The Raiders have been through a ton these past two years. A major injury ruined 2016’s dream season. They lost a coaching staff and two offensive coordinators after a disastrous 2017 campaign. They had several off-field incidents that brought distraction to their doorstep.
Rock star head coach Jon Gruden is in charge now, ready to lead a new era.
That’s a ton of turnover in a short stretch, creating tons of drama along the way.
Quarterback Derek Carr believes this Raiders roster doesn’t need a major overhaul. The Silver and Black do, however, need to find themselves again.
“We know what we’re capable of,” Carr said Friday on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio with Adam Schein. “We have so much talent on our team, but talent only gets you so far. We have to come together as a team like we never have. We have to hit a reset button after the emotional highs and lows we’ve been through. If you think about it, the last 24 months have been a roller coaster for us. We were so high winning 12 games (in 2016), and then I break my ankle and everyone goes down. Then we come back and start 2-0 (in 2017), and then it turns into a weird season.
“We have to hit a reset button. We know what we’re capable of. We know what it takes to win now. We’ve changed the culture. Coach (Jack) Del Rio came in and helped us do that along with our leadership. Anyone we add will be welcomed to the team and told, 'Hey, this is how we do things.' I don’t think we need to completely change things.”
Carr address other hot-button offseason topics, including Marshawn Lynch, Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. Here’s what he had to say about those guys:
Carr on Crabtree: “I really hope the best for out situation with him. I want Crab (here). I love him as a person, I really do. I love working with him, because we’re so competitive and we just want to win. …He loves football, he loves winning and he loves playing with me. I love playing with him. When we’re rolling, we feel we can do whatever we need to do. …I’m not worried about Crabtree. He’s going to give us everything he has and is going to compete his tail off just like he always does. I can’t wait to throw him the ball. He’s my brother. I love that guy.
Carr on Lynch: “We all know about his running style. He runs his tail off and gives it everything he has. As teammates, we know he’ll do whatever we need him to do for us. The way he picked up blitzes and studied those things, that’s selfless. …To be honest, some of the most intellectual conversations I’ve ever had, and some of the most knowledge and wisdom I’ve gained, was with Marshawn.
“I hope he is here. I hope he wants to come back, and that our organization wants to bring him back.”
Carr on Cooper: “He and I are learning how to communicate better and get done what we both want to get done. Our goal is to dominate. It’s a work in progress, and we hit and bump in the road, him and I. He would never tell you, but that man was out there playing on one foot. He was out there trying to battle for his teammates. A lot can be said about how it didn’t work out with stats and all those things, but I want to say I’ll roll with him any day of the week. He was trying to give it his all despite the fact he could barely get out there and do it. That’s the kind of guy I want to play with, and that’s how I know we’re going to be just fine.”