He has a future behind a microphone
The Raiders and Ravens wrapped up Week 1 of the NFL season with a bang Monday night. The teams traded clutch scores late in the fourth quarter before Las Vegas kicker Daniel Carlson forced overtime with a 55-yard field goal. The Raiders appeared to have the game won on the opening possession of overtime, but a replay review determined that Bryan Edwards was down short of the goal line after a 32-yard catch. The field had to be cleared after players from both teams began shaking hands, thinking the game was over. Three plays (and a backbreaking false start penalty) later, Derek Carr threw an interception that bounced off the helmet of a Ravens defender.
After a Lamar Jackson fumble, the Raiders got the ball back and won the game (for real this time) on a 31-yard pass from Carr to Zay Jones.
It was the kind of game that leaves you with your head spinning, even if you’re just sitting on the couch, not rooting for either of the teams. But Carr was totally composed when speaking on the field with ESPN’s Lisa Salters. It was one of the best postgame interviews I can remember seeing.
“It reminded me so much of my career so far. A lot of this, you know what I’m saying?” Carr said, moving his hand up and down to illustrate the peaks and valleys. “And I’m thankful for this group because, on both sides, we made plays to help us lose it and to help us win it.”
He was honest, introspective, insightful and humorous, all in the span of two minutes. He never once stumbled over his words and didn’t slip into both-teams-played-hard-type clichés. He even offered a key piece of information about the winning play, unprompted, telling Salters that the play call was changed at the line of scrimmage.
On SportsCenter, right after the interview aired, Scott Van Pelt compared it to wrestler Dusty Rhodes’s classic “Hard Times” promo. I wouldn’t go quite that far, but it was a breath of fresh air compared to the usual begrudging, boilerplate interviews we usually hear from athletes in the moments directly after a game.
I didn’t have a strong opinion about Carr until I saw that video. I just knew him as an above-average quarterback whose teams consistently underachieve. But now, I came away impressed by his ability to sum up a wild game and endeared by his willingness to speak openly. If I was in charge of a sports network, I’d pencil in a meeting with Carr’s agent for six or seven years down the road.
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