Oakland Raiders

2014 Raiders Roster Review: Quarterback

The Oakland Raiders are currently in the middle of a search for their next head coach and whoever they hire will have a lot of work to do. The team only won three games in 2014 after only winning four games in each of the previous two seasons. Part of that was due to poor coaching, but a large part of it was also due to the lack of quality players on the roster. So as we await Mark Davis’ and Reggie McKenzie’s decision on the next head coach, let’s take a look at the roster that coach will be working with, starting with the most important position in football: Quarterback.

After winning three of their last six games, a lot of people have been hopeful about the future of the Raiders and a big part of the reason was due to rookie quarterback Derek Carr. Ever since Rich Gannon retired, the Raiders have been looking for his replacement. They may have finally found him, 15 quarterbacks later.

Carr, a second round pick, finished the year with 348 completions on 599 attempts for 3,270 yards and 21 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. With a 58% completion rate and averaging only 5.46 yards per passing play, those numbers are not overly impressive. But when you consider the fact that Carr had literally no stars on offense with him, his numbers start to look better.

Running back Latavius Murray began to shine late in the season, but for most of the year, Carr had the worst running game in the modern era backing him up. And to make things worse, tight end Mychal Rivera regressed while wide receiver Rod Streater missed most of the year with an injury. Those were the two best pass catchers for the Silver and Black in 2013 and neither were available to Carr in 2014. The team did add James Jones, who proved to be a solid possession receiver — but he was effectively the only threat on offense.

Carr showed a ton of arm talent this season, often fitting balls into tight windows with great accuracy. He also exhibited very good football intelligence, often avoiding sacks and throwing the ball away. But at the same time, Carr often struggled with pressure, getting rid of the ball before routes could develop. He still has a lot to learn and needs to improve in many areas, but Carr has shown more than any quarterback wearing Silver and Black since Gannon.

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