ALAMEDA -- Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has received compliments galore this offseason. That’s typical in the wake of a Pro Bowl season, solid statistics and a strong possibility he could be the next big thing.
Carr takes them all in stride. Ignore outside compliments and criticisms, he often says, because they never matter. Performance and work ethic truly count.
Opinions from coaches and teammates count, and one given by Michael Crabtree struck a chord. The veteran receiver compared Carr to Brett Favre last week, and that meant a little more.
It came from someone he respects, and it connected him with one of his idols. Carr wears No. 4 in honor of the former Green Bay quarterback, and always wanted to play like the Hall-of-Fame passer.
“Man, I’m very honored, very thankful,” Carr said Wednesday. “Brett is somebody that I looked up to as a kid the way he played the game, so I wore No. 4 ever since I could remember. I always wanted to wear No. 4 some how, some way. For him to say that, I thought it was really cool.”
Crabtree called Carr a “gunslinger,” a moniker describing confident quarterbacks who take risks and believe they can complete most every throw.
“For him to come out and say that made me think, well, do I take too many chances sometimes?” Carr said with a smile. “I do think the wide receivers like that. They know that, no matter what, I’m going to give them a chance. It doesn’t matter if you drop a ball or if I just sailed one eight rows deep, I’m going to throw the next one just as confident and give you just as much of a chance.
“If that’s what he sees, I’m very thankful and honored, but I have a long way to go to be compared to Brett.”
Former Raiders receiver James Jones called Carr “Baby A-Rod” in honor of Packers passer Aaron Rodgers, and the 25-year old certainly possesses the skills to be a quality NFL quarterback.
Carr has shown great confidence and scheme mastery during the offseason program, and that edge should help avoid some costly mistakes made a year ago. His summer goal is improvement, something he has accomplish during this spring’s offseason program. He sat out this time last year with a nerve issue, so Carr appreciates this time to improve.
“I only did the minicamp last year, so it was nice to have hundreds more reps of certain plays,” Carr said. “That kind of stuff, there’s no price on that. You have to get out there and do it. To see where we’re at and to be able to come out here and do it, it helps us go another step closer to what we want.”