NAPA — David Carr, now in his second year as an NFL Network analyst, has an admitted bias when it comes to the Raiders.
The older brother of Derek Carr, he visited Tuesday as part of NFL Network’s tour of training camps and came away impressed by how the hype of the Raiders’ offseason hasn’t seeped into their preparing.
“When I got here, I was hoping what I would see is, one you get inside these lines, inside these stripes, the hype kind of goes away,” David Carr said. “It’s just work and these guys are competing. That’s the cool part.”
The free agent additions of left guard Kelechi Osemele, linebacker Bruce Irvin, cornerback Sean Smith and safety Reggie Nelson have pundits picking the Raiders as a possible AFC West contender.
David Carr, a former No. 1 overall pick by Houston who spent 10 years in the NFL, is excited about what those new defensive pieces can do for the Raiders offense and top receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, a former teammate of his with the 49ers.
“I was talking to Derek about the competitiveness on the offensive and defensive side of the ball,” David Carr said. “Guys aren’t this open, now they’re this. It’s tighter coverage. It’s more competitive one-on-one situations.
“Bringing over Reggie Nelson and Sean Smith and those guys on the defensive side of the ball, I think has helped Amari and Crab and made that offensive unit better,” David Carr said.
Like many, one of David Carr’s biggest concerns is making sure the Raiders defense finds replacements for the leadership roles once assumed by Charles Woodson and Justin Tuck.
“You’ve got to find that somewhere,” David Carr said. “Hopefully young guys like Khalil (Mack), having Bruce (Irvin) and Reggie and Sean, those guys will help on defense, so it’s exciting.”