Derek Carr hasn’t worked with Amari Cooper much thus far. The Raiders quarterback missed most of the offseason program, only participating in the mandatory minicamp in early June.
Carr missed OTAs due to a ring finger ailment, meaning chemistry between him and the team’s first-round draft pick remains a work in progress. Cooper wants to be sure it’s established by the team training camp started.
The pair got in some extra work after minicamp wrapped up. Carr thought that was likely it. Until he got a text message from Cooper later than night. Cooper asked to meet up three more times during the dead period to work on timing.
The interaction left Carr impressed.
“His work ethic is second to none,” Carr said on Tuesday in an interview on 95.7-FM in San Francisco. “I was throwing with him as soon as mini-camp was over so we can get more reps in, and our plan was to throw a couple more times, but he texted me that night. He said, ‘hey, let’s throw at least three more times. I need to get this one route right.’ Just him telling me that kind of stuff, it blew my mind.”
Carr had high praise for his new targets. Cooper and veteran signee Michael Crabtree should start at receiver this season, with Rod Streater as an attractive third option.
Those are significant upgrades over last season, when he didn’t have a receiver break 700 yards.
Cooper is certainly a candidate to do so in his rookie year.
“He is ridiculous in and out of his breaks,” Carr told 95.7’s Guy Haberman and John Middlekauff. “His style of play is perfect for this league. He’s good at getting on toes and creating separation. He’s good at when the ball is in his hands making those fast-twitch movements to make a guy go one way so he can take it to the house. It’s just little things that honestly people don’t even notice.”
Carr has been happy with Crabtree on and off the field.
“Crabtree has been awesome, not only just on the field, but in the locker room,” Carr said. “He’s such a great teammate. I love the guy. I talk to him all the time. We’re always talking about the game. We’re always talking ball. We’re always talking routes, concepts, and what we’re going to do during the game, and hand signals, all those things. He is a football junkie. He’s been a nice guy, a nice addition to our team.”