Derek Carr rocked back and forth, fighting back tears at the podium following the Las Vegas Raiders’ 25-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
“Sorry for being emotional,” Carr said, via ESPN. “I’m just pissed off about some of the things, you know, that a lot of us try and do just to practice. What we put our bodies through, just to sleep at night…
“And for that to be the result of all that effort, pisses me off. Pisses a lot of guys off. It’s hard, knowing what some guys are doing … just to practice. What they’re putting in their body just to sleep at night. Just so we can be there for each other. And I wish everybody in that room felt the same way about this place. And as a leader, that pisses me off, if I’m being honest.”
Carr halted several times, like a player who has seen all his hopes for a winning season come crashing down in one epic fail.
“I love the Silver and Black and I’m going to give it everything I can every time I go out there,” Carr said. “And I can’t speak for everybody, for every man, what’s going on in their head, but I can tell you what’s going on in my head and I’m going to give it all that I can, every single time.”
Sunday’s embarrassing loss was the cherry on top of the grotesque dessert the Raiders have been scooping all season. Las Vegas lost at home to an opponent who replaced its head coach mid-week with someone not even in the building. They lost to a greenhorn play-caller who, three years prior had been assistant to the head coach and had never been in charge of an offense. They lost to a quarterback who had been benched. They lost to an offensive line that couldn’t block a fake Twitter account.
The embarrassing loss was a new low in a career of lows for Carr.
It stings anew because 2022 was supposed to be different. It was supposed to be the year of the Raiders’ resurgence.
Vegas brought in a new coach in Josh McDaniels, shelled out millions to its core players, signed edge rusher Chandler Jones to form a duo with Maxx Crosby, and, most importantly, traded for Carr’s friend and All-Pro receiver Davante Adams.
None of it has worked out. Now McDaniels’ tenure sits in peril just nine games in.
Adams, who generated 126 yards on nine catches with a touchdown and at times seemed like he was attempting to put the entire organization on his back, plowing through tackle after tackle, noted there is “no magic message” to turn things around.
“I don’t think it’s a buy-in, or like ‘F what he’s talking about,’ or like ‘I’m going against the grain,'” Adams said. “It’s just about a matter of executing when it’s time. Whether that’s early…a 60-minute game means…it doesn’t just mean finishing. You know that’s part of it. It means a complete game. Every minute of the game, giving it all you got. It’s not about being perfect cause that’s not football. Football is the most imperfect, most team sport that there is. So at the end of the day, it’s doing your job and making the plays when you’re called on and when you get the opportunities, and we just don’t do that at a high enough level right now.”
With the season slipping away, Carr couldn’t connect with Adams on 4th-and-7 from the 16-yard-line on a low-percentage throw knocked away by corner Stephon Gilmore. It was a play emblematic of a season that has gone awry in the desert.
“I’m never going to be perfect,” Carr said. “But the love I have for this place, and the effort that I’ll give, will be second to none, every time.
“The emotion of just nine years of stuff hit me today, for how much I really love this place. It’s not going to change anything. I’m going to come out here and fight and compete next week, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
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