So Far, Carr's Getting Passing Grades

Raiders' rookie quarterback has progressed more quickly than expected going into Friday's exhibition opener vs. Vikings

So far, August has been a good month for Derek Carr.

The former Fresno State quarterback now has a bobblehead for sale at his alma mater’s student store, and this Friday night he’ll probably throw his first professional pass when the Raiders play their opening exhibition game at Minnesota.

Plus, the Raiders seem excited about what they’re seeing every day from the former Bulldogs standout and second-round draft pick.

After a recent practice in which Carr had some excellent reads and pinpoint throws, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen was asked if it were Carr’s best practice to date.

“Guys, he’s had a lot of good days,” Allen said.

And, in a one-on-one interview with Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, offensive coordinator Greg Olson was just as positive about his No. 2 QB.

Olson told Tafur that the Raiders have improved Carr’s footwork during this training camp, giving him a wider stance to provide a stronger base.

“The ball is getting out quicker,” Olson told Tafur. “His drop-step was way too high and now he is keeping both feet on the ground. He has great upper-body mechanics and now he is much more balanced.”

Carr told a reporter from the Fresno Bee that he accepts the fact that Matt Schaub is the team’s starting quarterback. But he says he’s working hard every day to make certain he’s improving and ready to play when he gets his opportunity.

“Eventually I’m going to get a shot in there,” he told the Bee. “Right now I’m just trying to work and show my veteran teammates and guys my own age that when I do get my shot I can lead us. That they can trust and have faith in me. It’s not really a thing where I start thinking, ‘I’m a rookie.’ If I do that, I’m not really being myself.”

The Raiders coaching staff says it likes Carr’s improvement, leadership and work ethic. Plus, he’s improving more rapidly even than they’d hoped.

“Derek’s much, much further along than I thought he would be,” Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo told Mark Warszawski of the Bee. “I knew he was accurate. I didn’t think he would be this far along on protections. He’s a very mature young man.”

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