When will Raiders QB Derek Carr take snap from center? Mum’s the word



Staff photo

Derek Carr hasn’t taken a snap from iunder center in 231 snaps

ALAMEDA — When we last saw Raiders quarterback Derek Carr under center on Nov. 27, he exited with his right pinkie finger bent in different directions after an exchange with Rodney Hudson.

Since Carr’s return that day, he has taken 231 snaps from center — every one of them in either the shotgun or pistol formations, when the snap travels at least four yards through the air and with limited force on the hands of the quarterback.

Whether the Raiders return to plays run from under center against Indianapolis Saturday at the Coliseum remains to be seen, and certainly won’t be advertised by the coaching staff in advance.

In a 19-16 win over San Diego, Carr actually lined up under center late in the first quarter long enough to draw Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa offsides for a penalty. The ball was never snapped.

The rest of the game was strictly shotgun and pistol. Carr is playing with the finger taped, his brother David telling NFL Media at the time of the injury it was dislocated in two places.

While Carr directed the Raiders to a wins over Carolina and Buffalo, the offense has struggled in the last two games against division opponents Kansas City and San Diego with two touchdowns in 10 red zone possessions.

The Raiders haven’t run plays from under center in either short yardage or goal line, which usually calls for those formations, and even ran five snaps in kneel-down formations against Carolina and San Diego out of shotgun.

All of which suggests Carr’s pinkie is limiting the Raiders to some extent offensively, although neither coach Jack Del Rio nor Carr were conceding that point Monday.

“I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from that,” Del Rio said at his weekly press conference. “I think we’re doing what we think is right for us and it’s not that we can’t or we haven’t, it’s just that we’re choosing to proceed the way we are.”

Asked when he might be lining up under center on his weekly radio appearance on 95.7 The Game, Carr said, “I haven’t been limited at all. I’m taking snaps from center (in warm-ups). I did it before the game, for those that saw that. There’s no limitations so I’m just going to do what the coaches call.”

Since the injury, Carr has completed 53.3 percent of his passes (65 of 122) for 721 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, a passer rating of 75.2. A passer rating that was 101.2 at the time of the injury has dropped to 95.2.

On Nov. 6, the Raiders had their best rushing performance of the season, with 43 attempts for 218 yards against the Denver Broncos. They ran the ball from under center on 34 of those 43 carries.

It defies logic to suggest Del Rio and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave have made a conscious decision to abandon an entire section of the playbook and that it has nothing to do with the health of their quarterback.

In the postgame locker room after the Chargers win, Del Rio said using the shotgun in the red zone: was “an issue we’re working through . . . at some point (when) we feel better about going under center, we will.”

— Del Rio, while ecstatic for a fan base which hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2002, was getting on with the business of preparing to face the Colts.

“There’s been a drought here. We got here two years ago and talked about winning the division and being in the playoffs. The being in the playoffs part is there. The winning the division (part) is yet to be determined. We need to continue to work on that.”

— When Del Rio won a challenge which re-spotted a scramble gain by Carr for a first down, it was his third win in five challenges. The Raiders got a huge ruling in their favor when Michael Crabtree’s 13-yard catch was ruled a touchdown after originally being ruled out of bounds.

“I believe in getting it right when you can,” Del Rio said. “I’d like to see it expanded to any call you think is important enough for your  team. I’ve got a bunch of good people to help with that decision making. We’ve been fortunate to be on the right side of a bunch of those.”

— Wide receiver Amari Cooper caught one pass for 28 yards and has 12 catches for 138 yards in his last four games.

“It’d be nice to get him a few more balls, but I think at the end of the day, we want to stack up wins,” Del Rio said. “I think that’s the most important thing, but I think getting your premiere players involved is usually a good thing.”


Raiders recap: Reggie Nelson a captain, Edwards’ IR status, Del Rio’s Superdome gaffe

Reggie Nelson is already a captain for the Raiders. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Reggie Nelson is already a captain for the Raiders. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Here’s a recap of what was written today that you can check out on our new updated web site:

Scan the Raiders roster and there’s a lot of good, young talent. But it’s thin on veterans.

That’s where 32-year-old safety Reggie Nelson comes into play. Nelson’s entering his 10th season, but his first with the Raiders after spending the past six years in Cincinnati. That didn’t stop him from being announced recently as one of the team’s four captains.

“To be voted amongst your peers, that’s a great thing,” Nelson said Wednesday as the Raiders held their first practice of the regular season in preparation of Sunday’s opener against the New Orleans Saints.

Read the rest of that story here:  Continue Reading


Raiders’ Karl Joseph confident he’ll regain starting safety spot

Karl Joseph was listed Tuesday as the Raiders' second-team strong safety for the season-opener. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Karl Joseph was listed Tuesday as the Raiders’ second-team strong safety for the season-opener. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

ALAMEDA — Karl Joseph wasn’t down on himself Tuesday after the news came out that he was shifted to second-team safety on the Raiders’ depth chart for Sunday’s season-opener against the New Orleans Saints.

“I didn’t expect anything given to me,” Joseph told this newspaper. “I’ve just got to keep learning, keep getting better and keep growing as a player and everything else will fall in its place.

“I have a lot of confidence in myself and I have no doubt in myself that I’ll get my spot back.” Continue Reading


Raiders roster could see several undrafted additions

Darius Latham (middle) has played his way into a likely roster spot. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Darius Latham (middle) has played his way into a likely roster spot. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND — Jack Del Rio has a counterpoint — and a fair one — to the talk that the Raiders have built a talented roster from which it will be tough to make cuts.

“There are a few undrafteds that have a chance to make the roster,” Del Rio said after the Raiders’ 23-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks to close the preseason. “If you have a really stacked roster, that’s typically not the case.”

While true, the Raiders do have a better roster than at any point in years past and the undrafted players with a shot speaks more to general manager Reggie McKenzie’s knack for uncovering some hidden gems. Continue Reading


Del Rio: Standing during national anthem is assumed

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said it's "understood" that his players stand during the national anthem. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said it’s “understood” that his players stand during the national anthem. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

ALAMEDA – Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said Monday he’s never had any issues with players not standing during the national anthem but considers it an organizational expectation.

“It’s never come to a point where I’ve had to address it, it’s always been understood,” Del Rio said. “You stand attention. You pay respect to our flag, our country. That’s always been kind of an assumed thing.”

The national anthem debate has swarmed the NFL since Friday when 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick detailed his reasons for sitting during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner,” which he’s done for all three preseason games this year. Continue Reading


Raiders defense looking for redemption against Titans


ALAMEDA — The Raiders defense hopes to leave a better first impression when it faces the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.

Oakalnd was ramshackled a week ago on its opening possession when the Green Bay Packers marched down on a 14-play touchdown drive. Eddie Lacy had 45 yards on nine carries.

Now the Raiders get a crack at the Titans, who through the first two weeks of exhibition games were second only to the 49ers in rushing, gaining 192.0 yards per game. Continue Reading


Washington and Richard to get some time with first-team offense

DeAndre Washington and fellow rookie running back Jalen Richard will get time with the starting offense Saturday.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

DeAndre Washington and fellow rookie running back Jalen Richard will get time with the starting offense Saturday. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

While the Raiders don’t plan to give away any state secrets on Saturday against the Tennessee Titans, the starters will see a fair amount of work.

“We expect them to probably play a half, maybe a little more,” coach Jack Del Rio said Thursday. “We’ll see.”

The starters already played the whole first half in last week’s preseason loss to the Green Bay Packers and this is likely their final tuneup before the regular season opener Sept. 11. Very few, if any, starters should see action when the exhibition schedule concludes Sept. 1 against Seattle. Continue Reading


Raiders’ Seth Roberts ‘being pushed’ after solid 2015 season

Oakland Raiders receiver Seth Roberts is "being pushed," according to coach Jack Del Rio. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Oakland Raiders receiver Seth Roberts is “being pushed,” according to coach Jack Del Rio. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

The Raiders have more than a handful of receivers trying to get noticed and fight their way onto the team’s 53-man roster.

Seth Roberts knows the feeling. He was in their shoes last year.

Roberts, a practice squad player in 2014, completed the journey from undrafted to the NFL when he cracked the opening day roster last season.

He turned that roster spot into a role as the No. 3 wide receiver, catching 32 passes for 480 yards and five touchdowns. Continue Reading


Raiders coach Jack Del Rio not overly concerned by preseason loss in Green Bay

Jack Del RIo isn't losing sleep over preseason loss to Packers. (AP Photo)

Jack Del RIo isn’t losing sleep over preseason loss to Packers. (AP Photo)

ALAMEDA _ Worried about the Raiders?

Judging from the social media reaction following a 20-12 loss to the Green Bay Packers, it seems a lot of people are wondering if the consensus trendy pick to make a playoff run is really just more of the same.

Following practice Saturday, the first one since the loss to Green Bay two days ago, it’s pretty clear Jack Del Rio can live with the results because 1) They don’t count; and 2) His team is reasonably healthy. Continue Reading


Three Raiders who hurt themselves against Packers

There were plenty of reasons for Raiders coach Jack Del Rio to be frustrated Thursday. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was plenty frustrated Thursday. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Antonio Hamilton

The undrafted rookie cornerback was a stud return man in college at South Carolina State. He got his first chance to show something with a second-quarter punt return, but didn’t go after the ball and let it bounce to take away his chance to a return.

It may be cruel, but some of these players will only get one chance like that to show something. He also got called for a special teams penalty and his already slim roster hopes lost weight. Continue Reading