Despite Challenges Ahead, Raiders Naming Derek Carr Starter Was Right Move

On Monday, the Oakland Raiders announced that rookie second-round draft pick Derek Carr would be their starting quarterback this season, per the team's official website. For anyone who watched the Raiders play this preseason, it was clear that Carr performed better than Matt Schaub, but performance isn’t the only factor the team had to consider.

Rookie quarterbacks face unique challenges, but the Raiders still made the right decision naming Carr the starter.

When general manager Reggie McKenzie selected Carr with the 36th overall pick in May, the hope was always that he would eventually win the starting job. Carr has exceeded expectations so far, but the true test is yet to come.

The team must believe Carr can overcome the steep learning curve for rookie quarterbacks with its support, that it was going nowhere fast with Schaub, or both. In any case, Carr is the first rookie quarterback to start Week 1 for the Raiders in their 54-year history, so the team is entering uncharted territory.

Head coach Dennis Allen said of the move, via

After watching him all throughout training camp and in the preseason, you just see a guy that continues to develop and continues to be mature beyond his years as a quarterback and a guy that we feel very comfortable putting him out there and helping us win football games. ... We’ve seen him grow by leaps and bounds, and I think he’s ready to accept the challenge.

Offensive coordinator Greg Olson, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and offensive line coach Tony Sparano all have experience starting a rookie quarterback, so the staff knows there will be some growing pains for its young signal-caller.

Rookie undrafted free agent Matt McGloin started six games last season for the Raiders, and the team scored 23.7 points per game during that span.

The only difference is that Carr is a Week 1 starter, which wi...

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