It’s been a rough week for Derek Carr and the Raiders didn’t even play last Sunday. While the team was on its bye Carr was responding to a story first reported by the The Athletic‘s Marcus Thompson of a “fractured relationship” between the quarterback and his teammates stemming from a video that appeared to show Carr crying on the field during the Week 6 game against the Seahawks.
“They saw his face,” Thompson wrote. “They heard his whimper. They witnessed him explain on the sidelines. They assuredly watched it again in film session. It’s hard to see how Carr can lead this team again.”
On Tuesday, Carr’s brother, Darren, was the first to respond.
And Carr followed up a short time later.
“Don’t even waste your time with this big bro,” he tweeted. “On the ground I yelled get me up get me. Then I got to the sideline and yelled again. Not one tear. Not one time. There is the Truth. People will click on it because it sounds crazy. But stop playing with me.”
Six minutes after that, he tweeted this: “I’m a Raider. It’s not a ‘popular’ thing to be a Raider right now, but I am and I love it. I love the struggle of trying to fight back for our city when not a lot of people believe in us. People can try all they want to tear us apart, but it’s not happening to the real ones.”
By Wednesday, Carr’s teammates were coming to his defense.
All these reports about this locker room being fractured with Derek Carr is the most obnoxious and ridiculous thing I’ve heard — ever,” tight end Lee Smith told reporters, via the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Matt Kawahara. …
“Us as players have zero issues with Derek Carr,” he continued. “He is our leader, he’s always been our leader. We put a ‘C’ on his chest for a reason, along with Rodney Hudson. And regardless of what face he makes after a tackle or what everybody wants to dive into and wear him out about, attacking his character or attacking him as a leader on this team is a joke.”
Carr, who said of the allegations during his weekly news conference, “I don’t pay that any mind,” added: “I’ve had plenty of tough discussions standing right here with teammates. And those are some of the guys that texted me yesterday saying, ‘Don’t worry about this bull crap,’ that kind of stuff. I can’t tell you how many texts I got from former teammates, teammates I have now, and all of these things. It’s just when you’re losing, crap happens.”
Carr was asked if he ever expected to be accused of crying on the field.
“No, never,” he said. “I broke my back, I broke my ankle. I didn’t cry then. … It was funny, man, my trainer actually sent me some pictures of me working out making the same face. So I guess I cry when I train, too.”
The Raiders are 1-5, have traded two of their best players, and are one of the league’s worst teams. And while Carr is completing a career-best 71 percent his passes and ranks 13th in value per play among all quarterbacks, he also has eight interceptions against just seven touchdowns. Put another way: There’s no guarantee he’s in Jon Gruden’s long-term plans.
“I think Carr is going to be fine,” Gruden said Wednesday. “We’ve got a lot of moving pieces now on offense and it’s tough on a quarterback. In the first year of a system, it’s doubly tough. I know he’s going to be a great player.”
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