Quarterback Derek Carr
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been performing at an MVP-caliber level, according to sports analysts around the league. The third-year quarterback has led the team to a 4-1 start, and on multiple occasions this season he's come up clutch in the closing minutes of games. The Raiders signal-caller was back at practice Wednesday, and shared his thoughts on another important division game this week.
Here are the quick hits from his media session:
**Carr expressed his competitive nature and how he loves having pressure on his shoulders in clutch situations.
"Absolutely. That's the way I love to play. I love having a lot put on my back. I like having… Any quarterback does. [Offensive coordinator] coach [Bill] Musgrave talks to me about his time with Matt Ryan, how he loved that and how we're similar in that way. We just love that kind of stuff. I absolutely love it."
He shared that he doesn't feel pressured when making executive decisions on fourth downs, and noted he had a good chuckle with a couple of his coaches.
"No, I just know that as soon as the ball goes up, I laugh because I know what they were thinking like, 'We didn't call that.' (*laughing). *It's just funny. It's nothing outside the framework of what they want me to do or being aggressive and those kinds of things. I would never do that kind of stuff, be an insubordinate. I'm not like that. I try and stay in the framework and run the offense the way coach Musgrave and [quarterbacks] coach [Todd] Downing want it."
The third-year quarterback explained that Head Coach Jack Del Rio's coaching decisions fuel and motivate the players to perform well.
"To us, I've said this before, it just gives us confidence. I don't know if it makes us feel any certain type of way but it definitely gives us confidence that he trusts us in fourth-and-2, fourth-and-short, backed up, two-point conversions. He trusts us to execute. There's a lot riding on us to execute, but there's no heightened sense of, 'Oh, we have to do this.' It's just like that's how coach wants it done."
**Carr talked about the growth and development of Amari Cooper, and areas that the second-year wide receiver has improved in.
"It's hard to say his route-running because it was good when he first got here, but he's cleaning everything up. We were actually just sitting there having lunch together talking about how he and I can practice better together, just trying to figure out anything. That's the way we've grown the most is our communication. That stems from obviously being together, being around each other for a while, growing in that way."
He praised Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters and his relentless attitude on the field, but is eager to face him this Sunday.
"He's aggressive, a playmaker, great hands, great ball skills as DB [defensive back]. Anytime a corner has great ball skills, you have to be careful with those 50-50 chance balls. You have to be careful in that aspect, but it's the same way whenever we play all of those top corners, which he is one of. I'm just going to go out there and play my game regardless of who's standing where."