Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is heading into his eighth season as the team’s starting quarterback. But ahead of this crucial season, Carr is reflecting on some of the issues he used to have.
Speaking to the Raiders team website, Carr admitted that he used to get stressed the night before practices. But once he stopped trying to “impress everybody else” he was able to feel more comfortable and play at his best.
“I remember the night before every practice, I’d be stressed out,” Carr said. “In my head, I’m just hard on myself. I’m thinking about everything like, ‘I got to do that right.’ I’m checking my notes like, ‘I got to do that. I wrote this down, got to fix that.’ Now, it’s just so free… Once I got away from trying to impress everybody else, I got comfortable with being me and honestly that’s when I’ve played my best.”
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when this change happened. Carr made three straight Pro Bowls between 2015 and 2017, but has recently seen his accuracy skyrocket.
Over the past three seasons he’s completed 69-percent of his passes compared to just 61-percent in his first four seasons.
Raiders QB Derek Carr finally playing "free" heading into 8th NFL season: "Once I got away from trying to impress everybody else… that's when I've played my best"https://t.co/cKcYSrAdGY pic.twitter.com/DvKkIPG8ui
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) August 5, 2021
Unfortunately, while Derek Carr may be more comfortable these days, his play hasn’t been enough to get the Raiders over the hump.
The Raiders are 19-29 over the last three seasons and have not made the playoffs since 2016.
But a lot of those struggles can be laid at the feet of the defense, which has broken the franchise record for points allowed twice in the last three years.
If the Raiders fail to make the playoffs once again, it most likely won’t be the fault of Derek Carr. Especially now that he’s in the right headspace.