The Oakland Raiders opened up training camp on Friday and it was a different feeling for second-year quarterback Derek Carr this time around.
Last year, Carr entered camp as a second-round draft pick with expectations that he would be the future quarterback for the quarterback after Matt Schaub was done leaving his mark. But things didn’t turn out just that way.
Instead, Carr wound up beating out Schaub in training camp and earning the starting job for the season. Despite going 3-13 with the Raiders, Carr showed some promise as to why he could possibly be the missing franchise quarterback the Raiders have needed for so long.
Carr recognizes the difference between this season and last season.
“It’s just a totally different situation,” Carr said after Friday’s practice. “There’s no, ‘Hey, you’re the guy of the future.’ There’s none of that. It’s, ‘You’re the guy now.’ It’s kind of nice knowing that, because now I can really be myself, whereas when it was [Matt] Schaub’s team, there are certain things. You can’t step on his toes. You don’t want to get in the way. You want to let him do his thing. This time around it’s just been really different, especially having 16 games under my belt, not including the preseason experience. “
With that, the young quarterback knows he only has to focus on honing his skills.
“Just coming in, you just know it takes practice,” Carr said. “You’ve done it before, you’ve seen it and you can hit the ground running a lot faster. It’s not seeing new coverage for the first time or seeing a new blitz for the first time. You go out and just play.”
His coach, Jack Del Rio, is excited to get the opportunity to watch him grow.
“The biggest thing for us, is for Derek to continue to grow as a player,” Del Rio said. “He’s a super bright guy. To have the grasp of the offense the way he does, early, it’s huge. And you can only do that through him spending extra time on his own. So, I think the biggest thing is for him to continue growing as a player.”