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Ed Wood

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  1. Lots of good arguments going back and forth with Carr. I think most people have their minds made up. I'll stick with two points I've already, uh, pointed out: * You worry about where the ball is going with Carr. That's hard for anyone to deny. * I think Gannon was better than Carr, significantly better. And in the following I'm going to show why I think Gannon was better. The Gannon game that sticks out to me was Week 2 of the 2002 season. At Pittsburgh. (In other words on the road in a noisy place against a good team...sound familiar?) 😉 Gannon went 29 for 41 with a TD and a pick...and then the second half started. Yep, Gannon threw 63 times that night. In the first half the Raiders passed 41 times and ran 9. And here's the real kicker: Gannon had two awful picks, both around the Steelers 5 yard line. But he was plenty good enough otherwise to overcome them both. The Raiders led most of the way and won 30-17. And other than the picks, man. Vintage Gannon. The various arm angles, the pinpoint throws, a half dozen shots deeper down the field to keep the defense honest, it's all there. Even the biggest Carr backer can't say their guy is currently anything like Gannon was here (and many, many other times in a Raider uni). And he did a lot of it (especially early) with an empty backfield. In other words, the Steelers knew he was going to throw and they still couldn't stop him. Here's video of the first half. If you don't want to watch all of it, just watch the first drive. I think it's 11 passes and 1 run. There's also video of the second half but it's not as much fun cuz Gannon only threw like 23 times. 😉 I know, I know, people are going to say he had Rice and Brown and Porter to throw to, not Williams and Jones and whomever. But all that makes me think of is when I covered high school sports and they'd talk about a good coach this way: "He can take his and beat yours and he can take yours and beat his." In other words, yes, Gannon did this with Rice and Brown and Porter but I bet he could do similar with Williams and Jones and whomever. As a few others on the board have stated, he simply made the other players around him better. Theismann said on this broadcast something like, "Gannon knows where all his receivers are." Maguire later took it a step further, "Gannon knows where everybody is." Those two points to me are what really separate Gannon and Carr. These are levels Carr at this point isn't close to reaching. Maybe he can get there (it took Gannon years to do it), but I have doubts.
  2. You don't need me to list his deficiencies. They're listed all over this board. And LawFitz did a good of listing some of them right after your post. But since you asked... 1. He locks onto a receiver way too early and way too often. First pick Sunday he locked onto Waller the whole way, second pick he locked onto Jones. He does this constantly. Of all this flaws this may be No. 1 2. Backbreaker picks to make dicey situations even worse. See Sunday. They needed just about a flawless game in every phase to have a chance and Carr wasn't up to it--again. He put nearly as many points on the board for the other team as he did for his own. They haven't come close to sniffing a win at Arrowhead with him at QB. The last four seasons they've lost by a combined 122-40 score. In those games Carr has thrown 2 TD passes and 4 picks. But he has completed a gaudy 65% of his passes. That says something but I don't know that it's good. 3. Poor pocket awareness. 4. Can't improvise and create something out of nothing to save his life. See No. 3. 5. Needs a consistently clean pocket and an established running game to be truly effective. But you can say that about a lot of QBs (none of them elite of course). That's "all" I can think of off the top of my head. 😉 In regards to the specifics in your post: He's accurate short, I guess he's accurate medium, nobody knows if he's accurate long because he seldom throws the ball more than 25 yards. Good arm strength? Can't really say until he heaves his first pass 50 yards down the field. But even if he does have good arm strength, so do 80% of the other QBs in the league. It doesn't make him stand out. I'd call his vision, reading the field and audibles fine but again nothing that sets him apart from the pack. He isn't turnover prone? He doesn't go down the field enough to say that. Sure, the numbers are good but they better be with all the dinking and dunking he does. And who knows about his leadership unless you're in that locker room. I do agree, however, that a lot of his current and former teammates have good things to say about him. Not sure that makes him a leader but maybe it does. You like him. Lots of people like him. I like him too but I don't think he's anything special. I think he's far from elite and I thought he was on the way to that status after 2016. He has been light years better than the three QBs taken before him in 2014. And I think he's performing like a typical 2nd round pick--some good, some bad, some meh. His record since 2015 is 35-41. That's pretty bad but in his defense he's gone through countless regime changes and, yes, an ever-changing receiving corp. I just don't think at this point his pattern of play game in and game suggests they can get through the rigors of 2 or 3 playoff games and go on to win a Super Bowl whether he gets a No. 1 or not. (Good defenses can shut down a 1 and still not leave you with a lot of options. At least I think that's what a good defense's been so long since I've seen one). 😉 Sunday he dug 'em a hole early with a pick. He deepened that hole a quarter later with a pick 6. And at some point during a playoff stretch, they'll be on the road and the run game won't be working or the rush will be overwhelming or the crowd will be howling and that's when the real QB in him will come out. At least that's what his past history tells me.
  3. I'd say Carr is much more than "serviceable." I'd call him "capable with warts." 😉 I agree with the reference to Gannon comparisons. There are obviously frequent generational changes in the league. Brady has benefited immensely from these. They treat QBs with kid gloves and it gets worse every year. Breathe on a receiver now and you get a flag. That's why I've never bought into Brady being the GOAT. For me it's Montana. He still played in an era where the defense could break the QB's coccyx and the ref would look the other way. Brady would have crumbled like a cheap suit if he played the 1985 Bears--just like Montana did (17 of 29 for 160 yards and 7 sacks).
  4. Great post, Chad!! Lotta good points. Doesn't change my thought that Carr is not a QB that can take a team all the way. Unless he's got a defense that's a tick or two below the 85 Bears or 2001 Ravens, he's going to be called on to do more than his skills allow him to do in a playoff stretch IMO. But I agree that this team has much bigger needs than Carr right now. If they improve the D considerably and give Carr a true No. 1 receiver in an apparently receiver-rich class coming up, maybe they can mask Carr's deficiencies enough to make a deep run in the next two to four years. I doubt it happens and a lot of things have to go right for that to happen. Anyway it's a fun debate. BTW, if the Gannon that played for the Raiders walked through the door in Oakland, I'd take him in a heartbeat over Carr. He was much, much better than Carr is today regardless if their stats were similar.
  5. Lotta good posts as always. Always gives me food for thought and makes me say, "I didn't think of that!" Here's my quick take on the Raiders generally and Carr specifically after a pair of 31-point losses: * The Raiders probably weren't as good as their 6-4 record indicated. They had a -25 point differential at that point and now it's ballooned near 90. But unlike the 2016 Raiders, this team wasn't succeeding with smoke and mirrors and most of the breaks going their way. No, there's a firm foundation here. The last two weeks have just exposed a few more cracks in it. * Carr, however, is a different story. Obviously when the team itself is hitting on most or all phases, he can look solid and sometimes almost great. But as Stinkin' Ref put it, he hasn't shown he can put a team on his back and lead them to a victory when the chips are down and most phases aren't working--especially in a cold, nasty road game with the crowd giving the visitors hell. In fact, he's often making things worse. To those who say, "Well, what about 2016?" I'd posit he wasn't as good as that season would indicate. He hasn't come close to replicating that season at all. BUT he also wasn't as bad as it seemed he was in 2017. But IMO he's not elite and I don't think he ever will be. Gonna date myself here, but Carr gives me a Jay Schroeder/Marc Wilson vibe in that he can't go the three or four games necessary in the playoffs without shooting himself and his team in the foot. He doesn't have the moxie (yikes, there's a word I haven't used in a long time) that Snake Stabler, Rich Gannon and, to a lesser extent, Jim Plunkett had. (I know, I know, Plunkett could look awkward and at times even comical but ya can't argue with two Super Bowl wins.) Stabler/Gannon/Plunkett were guys who, in their prime, you didn't worry about where the ball was going when it left their hand--unlike Schroeder and Wilson and about everybody else the Raiders have put out on the field since the turn of the century. And now I put Carr in that latter camp. Good coaching can bring out the best in Carr but I'm not sure he can sustain that "best" stretch for three or four games if (I mean "when") the Raiders reach the playoffs. An ill-advised pick, a critical throw short of the chains on third down, a missed open receiver, these are all landmines I don't think Carr will ever consistently navigate against elite teams for a sustained stretch of games. The 2020 draft will indeed be interesting.
  6. In the Jacobs thread somebody posted "Cadillac Williams part deux?" so I took a look after 9 games for each and yep--startlingly similar: Jacobs 168/811/7, 20 catches Williams 172/about 700/3, 14 catches Williams ended the season with 290 carries and 25 catches. The big caveat here, tho, is college touches. Cadillac about 800, Jacobs about 300. I wonder if Gruden has been asked about this. Cadillac Williams played 81 games in the NFL.
  7. One of the few games this year I’ll get to watch. A few thots… What a schizophrenic display on defense: • A full-throttle assault by the line nearly the entire game to make Rivers go crying for his mommy. I lost track of sacks—5 was it? • Three picks (coulda been 4—by the same guy!). Now the not so good stuff… • Tons of hankies. All seemed pretty legit except for the hold on Mullen with under a minute left. That stuff happens—and much worse happens—every play. That doesn’t get called on a five-year vet and no way it should be called with less than a minute to go. • Been a long time since I’ve seen three offsides calls in one game. The most basic tenet on the defensive side of the football was a total fail. • Same old thing for decades—tons of first-opportunity tackles missed. Tons of pass catchers running free and unabated. But…when it came crunch time there were no pass catchers running free. What was it—8 passes in the last minute? And on about everyone of em everybody had a Raider in their shirt. • And one of the things that cheers my heart the most: despite all the flags, they still found a way to win. That’s what the Raiders of the 70s and 80s did. They had players they knew were gonna commit a lot of penalties but they had players they knew were gonna overcome em too. I think I’m seeing a little of No. 75 in Mr. Crosby. What can you say about Carr? He’s now in full control of the complex Gruden offense. I think all questions have been answered. Few ill-advised throws now. Not so jittery now. He takes a sack here and there when there’s nothing developing instead of throwing the ball into traffic. Props to Gruden and Mayock for what appears to be an outstanding draft class. Especially Mayock. I think Gruden’s first effort was middling at best but not the second with Mayock lending his input. But about Gruden…hats off on two fronts: 1) He knows how to call a game. On that last drive you knew he’d come up with the right plays. All he needed was team execution and he got it. 2) He’s got this team turned around. In 25 games. Say what you want about that lousy road trip but it helped this team bond. They’re playing hard and they’ve got each other’s backs. Exciting time to be a fan.
  8. Thanks, all. I'm so often wrong I'll gladly bask in the sun of one I got right. 😎
  9. Thanks, bro! Needless to say I'm playing the Lotto this week. 😁
  10. This is the best I've felt about their chances since Week 1. Vegas doesn't really know how to handicap this team and that's understandable. I read where it was a pick-em game at beginning of the week with the Raiders now favored by 2.5 to 3. I don't think that's enough. Raiders 31, Lions 24.
  11. A lot to be encouraged about yesterday. Moral victories suck in place of the real ones but you can see things coming together. Really impressed with Carr. He stands tall in the pocket most of the time. Still makes an ill-advised throw every now and then but I think he's putting to rest any questions whether he's the guy. And that's good news. Means the Raiders can spend the money and draft choices to fix that leaky D.
  12. Do the 12-4 Bears of 2018 remind anybody of any 12-4 Raider team of recent vintage? 😛 Hint: Both teams had Khalil Mack.
  13. Interesting thots. If not, it seems kinda like a panic move (tho not a bad price considering how he's performed this year). Second half of last year Gruden seemed very high on him. Now six game into the next season he's deemed expendable. Totally concur with the second thot. This team has so many holes on the D ya gotta fill 'em wherever you can in whatever order.
  14. I guess Trump isn't the only person with small hands...
  15. Jerry McDonald had a bye week column on this very topic--the fact the Raiders hadn't beaten a topnotch QB this year to throw a little water on the 3-2 start. And if you want to know where all the holes are on your defense, Aaron Rodgers is just the man to show you.