Oakland, CA – The second week of Raiders OTAs got off to a slow start due to returning after the holiday. But the smiles and laughter were heavy throughout the workouts on Tuesday. With a new Offensive Coordinator at the helm, it was a perfect time to put the vision of the offense together.
Derek Carr was cleared for off-season workouts back in March after his leg injury seemed, upbeat to have the entire team available. Excited about working with Marshawn Lynch and new OC Todd Downing, Carr is learning to take everything in stride. Entering his fourth season, Carr continues to seek perfection.
“I hope so,” said Carr when asked about improving for the upcoming season.
“I don’t put like measurements on it, or stats, and things like that, but from a decision-making standpoint, from a poise, and comfort standpoint, all those things, playing the game with more knowledge, more wisdom, from that standpoint, I hope I grow every, single year. I really do.”
The ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl and while Carr had a phenomenal year prior to his injury. He tied for third place in the MVP voting last season and had his name thrown into an elite group of players who were considered the best to play the game.
“This is why I love OTAs, it’s a perfect time to get the kinks ironed out,” Carr said. “I just have to learn to not do too much.
Downing, Oakland’s new Offensive Coordinator held his first media session and didn’t disappoint on his findings with his new offense. After being promoted from the quarterbacks coach, Downing got a a closer look at some newly acquired talent the Raiders made this off-season.
“It’s been great,” said Downing. “It’s been a wonderful opportunity. I’m very appreciative of the Raiders having faith in me and [Head Coach] Jack [Del Rio] having faith in me to give me this chance. It’s been a lot of fun to dive in with the guys and have a little bit broader scope and be able to stop in different rooms and see the offense evolve.
We really like the young backs that we have, and we feel like Marshawn added to that group is really going to solidify our running back situation and give us a chance to put our best foot forward in the run game and in protection in passing.”
A different view from the sideline, for Downing who’ll have a more challenging role. Although, he’s working with a talented group, Downing will have to create the best offensive weapons in the AFC.
Lynch joined his teammates for his first full workout. He seemed jovial talking trash to Carr and others. Lynch participated in all drills with the running backs and fits in perfectly. It definitely didn’t look like Lynch had taken any time off but its still early.
“I know for a fact he has my back no matter what,” Carr said of Lynch when asked about their new relationship.
“Right away I could just feel it from him. There was no feeling out process or anything. I just knew. He’s told me multiple times that he does. To have that as a quarterback is big. Because he’s the one — last line of defense, picking up blitzes. He’s the one fighting for those extra yards, moving the chains for us. He’s just a loyal guy.”
It’s going to be exciting to see Lynch, Amari Cooper, and Jared Cook whose heroics in the fourth quarter have yet to be forgotten with his former team (Green Bay Packers). Both newcomers know what its like to play with great quarterbacks. Cook especially, knows the benefits of a great quarterback since he worked with Aaron Rogers.
“It’s [been] awesome, man,” said Cook of his new quarterback.
“[He’s a] great quarterback, great skills, great leader, excited to be in the huddle with him. Very communicative. Tells you exactly how he wants routes, tells you how he wants to run them and talks to you if something goes AWOL a little bit.”