LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Expressing that they are caught in the middle, some of Derek Carr’s teammates praised the former starting quarterback of the Raiders and at the same time offered support for his successor, Jarrett Stidham.
That’s the reaction on the benching of Carr, the Raiders’ No. 1 quarterback for 14 seasons, based on comments and posts on social media.
With his recent performances lacking and the team’s playoff hopes all but dead, Carr was benched Wednesday by coach Josh McDaniels.
McDaniels said Friday his players have been professional about the quarterback change.
“They’re mature,” he said. “I think we have a high-character group. And again, we said it the other day – I mean, relationships are relationships. The human side of this is real. And so, you’re allowed to feel however you feel about people, and I think we all have a job to do. I think they’ve done a tremendous job this week of preparing each day. Practice has been good, their energy has been tremendous and their attitude is great. So, that’s what I would’ve expected them to do, and that’s what they’ve done.”
Carr has not been seen at practices or team functions since the announcement Wednesday, and reports are that he has stepped away. Carr is listed on the team’s injury report, which suggests he is not available, as “not injury related — personal matter.”
Here’s a sampling of reaction from players and some national NFL analysts:
Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams: “Obviously, I don’t think anybody was excited about it in here. Him (Carr) being one of my really good friends and the reason why I came here in the first place. I wouldn’t be here right now if he wasn’t here. I think everyone knows how I feel about him. With that said, there’s a process of how things go. … Obviously, I support my guy. We got to finish this season up the best way we can, all things considered at this point. … We got two games left … that’s really all I’m focused on.”
Raiders tight end Darren Waller: “You got to take the emotions out of it and just realize the only way to be productive is to support Jarrett going forward. … Naturally, it’s tough. But I believe two things can coexist, like believing in Derek, believing that he will always be able to get it done, but also supporting Jarrett and moving forward with this week and preparing.”
Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow: “Derek is a tremendous leader, a tremendous football player. It’s tough, tough, you know, being friends with him and tough seeing him not be the guy. I didn’t make that decision, but that’s the decision they made and so it is what it is. … He won a lot of games for us, and even down the stretch here he was the reason we won a lot of them. Just an amazing leader and hope to play with him again sometime. … It was kind of shocking, you know because we still have a chance. so that’s disappointing, but I don’t get paid to make those decisions. … Super excited for Jarrett, (backup) Chase (Garbers), going have a chance, and were’ going to play extremely hard for them.”
Colin Cowher, host of ‘The Herd:‘ “My feeling is they want him healthy so they can trade him. So Derek Carr and his contract has $40 million guaranteed money. They are injury guarantees. So if he gets hurt, one of the NFL’s poorest owners, Mark Davis, would have to write him a $40 million check. They don’t want to do that. They want to move off Derek Carr. I think it’s a mistake.”
Shannon Sharpe, ex-NFL tight end, co-host of ‘Skip and Shannon: Undisputed:‘ “His last two head coaches, they were never in love with Derek Carr. They liked him, they appreciated what he could do, but they never wrapped their arms around him and fully embraced him. We can trash Derek Carr, but since he’s been in the NFL he’s had the 32nd ranked defense. Here’s where they are this year: 31st in takeaways, 30th in sacks, 30th in penalties, 27th in pass defense, 27th in red zone defense, 25th in total defense, tied for 23rd in points allowed and 22nd on third down … But that’s Derek Carr. This is what I also know: Last year with a less talented roster, guess where Derek Carr had this team? In the playoffs. I’m not going to excuse Derek Carr’s play, because he’s been really smelly at times this year … But defense has been bad and Waller and Renfrow missing games … “
Tony Dungy, ex-NFL coach, NBC analyst: “Do the Raiders actually think Derek Carr is the problem? Are they trying to win these last two games and thinking Jarrett Stidham gives them the best chance to do that? Good luck against the 49ers.”