look at the offensive side Derek and the guys can really score points, but you don't have to put the game in Derek's hands."
Morrison pointed out how Coach Del Rio's influence has made this a balanced group of young men, and they don't need to rely on one guy to get the job done.
"I think really because of the mentality of [Head Coach] Jack Del Rio and playing for him, I played with a guy named [quarterback] David Gerrard when Del Rio was our head coach in Jacksonville, very similar. There comes a point some times when Jack says, 'hey we're going to win the game off these things,' but then there will be a game where he says 'you know what Derek go win us this football game.' To me it's going to be a game by game basis, but the good thing about it is I feel that this team can handle that situation now. Where in years past if you said, 'hey Derek go win us the game,' you'd say, 'hey I don't know,' but I think he has the maturity this year, in year three, that he can finally do that."