Lincoln Kennedy Isn’t Sure Derek Carr is the Raiders Answer at Quarterback, Isn’t Sure There Will be Better Option

Lincoln Kennedy has long been a fixture within the Raiders organization and the team’s outspoken color commentator has never been shy with his feelings on Derek.

Kennedy was asked this week to share his thoughts on a recent report that there was a disconnect between Carr and head coach Jon Gruden. This is what he told the Going Deep podcast (hosted by Luke Straub and Larry Marbley) about where he’d like to see Carr improve, and ultimately what he thinks of Carr’s future with the Raiders.

“If Derek used his legs we would be in a much better position. I promise you. If Derek ran as many times as he had an opportunity to run, and I’m not saying that he has to go airborne because he has this feeling that when has to run he has to jump for stuff. Don’t jump for anything. Keep your a— on the ground. Slide if you do anything. Then he also does that stupid thing with the ball when he’s trying to put it forward to get an extra yard. No, just run, son. There’s times for that but just run.”

Kennedy also thinks the ankle injury in 2016 is still on Carr’s mind.

“I think Derek doesn’t want to get hurt again,” Kennedy said. “And I say that because no one says ‘I want to get hurt, let me raise my hand.’ But if you play scared, you’re going to be scared in some ways if you’re worried who’s going to hit you or how many times you’re going to get hit.”

“So the level of disconnect to me is like this,” Kennedy added. “When Gruden came in he sat with Derek Carr and realized how bright he was, he realized how athletic he was, he realized Derek Carr is a quarterback that can make any throw on the field. He can do it with accuracy and pretty good poise. So then he tried to introduce, and you saw the thing on Hard Knocks where he was chasing him with the broom trying to get him to run. Now Derek has fairly good pocket awareness but the issue has become that ever since Derek broke his ankle, he’s not going to use his pocket awareness, he’s going to throw it to a back… there’s something just logically wrong when your fullback has more catches than your entire wide receiver corps. There’s something wrong with that. This is not a wishbone offense, this is not a wing-T offense. But I will say in Derek’s defense, the drops don’t help… you tremendous plays like they had with the Tyrell Williams, the wheel route, the wide open touchdown, all that stuff, but also remember like in the Jets game there a dig route Tyrell Williams was wide open and he dropped the ball.”

So should the Raiders move on to someone new at quarterback? Kennedy wasn’t ready to go that far.

“When you talk about going forward, this is what you have to decide. And don’t get me wrong, I say this again, I like Derek Carr. I think he’s charismatic, I think he’s a true quarterback. I think he has the ability. I don’t if he’s a guy that’s going to put you over the top,” Kennedy said of Carr. “I’ve said this to a number of people. If the Raiders wanted to trade Derek Carr, there would be several teams that would jump on him and he would be a starter. There is no doubt in my mind. But here’s the thing… who are you going to go to?”

For what it’s worth, Kennedy has shared a lot of thoughts on Carr over the last few years. Two years ago he said Carr needs to be prepared for where he can go with the ball before he takes the snap (i.e. holding on to the ball too long). That was the popular knock on Carr in 2017. The criticism nowadays is that Derek too often knows where he wants to go with the ball pre-snap and doesn’t move through progressions well enough.

Truth be told, it seems like everyone has a different opinion of what Carr needs to be and what it takes to win at quarterback in the NFL. The mobile quarterback is trending right now but extreme pocket passers (E. Manning, Flacco, P. Manning, Foles, Brady) have still won 7 of the last 8 Super Bowls.

Winning championships from the pocket is still a thing.

Before moving on from him, the Raiders would probably be wise to find out how far Carr can take them with a healthy playmaker or two at wide receiver. Preferably a wideout that isn’t unstable in the mind and won’t try to freeze his feet off in the offseason.

twitter: @raidersbeat


8 thoughts on “Lincoln Kennedy Isn’t Sure Derek Carr is the Raiders Answer at Quarterback, Isn’t Sure There Will be Better Option

  1. Draft best available Quarterback in this draft (there’s a few good ones). Derek Carr is starter in Vegas. New Q.B. learns system under Gruden and Carr. New Q.B. takes over if and/or when Carr falters or when the kid is ready.

  2. I like Derek Carr, I think he is a really good quarterback. I’m with Kennedy on this…Carr does need to move around and use his legs. Carr does need a deep threat at the wide receiver position and he hasn’t had that all year. Carr does look…nervous…when he is in the pocket. The defending safeties know the Raiders do not have anyone that can out run them on deep ball. If our offense had fast wide receivers the offense and Carr would improve dramatically.

  3. Everyone’s looking at carr but you also need to look at gruden when he first coached the raiders they had a winning team when him and al Davis had a dispute gruden went to tampa took over for the great Dungi that year Tampa beat the the raiders using Dungi team look what happened the next year’s under gruden nothing so I don’t believe all of it is on carr it comes from coaching staff also

  4. Ok, ok, ok. Lincoln has a very reasoned assessment of Derek Carr and his abilities. Given that everything that he has said is accurate and that pocket quarterbacks are still the standard, the current Raiders management needs to be held accountable for not looking for future talent, at this position, for the long term. I won’t give you the Glennon or Peterman critique but the quarterback guru coach already knew that Glennon was as stiff as a pair of freshly starched pants and Peterman is still an unproven commodity, at best. So, the past has passed. Now, to answer Lincoln’s question about “Who are you going to go to?” Well, Belichik went to Eastern Illinois University to get Jimmy Garoppolo and I won’t say that Lamar Jackson was sitting right there in everyone’s face. My point is, it’s the scouts and the coaches JOBS to recognize, find and develop this type of talent. This Raiders team will never rise to the heights that they should until the mindset of this managerial staff changes. All we can do now is see what the future brings. Is there anyone who doesn’t believe that Belichik holds his scouts accountable and additionally recognizes talent himself? It’s my sincere belief that the Raider specifically don’t look at Division II and III colleges close enough. I’ve said it before that, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Antonio Brown out of Central Michigan, the Kansas City Chiefs found Tyreek Hill went at West Alabama, the Houston Texans got Damayrius Thomas from Georgia Institute of Technology, the New England Patriots went to Eastern Illinois University to get Jimmy Garoppolo. The Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs seem to find diamonds at Division II and III schools. Why can’t the Raiders do the same?

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