Sports

Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr hopes last season’s off-field troubles are a thing of the past

HENDERSON, Nev. – After a season of turmoil, tragedy and an unlikely place in the playoffs, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said he hopes having to deal with such off-field issues is a thing of the past.

Especially with a new regime running the organization under owner Mark Davis, from President Sandra Douglas Morgan to General Manager Dave Ziegler to Coach Josh McDaniels.

“I think we’ve had a lot of time since all of this collapsed,” Carr said Friday in his first media availability of training camp.

“I told you, I couldn’t even grasp it at the time, I’m a human person — I didn’t get a chance to really feel all those emotions, and after the season it just hits you one day like, ‘Wow, damn.’ Even more the life transformations for families and for life losses and careers that are over and all that stuff. The real life part hits you because it was, it happened, and we were right back here to play. There’s so much football-wise remember that we didn’t really get it all.

Jon Gruden’s email controversy cost the former coach his job on a 10-year, $100m contract; he resigned on October 11. Less than a month later, on November 2, recipient Henry Ruggs III was involved in a violent, high-speed car crash in Las Vegas, killing a young woman, Tina Tintor, and her dog. Ruggs was released by the team less than 24 hours later.

Later that week, former first-round pick Damon Arnette was cut after the cornerback released video of him brandishing guns and making death threats.

Carr said at the time that he was afraid to look at his phone after waking up for fear of seeing more negative news.

Instead, the Raiders ended the season on a four-game winning streak that they finished 10-7 and clinched the franchise’s first postseason bid since 2016, only its second since 2002. The Raiders lost a heartthrob at eventual AFC champions Cincinnati Bengals in the wild card round.

Las Vegas has made big additions to the roster this offseason, however, with the addition of two-time All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams and two-time All-Pro edge rusher Chandler Jones, as well as Pro Bowl defensive MVP Maxx Crosby and Pro Bowl suspended slot receiver Hunter Renfrow for contract extensions.

Carr signed his own extension in June — for three years and $121.5 million.

“There’s a lot that Derek Carr does every day to give you a lot of confidence in what he can accomplish with your team,” McDaniels said at minicamp. “I don’t know how everyone else rates him. All I know is that I feel pretty good about the things I see… he works really hard. He’s getting used to some of the new guys.

“He treats everyone equally, which I love. That’s a good sign for a leader. He won’t just talk to the guys in the first group, he’ll talk to everyone at every position – offense, defense, kicker, punters. So I was very impressed with him.”

Carr said the toughest questions he had to answer last season were how to deal with the off-field problems of the time.

“If I’m being honest I’ve had a few days after the season to think about it, really in the summer and stuff,” Carr said. “But then since football [started] and we talked and milled about the playbook it was just all football. And that was nice.

“I’m glad that stuff is hopefully behind us.”

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34281267/las-vegas-raiders-qb-derek-carr-hopes-last-season-field-drama-thing-past Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr hopes last season’s off-field troubles are a thing of the past

Emma Bowman

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