The Oakland Raiders offseason workout program begins Tuesday and today, QB Derek Carr and LB Khalil Mack took the podium to answer questions from the media.
Carr was noticeably excited about returning to work at the Raiders facility and preparing for the 2015 season with his teammates and coaches.
The second-year quarterback touched on several topics, but here are some of the highlights from his first press conference of 2015.
I. Ready for a Musgrave-style offense
The Oakland Raiders hired Bill Musgrave, most recently the Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach, to run the Silver and Black's offense. Musgrave's style of offense – an up-tempo, put the defense on their heels approach – is similar to the Carr-run Fresno State offense.
"I'm really excited, because just what I've heard and the things that we've talked about and what I assume, it is what I did at Fresno. It's something that I'm comfortable doing. The things that they want to do are things that I'm good at, and that's really cool, that they want to take the offense and say, 'Hey, let's make it good at what you do. Let's build it around you and let's put pieces there that you feel comfortable with,' and all that kind of stuff."
II. Evaluating his rookie season
Carr was the first Raiders rookie quarterback to start all 16 games and the young signal-caller was at the top of the rookie leader boards. Despite his success, Carr spent significant time during the offseason figuring out how to improve heading into his second season.
"The things that I wanted to go back and see, I did. Those were the things I needed to work on. My whole mindset, you guys know, is I want to win Super Bowls. How do we do that? Me, by myself, the way I do that is I have to get better personally…I went back and said, 'What do I need to get better at?', because the NFL game is way different than college. It's not like, 'Oh, I'll just keep doing the same thing.' You can't. I've got to change some things and I'm looking forward to seeing how that works."
III. The jump from year one to year two
"When Olie [former offensive coordinator and current Jacksonville Jaguars OC Greg Olson] and Flip [former quarterbacks coach and current Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo] left, what they told me is, 'The nicest thing about this time, it's your team now.' There's nothing to worry about, like 'When am I ever going to play? Is it this year? Next year? Three years?' It's your team. It's your turn to be the leader, be yourself…"
IV. Connecting with the Head Coach
"The first thing I thought is, 'Oh, he played before.' That's the first thing I thought. Really, with our whole coaching staff, we'd win a lot of fights with our coaching staff. The first thing I thought was that, and then the second thing was, 'This guy really cares about this organization.' That was really my one takeaway. I said I could really tell that this guy cared about me as a person, and I could really tell that he cared about the Raiders winning Super Bowls."
V. Team goals
"I guarantee you, whoever you talk to on our team feels that way. Our top two goals, we want to win the division and win the Super Bowl. That's all I'm playing for now. If we fall short of that, then to me, I need to work harder. That'll always be my mindset. Even when we do reach those goals, my mindset will be, 'OK, I need to work harder to get another one.' That's just my mindset and that's how I'll always be. I totally agree with him."