AFC West Notes: Derek Carr, Chargers, Raiders

     

Derek Carr

Raiders QB Derek Carr says one of the biggest lessons for him in adjusting to the NFL has been to tune out the noise. Carr is still looking to firmly establish himself as a franchise quarterback to some and has sometimes struggled to ignore criticism from media members who question if HC Jon Gruden believes in him. Those rumors weren’t helped by the Raiders working out some of the draft’s top quarterbacks, but in the end the Raiders passed and Carr is their unquestioned starter in 2019. 

“I don’t know why people come at our relationship so much,” Carr said via NBC Sports’ Scott Bair. “What people don’t know is that we’re super close. We’re going to live next to each other (in Nevada next year). There must be something going on that’s all right. For us, at first when we started hearing it, we couldn’t figure it out … We finally got to a place where, even if they don’t like us, let’s keep growing and keeping doing our thing.”

The Raiders made major investments in Carr’s skill position players this offseason, most notably trading for WR Antonio Brown. However, if Carr doesn’t lift Oakland out of the top portion of the draft this season, the quarterback rumors will persist, particularly given the 2020 crop and the Raiders’ impending move to Las Vegas. 

“Last year was some of the best I’ve played quarterback since I’ve been in the NFL, but we didn’t win 12 games,” Carr said. “When you’re the same face for the last six years and everyone else is gone, people don’t have anyone else to point at. They think, ‘it’s got to be that guy.’ He’s the constant. I was also the constant when we were winning, but that’s being quarterback in the NFL. You get a lot of blame. You get a lot of credit. It’s part of the deal. For me, I know who I am. My coaches know what I can do. My teammates know what I can do. If they believe in me, then let’s roll.”

Chargers

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says his sense regarding Chargers holdout RB Melvin Gordon is that he ultimately caves and returns with the team perhaps sweetening the deal a little from their offer of $10 million per season.

Raiders

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says Raiders first-round S Johnathan Abram reminds him “a lot” of Rodney Harrison because of his energy and aggressiveness. 
  • Raiders HC Jon Gruden declined to discuss reports of WR Antonio Brown having frostbite on his feet: “I’m not going to get into the nature of his feet. I’m just not.” (Tafur)
  • Raiders G Gabe Jackson was carted off from joint practices with the Rams with a leg injury. Jackson could not put pressure on his leg and had to be carted off. (Michael Gehlken)
  • Gruden didn’t have any further updates besides saying Jackson was rolled up on and it could be serious: “We’re concerned about it.” (Scott Bair)

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