The Oakland Raiders may have ushered in some significant changes around quarterback Derek Carr this offseason, but it appears expectations are still as high as ever going into the 2019 NFL season.
It is no secret Carr endured his fair share of struggles behind the lackluster Raiders’ offense in the 2018 NFL season. Aside from their pass-rushing needs on defense, the front office made it a point to shore up some firepower on offense through free agency and the 2019 NFL Draft.
There is no question that they have managed to bring in a much more talented supporting cast for Carr this season. The only challenge now is making sure they get on the same page by the time the 2019 campaign rolls around.
According to Eddie Paskal of the team’s official website, Carr says his new teammates have been just as adamant about getting the extra work in as he has:
“A lot of new faces, right,” Carr said. “It’s crazy what 12 months does. A whole new group, new challenge of getting on the same page, and things like that. The one thing I’ve seen about this group is they work crazy hard. A lot of people say they do, but these guys – they’re texting me saying, ‘hey, I’m in town, let’s go.’ I’ll get off my couch, I’ll bring my kids, and we’ll go throw. It’s nice to see how hard they want to work, and how great they want to be. Obviously, every quarterback wants to do that, but to have wideouts reaching out, saying, ‘man, let’s go do this.’ It’s pretty cool.”
It is encouraging to see that there is no shortage of desire to get their chemistry going. It will be imperative that Carr gets his rapport going with his new wideouts as much possible if he hopes to maintain his status as the Raiders’ franchise quarterback.
The front office invested heavily in adding some serious star power, as well as depth, to their receiving corps with the arrival of Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams. Despite Brown’s fallout with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he is still widely regarded as one of the NFL’s elite playmakers and hardest workers after going from being a sixth-round pick to one of the best receivers in the league.
The biggest question now is which wideout will be able to establish themselves as the No. 2 option across from Brown in head coach Jon Gruden’s offense. The spot could very well be determined by the one that is able to earn Carr’s trust throughout the remainder of the offseason.