Derek Carr knows how his team is viewed by the outside world. The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback knows that people don’t have the highest opinion of his team and how it’s run. He knows that people don’t have the highest opinion of him and his teammates. And he’s tired of it.
Carr was asked by reporters on Tuesday whether he though about opting out of the season. His answer shows just how much he wants to prove himself, and how much he wants to prove that his team isn’t a bumbling group of also-rans.
‘I just don’t care anymore’
“Did I think about opting out? I did not,” Carr said, via the Las Vegas Sun. “I have a lot to prove to myself, I have a lot to prove to my organization. I’m being completely honest with you, I’m tired of being disrespected. So there was no question I was going to play this year.”
In the six years Carr has been the starting QB, the Raiders have gone 39-55 — a record that underplays some of his individual stats. He hasn’t been able to repeat his breakout 2016 campaign, but he’s been more than decent, and has sometimes been let down by the talent around him. Despite his competence, many think coach Jon Gruden is trying to start a QB competition by bringing in Marcus Mariota as Carr’s backup this offseason. Carr, though, seems fine with it.
“In our quarterback room, you have to compete,” Carr said, via the Las Vegas Sun. “That’s what I do. You ask anybody who’s around me, all I’m going to do is compete. I’ve had multiple starters in the NFL come in here and be in the room with me. You can go through the list of who’s started games and who’s been in our quarterback room. It happens all the time. But when you go 7-9, people like to make up stuff.”
Carr might welcome the competition now and throughout the season, but that doesn’t change the biggest issue: that he’ll always be playing in the shadow of his outstanding 2016, which led the Raiders and their 12-4 record to their first playoff appearance since 2002. Not surprisingly, Carr is done with that narrative and doesn’t care what others say. He just wants to win.
“I played way better last year than I did in 2016, yet all we do is talk about that because we won 12 games,” Carr said. “I’m done with all that stuff. You can say good stuff, you can say bad stuff, I think you can sense that in the last year or so, I just don’t care anymore. You can say whatever you want. I’m trying to go win this Super Bowl so we can hang one of these banners in this beautiful indoor [facility] that we’ve got.”
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