When the 2014 National Football League pre-season began, the question in Oakland was never about who would be the Raiders starting quarterback. The Raiders came in with a lot of questions. One mainly being a question of the futures for both Head Coach Dennis Allen, and General Manager Reggie McKenzie.
Derek Carr, the second round pick out of Fresno State, was drafted by McKenzie in a bold move by the team who traded a draft pick to acquire the services of Matt Schaub, a proven quarterback for the Houston Texans who had his worst season in his career last season. Schaub had led the Texans to back-to-back playoff appearances before being benched in a 2-14 season for the Texans last year. Carr led Fresno State to a Las Vegas bowl berth with a ten win season and a Mountain West Conference championship for the Bulldogs. McKenzie made the pick in the draft knowing that Carr could be the future of the Oakland Raiders franchise, who haven’t seen a winning season in Oakland since the 2002 Super Bowl season.
The question now for Allen and McKenzie is not only about their future, but rather the future of the Raider franchise begins sooner than anyone in Raider Nation would have ever expected.
There have been a lot of components to the new found quarterback controversy that began as early as week 2 of the preseason, after Matt Schaub struggled through his first two games. Derek Carr on the other hand, has shined in his playing time. Matt McGloin, the teams third string quarterback, has had a mediocre preseason for the Raiders and has shown fans that he has not improved from last season in terms of decision making.
Derek Carr has shown Oakland that there is hope in the future of the once great, but now struggling franchise. In his first pre-season, he has shown he can work with the first string, due to the shoulder injury to Matt Schaub. Carr went 11 for 13 for 143 yards and three touchdowns in the pre-season finale against the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. Not only did he show what he could do against the leagues best defense, the decision making Carr showed proved to fans that he is ready to make an impact on the Raiders. With Matt Schaub still nursing his shoulder injury, he did not play against Seattle, Carr has given this team a reason to have a controversy.
With the Raiders 2014 season starting Sunday against the New York Jets the question remains who the starter will be. Dennis Allen has stated he wants Schaub to start week one. If Schaub can’t go this Sunday, the future might begin sooner than anyone expected. And if by any chance Derek Carr starts this Sunday, the Oakland Raiders and Raider Nation will get their chance to see how their future will perform on a big stage.