Jon Gruden credits Derek Carr for hanging tough through constant pressure


Jon Gruden credits Derek Carr for hanging tough through constant pressure

ALAMEDA — Derek Carr is getting sacked more now than any point in NFL career, likely more than his days as an amateur.

The Raiders quarterback was sacked five times in Sunday’s 30-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, bring his season total to 47. That’s a career high by a ton, with two more games to add to the tally.

Carr’s previous high was 31 in 2015, which isn’t too many at all. This year’s total ranks third in the NFL, and it’s an especially shocking number, considering how quick he gets rid of the football.

Add 22 quarterback hits to the 47 sacks, and Carr has taken quite a beating this season.

“I think he’s hanging in there,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. “No question, I am sure he is sore. He knows he is carrying us right now on offense. That’s what a franchise quarterback is paid to do, but we are doing everything we can to support him, to try and put him in position to audible at the line of scrimmage, fix problems, and move the football and ultimately win games. He really has had us in position to win a lot of these games. It’s a credit to him.”

Carr isn’t one to criticize, let alone those who get zero credit for keeping him upright. He always was thankful for the offensive lines that now-former general manager Reggie McKenzie spent significant funds creating, with Donald Penn, Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson and a veteran right tackle.

Now the Raiders have rookies on both flanks and a full-on injury plague attacking both sides of Hudson.

Carr has been on the injury report once with an ankle injury, but he hasn’t missed a start. The quarterback has improved orchestrating Gruden’s system, and has stellar stats, though not enough wins to show for it.

It’s hard to blame the quarterback for the Raiders' struggles most weeks, especially with the talent base crumbling around him during Gruden’s tear down/rebuild.

“I think Derek has played great,” Gruden said. “Somebody told me he had 3,700 yards and 68 percent completions in 13 games. That’s astonishing. With three new guards, losing a right tackle, a featured back, three top receivers. The guy is a hell of a player. The guy is a great quarterback.

”We are very pleased and proud of what he has done. We know we got to get better around him, and that we will.”

The Raiders must add depth to their offensive front, developing young tackles Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker while importing veteran competition on the right. The receiver corps must be overhauled, with maybe some help a running back as well.

The goal is to finish this season strong, and prepare for a 2019 campaign where Carr should be the starting quarterback working his second year with Gruden.

“We’re going to finish the right way,” Carr said. “We have two more, and we’re going to bring it.”

Source: Curtis Riley agrees to contract with Raiders to help secondary

Source: Curtis Riley agrees to contract with Raiders to help secondary

The Raiders continued fleshing out their secondary on Friday agreeing on terms of a contract with safety Curtis Riley, a source said. The former New York Giant visited the team’s Alameda facility on Thursday and left without a deal, but he ended up taking the Raiders offer despite interest from other teams.

Riley hinted at a pact on Twitter, saying he was coming to the Bay Area. He’ll exchange coasts after starting all 16 games at free safety with last year’s Giants. He had 75 tackles, four interceptions and five pass breakups for that squad.

He’ll have an opportunity to play significant snaps in the Raiders secondary. High-priced free-agent signing Lamarcus Joyner is also a free safety but is expected to play slot cornerback regularly in 2019, likely shuttling back and forth between positions.

Riley could step in as the free safety in sub packages that defenses spend significant time in nowadays. Erik Harris will compete for that role opposite strong safety Karl Joseph.

The Raiders have options in the secondary now, with the aforementioned safeties and depth at cornerback. Gareon Conley’s a virtual lock to start at one outside cornerback spot. Daryl Worley’s expected to return on a second-round free-agent tender, through Thursday’s signing Nevin Lawson will compete for time there as well. Last year’s fourth-round pick Nick Nelson will have to fight for time with this new defensive back depth chart.

The Raiders could well draft another defensive back as well, especially if a good one slips and becomes a great value pick.

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News of Riley’s agreement should excite quarterback Derek Carr. Riley’s a fellow Fresno State alum and was teammates with Carr in 2013.

The Raiders also had interest in George Iloka, who played with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in Cincinnati. Iloka visited the Raiders complex Thursday but left without a deal and scheduled other visits. 

How Jordan Devey signing gives Raiders versatile offensive line depth

How Jordan Devey signing gives Raiders versatile offensive line depth

The Raiders hope Rodney Hudson plays every single offensive snap in 2019. He might be the league’s best center, and is the unquestioned leader along the offensive front.

They need a Plan B, even if they never hope to use it. Jon Feliciano was the primary reserve at guard and center, leaving a void upon signing with the Buffalo Bills.

Jordan Devey will fill it. The former Kansas City Chief signed a one-year contract with the Raiders on Thursday, the team announced, adding depth and versatility to an overhauled front.

Devey spent parts of five NFL seasons with New England, the 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, primarily as a reserve guard. He played more center over the past two seasons, and has some tackle work on his resume. Devey finished last season on injured reserve with a pectoral issue

Offensive line coach Tom Cable prizes versatility, especially with a need on the inside. Second-year pro Brandon Parker is expected to be a swing tackle.

Kolton Miller and Trent Brown will be starting tackles, with Hudson at center. Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good look like starting guards at this time.

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Devey was clean cut Thursday when signing with the Raiders, but he rocked a pretty serious mullet last season in Kansas City.