ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Derek Carr, dink and dunk artist?
Hardly. Not with an arm like he has, and not with the weapons at his disposal.
So don’t let these stats through the Oakland Raiders' first two games -- his average pass has traveled an NFL-low 4.8 yards past the line of scrimmage and he has yet to throw a pass 20 or more yards downfield, per ESPN Stats & Information -- fool you.
“Great, stats are cool, but I’m into winning,” Carr said after compiling a passer rating of 136.6 in completing 23 of 28 passes for 230 yards and those three TDs. “So, I don’t care if we run for 500 yards, just the fact that I get to be a part of this team and
this city, be a part of something special that we’re trying to do, I’m completely good with that.”
As Carr has said, he remembers being 0-10 as a rookie.
Now, though, he is completing 75 percent of his passes and has five touchdowns and no interceptions in a quick-passing offense.
Consider that Carr is averaging 1.91 seconds from snap to release in first-year offensive coordinator Todd Downing’s system, and he has a plethora of weapons at his disposal.
“Throughout the week in the game plan that we put together, we have designs on featuring different matchups throughout the game,” Downing said. “During the game, I’m not thinking, ‘Oh boy, so and so hasn’t gotten the ball in a couple of drives.’ But we do put a game plan together with that in mind.”
But it all comes back to Carr engineering the offense.
“Something (Downing) tells me every day, ‘Let me be aggressive; you just be efficient,’” Carr said. “If his play calls are aggressive or they show us a look we don’t like, (he says), ‘You just be smart and efficient, but you be aggressive.’ That’s just how we play. That’s how we go about our business.”
Carr and Downing already forged a relationship with Downing having served as Carr’s position coach the previous two seasons.
“To have a guy like that who thinks the same way you do calling the plays and being there right when I get off the sidelines to talk about it, there are times when I come off to the sidelines and say, ‘That was bad, that was my fault, sorry.’ He’ll laugh. We move on, we grow from it," Carr said.
“I say all that to say, it’s really fun to work with him because I know what he expects out of me. I let him stay aggressive, and I try to stay efficient.”