Las Vegas Raiders full-back Derek Carr is preparing to enter his ninth season in the NFL, making him the longest-serving QB in the AFC. The three-time professional led the Raiders to his first post-season appearance five years ago last season and has now won three consecutive campaigns with more than 4,000 yards of passing — and it’s likely he will. continue that achievement this year without a break—the season-long addition of his former Fresno State teammate and professional all-around receiver Davantae Adams.
The kind of longevity Carr has experienced in football is no coincidence. So just renewed a three-year, $121 million contract and with a new head coach and a healthy squad, the 31-year-old has caught up. GQ to talk about the importance of active recovery, dealing with the desert heat, and the inspiration he got from Kobe Bryant.
GQ: Coming into your ninth NFL season, what does a typical day look like to you?
Derek Carr: Right now, I usually get up at 5 am. I eat a hearty breakfast — a big shake — and then soak in a hot tub and relax to get my body ready for the day. We will have meetings to consider what we will do that day. The plays, the different situations. Then we go into practice and however such a long time is usually longer. [laughs] We usually have a practice session afterwards. Then there’s recovery — it’s all about recovery after that. I was in the pool and trying to flush my legs, hips, back, all that. I’m being treated in the gym to make sure whatever feels right can feel as good as possible the next day — and then I go to the meeting again. Then I come home and hang out with the kids. Have dinner, and then start studying for the next day. When football season comes, it Groundhog’s Day. It’s pretty much a habit. That’s what has worked for me so far.
What do you usually eat for your meals?
The simplest way to say that usually my disk is like a third, a third, a third. I mean a third of protein, a third of some grains, and a third of fruits and vegetables. That’s probably the easiest way to describe it. Breakfast and lunch I eat on site and then dinner — usually my wife cooks, or we have a chef bring in three dinners for our whole family to make sure we’re eating right meal and let my wife rest for a while. so she can hang out with our four kids.
What is your favorite meal that your wife cooks?
Oh, there are so many good ones. She makes great pasta. She makes a wonderful thing… it’s really healthy but we call it a “sloppy dish”. That’s what the kids think at least. She’s going to make these chicken nuggets — I don’t know if they’re breaded or not. But she took the potatoes, sliced them thinly, and put them in the dryer. Our kids think they are eating chicken nuggets and chips but they are actually very healthy.
How has your approach to diet and fitness changed, if anything, since you first entered the league?
When I first entered the tournament, I was 20 years old. I can eat whatever I want and still have 8% body fat, but as you get older, that’s not the case. Everything begins pain. You know, I’m 31 years old now. This will be nine years in the NFL. It’s like the dog years and it takes a toll on your body. Over the years, I’ve learned that the more I clean up my diet, the better I feel.
https://www.gq.com/story/real-life-diet-derek-carr Derek Carr Learned to “Dominate Recovery” from Kobe Bryant