Since being drafted in 2014, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has had three head coaches.
He’s played for Dennis Allen, Tony Sparano and Jack Del Rio, and been in two different offensive schemes.
Despite the changes, Carr has had success, building on a solid rookie season to help lead the Raiders to a big improvement (3-13 to 7-9) as a second-year starter.
But now, playing under the same offensive coordinator, Bill Musgrave, for a second year in a row, with the same playbook, Carr is looking more confident and comfortable than ever and believes both he and the offense could thrive in 2016.
“Last year I just wanted to learn what he wanted done, how he wanted it done,” Carr told reporters this week during organized team activities (OTAs). Now, he says, he knows the offense inside and out and “we’re working together” more than ever.
Musgrave told the media that he’s impressed with the way Carr is running the offense in his second year with him.
“I think it helps that he doesn’t have to learn a new language again,” said Musgrave. “Two years in the league, two different systems, now this year he can feel like he has a good grasp of it and start putting his own spin on things and can put his own signature on the system. Thing that he wants to see or tweak a quarter turn here or there, he can initiate that.”
As a rookie, Carr completed 58.1 percent of his passes for 3,270 yards and 21 TDs vs. 12 interceptions, with a 76.6 quarterback rating. Last season he completed 61.1 percent for 3,987 yards, 32 TDs, 13 interceptions and a 91.1 rating. He blossomed with an upgraded set of receivers (Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree) and an improved offensive line. Now, with more improvements on the line and more talent at running back, Carr’s numbers could climb even higher.
Rookie quarterback Connor Cook told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle this week that Carr’s mastery of the Raiders offense is fun to watch – and educational.
“You just look at how fast he is with the ball,” Cook said. “He knows the type of pressures our defense is going to bring. He can pick it up right now. I’m out there and I’m obviously adjusting and learning and I don’t see it nearly as quick as he does. He’s pointing here, he’s pointing there. He knows the pressure is coming from this side and those guys over there are bluffing.”