There are still hurdles Derek Carr needs to clear (namely a new contract), but the Raiders quarterback is already over an important one.
He’s practicing fully now after the broken leg that ended his season, and he said it took him a moment to realize what he had done.
“The hardest part was taking the first rep, because the last rep you remember was like, ‘Oh snap, I broke this thing,'” Carr said, via Paul Gutierrez. “But as soon as the ball was snapped, it was a blessing. It kind of all went away.
“Now, I’m just playing ball again, but leading up to it, I think that was the worst part, . . . the lead-up, all the rehab. It was like, ‘Man, when am I ever going to be able to do this again.’ It felt like it was never going to happen.”
Carr’s been participating through the offseason, and they’re making it clear they’re expecting more from him — even after a breakout season which had them looking like one of the top teams in the AFC before his injury.
One particular thing they want to add to his plate is more decision-making ability at the line of scrimmage. New offensive coordinator Todd Downing wants to give him more freedom than he had under Bill Musgrave.
“Every year except my rookie year, it wasn’t that way,” Carr said. “It was, ‘Hey, let’s do it this way. We’ll have it built in kind of a deal and just let it roll, let’s play fast kind of a thing.’
“My rookie year and this upcoming year, they’re more, ‘Hey, at the line of scrimmage, get us in the good look, get us in the right play, but do it fast kind of a deal.’ I think that that’s what [head coach Jack Del Rio is] hitting on, just making sure that I can take not doing it for a little while.”
With the progress he showed last year, Carr ought to be able to handle it, and getting the work in this time of year should make it that much easier.