Kelechi Osemele: I Have Not Met A Player That Doesn’t Like Derek Carr

Former Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele was on Bleacher Report’s The Lefkoe Show on Thursday and he shared a laundry list of thoughts on his former team. Osemele wasn’t the most flattering of Jon Gruden or the team’s decision to rebuild the roster, but he also shared interesting thoughts on Derek Carr and where things went sideways for the Raiders on that fateful Sunday night game in 2016.

According to Osemele, he was told by offensive line coach Tom Cable that the Raiders plan entering the draft in 2018 was to take an offensive lineman no matter what. Quentin Nelson, who was drafted ahead of Oakland by the Colts, was the top target with Kolton Miller being the fallback option.

On a side note, Cable has been accused (quite frequently, in fact) of being one of the real talkers on the Raiders’ staff… or leaker… or whatever you want to call it.

As for Cable’s boss, Osemele believes Guden’s decision to break up the team was a little premature.

“The whole Gruden [staff] came in and we were were vibing,” Osemele said of his first offseason with Gruden’s coaching staff. “We had a team, we had a unit, a similar locker room to Baltimore and they were like ‘we’re rebuilding right away.’ Right away!’ I remember Cable sat me down and was like ‘yeah, we’re going to take this guard if Indianapolis doesn’t take him. Quentin Nelson, how do you feel about moving to tackle?’ As soon as I meet him, one of the first conversations I had with the dude, and . . . I’m like ‘all right, all right, I see where this is going.’ He said ‘if we can’t get him we’re going to get Kolton Miller. I just want to be upfront and honest with you’ which I respect him for that, but it was kind of like ‘yo, our O-line is cold, though. Like what?’ Just the disrespect in general.”

Osemele talked about the challenge it was for players to remain focused with all the trades happening a year ago, and mentioned Bruce Irvin (yes, the team captain) as a player that gave up on the season very early on.

As for the rumors in 2017 that the Raiders offensive line conspired against Carr because he did not sit for the national anthem, Osemele said those stories were absolutely untrue.

“That’s super false. Derek is hella cool,” Osemele said of fabricated Carr stories. “We all mess with him. He’s funny, he’s not one of those quarterbacks that’s super serious all the time and you can’t relate to him… you should like him. Players like him. I have not met a player that doesn’t like Derek. That’s one hundred percent false that people don’t like Derek as far as players are concerned. People that actually know him, you have to like him, he’s too good of a guy not to like.”

Osemele’s account not only contradicted the crazy conspiracy theories of 2017, but also a 2018 report in The Athletic that Carr had a “fractured” relationship with teammates.

Another interesting note from Osemele was his opinion of former Raiders strength and conditioning coach Tom Shaw. Osemele said he feels like injuries along the offensive line last year had a lot to do with Shaw and that Shaw wasn’t concerned about getting fired because he knew his full contract was guaranteed – something Shaw evidently said directly to Osemele.

Shaw, of course, was fired after the season and it sounds like the decision wasn’t just a ploy to get Gruden’s son a more prominent role on the team.

The full interview with Osemele can be seen below…

twitter: @raidersbeat