Raiders coach: Derek Carr 'better than we thought he would be'

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Rookie QB Derek Carr has been impressive during OTAs. (USATSI)
Rookie QB Derek Carr has been impressive during OTAs. (USATSI)

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The Raiders drafted Derek Carr in the second round of May's NFL Draft, but reportedly had no plans to rush him into the lineup. Partly because most rookies -- especially quarterbacks -- need time to adjust to professional football, but also because the Raiders traded for Matt Schaub this offseason and coach Dennis Allen promptly named him the 2014 starter.

Several months later, that remains the case, though Carr has exceeded expectations during OTAs, and is already taking second-team snaps from Matt McGloin.

Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Olson said that Carr has been "better than we thought he would be," adding (via the San Francisco Chronicle's Vic Tafur): “I really, really like him. Everybody knew he was accurate, but he is more accurate than we thought. … We'll have to wait and see how he does against a live rush, but so far his intelligence, accuracy and quickness in getting the ball out has been excellent.”

When it became clear that the Texans were willing to part ways with Schaub, the Raiders moved quickly, acquiring the veteran quarterback in late March. A month later -- and weeks before the draft -- the Raiders traded Terrelle Pryor, who started nine games last season, to the Seahawks for a seventh-round pick.

“When we got Matt Schaub, we needed to do that,” Olson said. “We didn't know who would fall to us in the draft. It was a good decision, a decision we had to make.”

Allen has called Schaub a top-10 quarterback, something no one would have accused him of during a forgettable 2013 season. But Olson knows his job is to get the most out of Schaub, who enters his 11th season.

“They didn't allow him to do much in Houston,” Olson said. “I don't know why. A guy with his experience ought to understand the protections and what a good run is, and what a bad run is. So, give him more rein and let him use what he sees.”

And while Allen isn't interested in talking about the depth chart in June, it's clear that he and Olson really like what they have in Carr.

“He's a competitor,” the coach said last week. “He is going to continue to compete. That's really what we want him to do. I am setting any barriers. … I want him to come in here and try to get better every day. If he does that, everything else takes care of itself.”

Olson added: “We drafted a pretty good player. He is very intelligent, and he may not need to redshirt. We like his comfort level. Right away, you can see that this is not too big for him.”

 
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