The Oakland Raiders fan base is filled with excitement over rookie quarterback Derek Carr. And can you blame them? After years of terrible quarterback play by more than a dozen different signal callers, the Raiders look like they may have finally found a guy who could be the answer to their never ending search.
After Carr went 11 of 13 for 143 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks in the final preseason game, fans started dreaming of what he might mean to this team. Yup, you guessed it, there are even people talking about the playoffs…
While Carr had a very good preseason, it’s important not to get ahead of ourselves here. He played against the first team Seattle defense and had success but the fact that it was the preseason matters. Players simply do not go at the same speed in the preseason as they do in the regular season. In addition, as the season goes on, teams will have more and more tape of Carr to dissect and it will be increasingly harder to find success.
The fact of the matter is, Carr will have his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way as a rookie. He is going to make some mistakes and take some lumps, but even if he does not play very well at times, Raiders fans cannot give up on him. As is often noted, Peyton Manning only won three games as a rookie but has turned out to be fairly decent.
Carr has the arm talent and the intelligence to be a great NFL quarterback. The one area he really needs to work on is his poise under pressure. This is something that every rookie quarterback seems to struggle with and is the type of problem that can snowball if you aren’t careful. The fact of the matter is, Carr could just as easily have a terrible rookie campaign as a great one. But either way, a bad year does not mean Carr is a failure of a pick.
Carr is exciting but he is also a project. It will take him a few years to truly master the NFL game. Raiders fans cannot expect too much from Carr too early. He very well could get to the point of being a great quarterback but that process is not a quick one.