Derek Carr would never say anything to fuel a quarterback controversy. Not his style. The Raiders’ rookie quarterback is too mature, too controlled, far too polished for a misstep like that.
He doesn’t buckle when flanked by camera banks, and knows that a polite refusal to discuss one topic a good quote on another can change focus in a hurry.
He did that masterfully after Thursday’s preseason victory over the Seattle Seahawks, when a near-perfect performance sent a laid siege to the Raiders best-laid quarterback plans.
This one dates to a practice a few days ago, when he skied a pass to fullback Marcel Reece and hit safety Charles Woodson in the chest.
“I wanted to come out in the game and correct those things,” Carr said. “To be completely honest with you, that’s the kind of stuff that goes through my head. I don’t want to hit Charles in the face, you know? I want to hit Marcel.”
Mission accomplished. Carr threw into the ground or to his own guys while going 11-for-13 for 143 yards and three touchdowns in four series.
The scoring plays gave Carr a chance to jump into the crowd, once into the south end and again in the Black Hole in the second quarter. Carr seemed to be as happy about that as everything.
“That was awesome,” Carr said. “I’ve dreamed about doing that since I was a kid.”
In just his second go-round with the first-unit line, center Stefen Wisniewski told Carr he was “less rookie.” Carr was screaming out play calls at the line, and seemed more calm in the huddle.
“If we can continue to be less and less ‘rookie’,” Carr said, “we’ll be good.”
Carr will do so his way, by obsessing over his mistakes even after a good day.
“Honestly I go out there and expect myself to complete every pass,” Carr said. “So if I miss one, I'll be pretty upset. There's been times where my wife will go, 'Great game, great game,' but I missed this one in the second quarter and I can't sleep for another hour.”
After throwing just two incompletions, neither of which were ill-advised, he should’ve slept pretty well Thursday night.