What Davante Adams, Raiders said of Jarrett Stidham being QB vs. 49ers

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What Adams, Raiders said about Stidham starting vs. 49ers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Spending New Year's in Las Vegas typically arrives with a dash of chaos. This year, the Raiders brought it themselves.

Las Vegas, sitting third in the AFC West at 6-9, benched quarterback Derek Carr -- the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns and passer rating -- ahead of its Week 17 clash with the 49ers at Allegiant Stadium.

Davante Adams -- the two-time All-Pro receiver who signed a five-year contract extension with the Raiders after being traded to Sin City to play with Carr, his former college teammate -- made his feelings about the move clear.

“I don’t think anybody was excited about it in here, him being one of my really good friends and the reason I’m here in the first place,” Adams told reporters Wednesday. “I wouldn’t be [with the Raiders] right now if he wasn’t here. I think everybody knows how I feel about him. … I support my guy.”

The Raiders will start fourth-year pro Jarrett Stidham in his place Sunday against the 49ers, even though the 26-year-old signal-caller has zero NFL starts and just 61 pass attempts to his name.

Stidham has spent his entire career with Raiders coach Josh McDaniels. They were together for the first three seasons of Stidham's NFL tenure in New England when McDaniels was the Patriots' offensive coordinator on Bill Belichick's staff.

“We’ve known who [Stidham] was since camp,” running back Josh Jacobs said. “He can spin the ball. He’s been in the [McDaniels] system longer than any quarterback we’ve had here, so he knows what reads to make. It’s going to be fun seeing him in the game.”

Added tight end Darren Waller: “I think he’s ready. I think he’s going about it at a way that’s unique to him. He’s not trying to be anybody else, not trying to be too ‘rah rah’ or too loud. He speaks when he feels like he needs to speak and picks guys up, jokes with guys. I feel like he has the personality to go out there and do well.”

Facing the dangerous 49ers defense will be a massive challenge for Stidham in his first NFL start. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans’ unit leads the NFL in total yards (290.3), rushing yards (75.0) and points allowed (15.3) per game.

“They have a great defense,” Jacobs said. “You see all the first-round guys they’ve got over there. The defensive front is crazy. Their linebackers are crazy. All around, they’re good. It’s definitely a big challenge.

“It’s a challenge that I look forward to -- with them having the best rush defense and them having the one of the top defenses in the league, it’s going to be fun to see how we compare to them.”

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Wednesday that Carr will step away from the Raiders for the final two regular-season games. He has three years remaining on his contract, but the Raiders can cut him this offseason with a measly $5.6 million salary-cap hit.

“We’ve got to take emotions out of it and realize the only way to be productive is to support Jarrett going forward,” Waller said. “Guys are excited about him being able to get an opportunity. We’re rallying around him, letting him know that we believe in him.”

RELATED: Aiyuk clarifies IG comment directed at Adams amid Carr drama

McDaniels clearly believes in Stidham enough to give him a chance in the final two games of a lost season. Like any starting debut, there’s no way to know how an inexperienced quarterback will handle the spotlight until he’s thrown into the fire. (See Purdy, Brock)

“You’ve got a guy that doesn’t have really any experience out there, just kind of playing loose,” Adams said. “Sometimes that can help him. Whatever is going to allow him to play to the best of his ability, obviously we support and want to encourage him to do the best that he can.”

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