Derek Carr explains what being Raiders' starting quarterback means to him

Derek Carr explains what being Raiders' starting quarterback means to him

Derek Carr is entering his sixth season as the starting quarterback of the Raiders. 

Drafted with the No. 36 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Carr has been the face of the Silver and Black for more than half a decade. An honor that means more to him than he can fully describe. 

"This is something that I dreamed of as a kid," Carr told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio. "When I grew up it was Cowboys and Raiders. That's all I knew, you know? I want to leave a legacy here. I don't just want to be someone who, "Oh yeah, he used to play here.' I want to be one of those guys that when you think of the Raiders that I'm one of the guys you think about. That's why I just continually give this city and this organization every bit of my energy."

Carr has had an up-and-down tenure in Oakland. He was seen as the hottest young quarterback in the NFL during the 2016 season, but his production has dipped over the last two campaigns.

Still, the Fresno State product has put up numbers, and currently is just 340 yards and 29 touchdowns shy of breaking Raiders passing records set by Kenny Stabler. Being mentioned in the same breath as the Raiders legend is special for Carr. 

"Honestly, that gives me goosebumps," Carr said. "That was my dad's favorite player growing up. That's all I heard about growing up. The Snake. That was it. ... To be in that position, in that conversation, to take that next step, I will do it with honor, respect, with gratitude to his family and just to honor him."

Stabler won Super Bowl XI with the Raiders and universally is recognized as one of the best players to ever don the silver and black. Carr wishes he and Stabler, who died in 2015, could sit down and talk so he could ask Stabler a myriad of questions, but one in particular.

"I would ask him, 'what did it mean to you to be the Raiders' quarterback?'" Carr said. "I want to know what made his heart -- just every day he woke up -- say, 'I love this place.' I want to know what made him tick. What made him, through the dogs days of camp, continually wear the silver and black. Through the hard times, the good times, what made him tick? You know, 'Mr. Stabler, what did you love about being the Raiders' quarterback?'"

As the Raiders prepare to kick off the 2019 season -- likely their last campaign before they leave Oakland for Las Vegas -- Carr has more weapons at his disposal than at any other point in his career.

Head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock revamped the offense in the offseason by trading for Antonio Brown, signing Tyrell Williams, drafting Josh Jacobs and Hunter Renfrow and signing right tackle Trent Williams to keep Carr upright.

Couple the new additions with another offseason to learn Gruden's complex offensive scheme and many believe Carr and the Bay Area pirates could have an explosive offensive season. 

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After a disappointing 2018 season that saw Carr and Gruden heavily criticized for the Raiders' lackluster performance, QB1 of the Silver and Black is out to silence critics of him and his team this year.

The campaign to silence the doubters begins in earnest Sept. 9 when the Raiders open the season on "Monday Night Football" against the Denver Broncos.

New Raiders receiver Trevor Davis working hard to be ready vs. Vikings

New Raiders receiver Trevor Davis working hard to be ready vs. Vikings

ALAMEDA – Trevor Davis went to Cal and is from Martinez, but hasn’t spent time at home since the Raiders traded for him Wednesday afternoon.

He went straight from Green Bay to the Silver and Black’s training complex, immediately immersing himself in the Raiders' schemes.

He doesn’t have much time, after all, to get ready for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. That’s why this trade isn’t a homecoming quite yet.

“I’m locked in at the hotel, in my playbook the whole time,” Davis said. “Going back and forth [to Martinez] is too far for me.”

The Raiders need Davis to get adjusted quickly, with return man/reserve receiver Dwayne Harris likely out a stretch with an ankle injury. He could take on Harris’ role on the team right away.

Harris is a return man first. While getting up to speed offensively by Sunday may be tough, it’s realistic to think Davis could return right away.

“It’s much more simplistic when comparing special teams to offense, so it’s easier to plug yourself into that,” Davis said. “That’s why I might be more ready to hop in there on special teams. Hopefully I’m involved in both soon, but I’m preparing to be ready for anything.”

Return help is a given for Davis, but the Raiders need receiving depth pretty badly. Ryan Grant hasn’t produced early on, J.J. Nelson has dealt with an ankle injury and Keelan Doss is a work in progress.

Davis can certainly help stretch the field with pure speed, something sorely needed in the pattern. He’s trying to use each moment to overcome the challenges of integrating to a new team during the season, including enlisting former Packer and current Raiders backup quarterback DeShone Kizer to tutor him in this scheme.

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Davis admitted he never saw the move coming, but hopes to make the most of his time back home.

“You have to come in and be ready for anything,” Davis said. “The NFL is like that. Everything can change in a blink of an eye. I was all the way across the country 24 hours ago. Now I’m here, and I need to put my best foot forward and show these coaches what I can do.”

Raiders plan to expand Josh Jacobs' role in passing game moving forward

Raiders plan to expand Josh Jacobs' role in passing game moving forward

ALAMEDA -- Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is off to a strong start. His snap counts suggest he’s the Silver and Black’s clear-cut feature back, taking most of the carries through two games.

He’s worthy of them, having churned out 184 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries. A total of 11 carries have resulted in first downs, per analytics site Pro Football Focus, with four rushes of 10-plus yards. That includes a 51-yarder through the right side and down the boundary on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Jacobs has done everything well thus far, though there’s one thing he hasn’t been asked to do much.

Jacobs has only been targeted once in the passing game despite 22 total snaps as a receiver, and he caught it and ran for a 28-yard pickup. The Alabama product simply hasn't been out on obvious passing downs, either.

Secondary backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington have only been targeted five times for 28 yards on four receptions.

Jacobs has played 68 snaps from the backfield while Washington and Richard have 43 combined, with a significant portion of those snaps given while Jacobs was getting an IV versus Kansas City.

Jacobs' light receiving load has raised some eyebrows, considering his prowess catching passes out of the backfield.

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There’s some thought that the team might be saving that option for an important moment down the line. The Raiders, however, clearly want to unleash their first-round draft pick’s full potential.

“It’s still early in the season, early in the process,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “We’re happy with Josh Jacobs and the way he’s running the football. When we have put the ball in his hands, he has produced. We’ll look to expand his role as well.”