Players report today so it’s time to wrap up this series with part 10 as we look at the quarterbacks on the Raiders’ training camp roster.
The Raiders go into year three of the Derek Carr era. The former Fresno State star is looking to build off two seasons that, in terms of touchdown passes, has been surpassed only by Dan Marino. And boy is that a comforting place for this organization to be.
Carr might not be the perfect quarterback yet. His final five games of last season — 56.4 percent completion, 218.4 yards per game, eight touchdowns, seven interceptions — exposed some issues. Carr has the gunslinger gene in him and he likes to take changes, which sometimes can hurt him.
But if you look at Carr as a whole, especially compared to what the quarterback position has been like for the past decade-plus, the Raiders are in good shape. If Carr builds off what he’s done through two seasons and continues to improve, printing playoff tickets could start happening.
There’s no debate over this starting job, of course, but let’s look further at the battle for the backup job.
McGloin has been a serviceable backup for the Raiders. He started six games as a rookie on a pretty bad team and did fairly well. Until the Raiders went and beat Cleveland last year, his 2013 win at Houston represented Oakland’s last road win.
He’s outlasted Matt Schaub, who was supposed to be the starter when he came to the Raiders in 2014 and lost the job to Carr. He beat former first-round pick Christian Ponder last training camp to stay on as the backup.
McGloin’s 2015 campaign consisted mostly of entering in the season opener when Carr injured his finger in a blowout loss. But he also had another solid preseason and is a player the Raiders feel decent about if Carr were to go down.
But the Raiders were aggressive in the draft in moving up to the second pick in the fourth round to take Michigan State’s Connor Cook. He was good value in that spot for a player who was talked about as a possible late first round/early second round selection.
Cook will get his chance to earn the backup job. He and McGloin split the second-team repetitions during mini-camp. Cook actually got the initial No. 2 reps during the first mini camp practice. But the player who struggled with accuracy at Michigan State looked like a player who still needs some work. Cook’s throws sailed and wobbled at times and he didn’t look ready to step into an NFL game.
I’ll be eager to watch how Cook has (or hasn’t) improved when training camp opens Friday. Obviously he’ll be a huge player to watch when the preseason games start. The Raiders don’t have many position battles so the quarterback battle is one to watch. Carr won’t play a ton during the exhibition games, so expect these guys to see a lot of action.