The Oakland Raiders are out to prove they can be a team that deserves to be in the mix come 2015 post season. For those who use recent history and performance stats as the guide it might not look so good for this coming season since the Raiders haven’t put together a season above the 500 mark since way back before 2005. Ten years is a loooooong time especially for ardent Raiders fans. Over the past decade the organization as a whole would be hard pressed not to take the brunt of the blame as their strategies- or lack there-of- have produced little by way of draft picks, executive leadership out of the front office, coaching hires, free agent selection, the list goes on. The good news is that there is a palpable change in the air and as of this moment in time the franchise and its leaders seem to be aggressively adapting new tactics to make the turnaround believable and somewhat feasible.
The first and obvious bright spot includes freshly minted QB leader Derek Carr and his impressive showing in his first NFL which was the 2014 season. Is it time to discuss “franchise QB or is it a bit premature? A lot of eggs in that basket. Good news is he’s now healthy, apparently continuing to improve, and getting more comfortable as a team leader. He seems to be outwardly prepared to step into the 2015 season with a full season as a starter under his belt and a core of key position support to make some good things happen.
"Carr's ceiling is high," writes ESPN Raiders reporter Bill Williamson. "The No. 36 overall draft pick in 2014, Carr was the only rookie quarterback to start all 16 games last season. He threw 21 touchdown passes and just 12 interceptions. The Raiders and scouts around the league love his potential and think he can become an above-average player."
Carr is certainly a long way from being a shoe-in in terms of production. He definitely has several question marks to be sure. His stats in some areas such as pass completion rate need significant improvement. It was the bottom of the NFL heap in 20145.but for the optimistic he went the season minus the big play offensive receivers and running backs support last season. This is an area the Raiders have definitely addressed with key talent contributions at both positions including Cooper and Crabtree. The tape shows that Carr had solid pass protection from his offensive line, but he was a rookie finding his way, searching for rhythm, and he never came to embrace looking deep where bigger plays can live. This is one area pegged for improvement if Carr hopes to be the kind of quarterback the industry demands. Acquiring the right types of deep threat talent as the Raiders have done, will make that hurdle easier to overcome.
Carr’s work ethic and ability to prepare well seem to serve him well as a growing QB in the new faster paced scheme of the Raider offense. It appears the Raiders Carr has matured enough and seen enough time to entrust in him the ability to stretch the offensive attach with more no-huddle which relies on the quarterback making the call in the midst of chaos-like situations more often. Carr does have no-huddle experience which is good but it was in college so we’ll have to wait and see if that experience translates over to the NFL.
Between players like Cooper, Walford, and Murray the Oakland Raiders do have athletes with the positional skills to make some headway in the 2015 season. But there’s a difference between speculation and action on the field so we’ll look to see Carr make the talk a reality in just a couple months from now. Good Luck
Scott Davis publishes several websites and blogs about the Raiders, Charity Work, And Business. check out other raider info and images on his additional social sites