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ALAMEDA — Derek Carr has one NFL game under his belt -- a loss, but by no means a disaster. His takeaway?
“I can do this,” Carr told reporters on Wednesday, talking about quarterbacking in the NFL.
Still, his head coach isn’t about to hand over the playbook.
“I’m not ready to call him an NFL veteran,” Dennis Allen said with a smile.
Carr completed 20 of 32 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns in his NFL debut, though the Raiders fell 19-14 to the hosting Jets.
“I thought he handled himself well in the game last week and I thought he practiced well today,” Allen said.
But Allen was clear he expects Carr to get better, packing a big of pressure into the rookie's second career start.
“I think we’ll see improvement," Allen said. "The most improvement you see in a season is from Week 1 to Week 2, so I’m excited to see him play.”
Likewise, Carr is looking forward to his first game with a routine. He keeps a notebook on every coordinator that he faces. It’s all part of offensive coordinator Greg Olson’s approach — having a plan.
Now, Carr can evaluate how his plan worked, where it came up short, and apply his approach to the next opponent -- the Houston Texans.
“There’s a lot to get better at,” Carr said after practice Wednesday. “I feel confident in what the coaches are telling me and my teammates."
Allen and Texans head coach Bill O’Brien on Wednesday cited Carr’s poise, maturity and intelligence -- intangibles generally reserved for the experienced.
“He’s got a tremendous skill set,” Allen said. “And he’s going to do nothing but get better the more opportunity he gets.”
His next opportunity comes Sunday against a tough Texans defense that boasts prized defensive end J.J. Watt.
“He’s a smart kid,” Watt said of Carr. “Approaches the game the right way. They’ve got belief in him, and that says a lot.”
Carr would do wonders for that belief with a victory in his first career game before Raider Nation at the Oakland Coliseum.