For the backup position that is.
It’s funny how things tend to get blown out of proportion during OTAs only to come fluttering back to Earth once training camp rolls around. Everyone remembers how in 2013, talk during OTAs was about the potential of Tyler Wilson to become the backup or even the starter by the time the season rolled around.
Then he didn’t even make the final roster.
The past few weeks have been full of speculation about Derek Carr. After it was noted that Carr is exceeding the expectations of the coaching staff, many took that fact and pushed it to the brink of logic by arguing it meant he would give Matt Schaub a run for his money as the starting quarterback. But now that the mandatory mini camp has begun, things are starting to return to Earth.
As it turns out, Carr had yet to even surpass Matt McGloin heading into the mini camp. At the start of OTAs, Carr was taking third string reps behind Schaub and McGloin. By the end of OTAs he had earned a chance to take a few second team reps. In minicamp, he was seen taking the majority of the second string snaps.
Clearly Carr is doing very well for himself. He has impressed coaches to the point where he appears to be moving up the depth chart. If he keeps this kind of performance up, he very well may beat out Matt McGloin for the backup role. But let’s get one thing straight, he has still yet to even do that. By where he started OTAs, it is clear he was considered the third option at quarterback. He has earned the chance to prove that he should be the backup, but getting those reps at the start of minicamp is by no means a guarantee he will be the backup come the regular season.
Carr could just as easily take a step back once training camp starts and pads are introduced. Hell, up to this point, the Raiders were not even playing head to head offense versus defense drills in practice because the new CBA prohibits that during OTAs. So while the units could practice together, they could not run live head to head drills. Now they can, but still without any contact. So while Carr has excelled, he has done so in a shorts and t-shirt, something you would hope any quarterback prospect for the future can do.
When asked about Schaub’s performance thus far, head coach Dennis Allen said:
Yeah, I think he’s been outstanding. That’s what you’re looking for in a veteran quarterback. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of what we’re going to see out of Matt Schaub. Even though he is a veteran player, it’s still a different offense for him, it’s still something new. He’s still learning, but I’ve been very pleased with what I’ve seen out of him so far. I’ve been pleased with watching him over here in his uniform throw the ball, he looks pretty good.
As I have said time and time again, in order for Derek Carr to win the starting job not only will he have to play extremely well himself, Matt Schaub will also have to do something to lose the starting job. From all appearances, Allen intends on giving Schaub every opportunity to hold onto the starting role. So while it appears Carr is on his way to beating out McGloin for the backup job, he is a long long way away from any legitimate talk of pushing for a starting role.