There was an interesting nugget in a Fanrag Sports NFL post today, talking about the Raiders and how badly they need ‘Derek Carr to Step Up’, as if he hasn’t always done that.
The article talks about the Raiders’ and their fortunes after Derek Carr went down with injury, and thus comes the interesting part of the article:
At 12-3, the Raiders technically still had a chance to secure a first-round bye if they beat the Denver Broncos in Week 17, but any thought of contending with Matt McGloin or Connor Cook at quarterback was a pipe dream.
Oakland’s 2016 story ended predictably with a blowout loss in Denver followed by a deflating loss in Houston in the playoffs.
At one point in the game against the Texans, Khalil Mack and Cook crossed paths on the way to and from the sideline.
Mack gave Cook a look that suggested, “Man, we have no shot to win with this guy.”
He was right.
Wow! To be honest, Cook was a pretty heralded guy out of college. At some points, he was whispered as a first-rounder. There were always reports that he bristled his teammates, so it’s okay to assume that he hasn’t endeared himself well in Oakland’s locker room (especially in comparison to Carr, who owns the locker room in the Bay Area).
But to read this out in the open – and perhaps it’s just speculation on the part of the author to spice up a column – one has to wonder.
Personally, my hopes for Cook is that he’s the long-term back-up to Carr for the Raiders. He’s a guy who; the fans will never push for to take over full-time when Carr has a rough couple weeks; but needs developed and can come in for a drive or a few games like week 17 when the Raiders have their playoff position secured.
He’s not going to be happy holding the clipboard forever, but hopefully Cook realizes he’s best served to be a five year back-up to Carr and the Raiders become comfortable with him in that role.
The column posted some other interesting notes; saying that Carr was a star but not yet a superstar, and also mentioning that according to Pro Football Focus, Carr was forced to pass under pressure as few of times as any passer in football. Oakland has built a cavalier pass-blocking Offensive Line.
The author also suggests that ‘Oakland take the training wheels off Carr and let him do what he does best’. That’s insanity. His passing stats the last two seasons have been as good as anyone in football including Tom Brady. He says that Carr must make more players instead of forcing his receivers to do all the work. Did this guy watch the Raiders in 2016?