ARLINGTON, Texas — Derek Carr hasn’t been himself since the Las Vegas Raiders came out of their farewells.
A three-game loss streak, with calls from fans to replace him with Marcus Mariota as quarterback who grew louder with the loss, left him feeling unwell. So on a short week, and with a prime-time game at the Dallas Cowboys on the horizon, Carr recalled some advice his former coach Jon Gruden had given him.
Never take your arm out of a game.
So Carr Gruden, who resigned on Oct. 11 after the release of abusive emails, channeled during the Raiders’ 36-33 overtime win and passed for 373 yards, his most since Week 3, when the Raiders 3-0. goods.
Carr also recognized that it was critical to get off to a quicker start on the attack. So finding DeSean Jackson on the Raiders’ third piece of scrimmage for a 56-yard touchdown was the chief’s kiss. Even though it was early.
“We get that touchdown, I look at the scoreboard, okay, 7-0,” said Carr. “I’m excited. I’m an emotional, passionate person, but my mentality literally goes, OK, 7-0. We must continue.
“But I can’t exhale during the game, especially with this one, how close it was. We hit that game, it’s exciting … but I can’t exhale. Win or lose, good or bad, I must stay in the moment.”
Carr also got his run game going, rushing for a 22-yard pick-up. He celebrated by showing a “shaka” hand sign to Mariota, a native of Hawaii.
“I always call myself ‘Carriota’ and that gets him a kick out of it,” Carr said of Mariota. “Every time I clamber in practice or in a game, I’ll come up to him and say, ‘Carriota, bro’, and he’ll laugh at me. Probably just to appease me. It felt good to be able to pick at that. They really stumbled, and I felt it. Honestly, it was just experience at the time. I knew they were in the man cover on the backend, and when that gain happened and they didn’t contain it, I just left.”
Interim coach Rich Bisaccia said: “Derek is his biggest critic…
“Today he looked like Derek Carr. It’s nice to see him play.”
Hosting Washington in 10 days, the Raiders have endured Gruden’s resignation, as well as the trauma and tragedy of former receiver Henry Ruggs III’s speedy car accident that killed a 23-year-old woman and her dog.
With the release of Ruggs, the vertical threat from the Raiders was gone. So they signed Jackson, who turns 35 on Wednesday but is taking shape for Las Vegas.
“One thing I’ve tried to do this year, especially when… [Ruggs] was here, I’d be so aggressive,” Carr said. “It sometimes leads to you not completing so many balls on a percentage chart, but to me Gruden always said to me, ‘Never take your arm out of a game.’ So if we call these things, let’s tear them down.”