Derek Carr has been through it all with the Oakland Raiders. Although there has been more bad than good, it seems things are finally starting to look up.
After their 24-21 victory over the Chicago Bears in London on Sunday afternoon, the Raiders have a winning record for the first time since the team opened the 2017 season 2-0. With a completely different roster, front office and coaching staff, Carr has had one of the most turbulent careers in NFL history.
Now that the team is competing at a high level for the first time since the 2016 season, Carr credits that to the work of head coach Jon Gruden and their surplus of young talent for being able to overcome adversity, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic:
“To be honest, our young guys are really talented. It’s really nice to have that. We’re a better football team this year than we were last year. We were building, Coach Gruden was laying the foundation. Like I’ve told you, this is my third time restarting in the franchise, it’s not fun man. I just want to win. The cool thing about it now is that I could see it last year, I was like ‘Man we’re going to be awesome, I know it. I know we’re going to be able to play in big games and beat people.’ No one else saw it, you know one else believed in it, except the people in our building and that’s all that matters.”
The focal point of young talent has been first-round pick Josh Jacobs. The running back is the rookie leader in yards from scrimmage with 487 through five games. He also now has four touchdowns after scoring two, including the game-winner against the Bears.
Jacobs is not the only talented young player on the roster. Clelin Ferrell, who is having a slower start than some might have hoped, has great potential, as well as receivers like Keelan Doss and Hunter Renfrow. Although Darren Waller has stolen the receiving spotlight, Renfrow is currently third in total receiving yards for the Raiders
The last time the Raiders had three wins by Week 5 was in 2016 which is also the last time the team made it to the playoffs. Carr was only in his third season then but was still performing just as well as he is now. Although times have been rougher since then, Carr knows what it takes to win. Now with the right pieces around him, only time will tell how far the Raiders will go.
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