The Raiders’ protection of quarterback Derek Carr last season compared to the year before and the biggest reason is 6-8 and 380 pounds.
Trent Brown, who played the previous season with the New England Patriots protecting Tom Brady, signed with the Silver and Black for $66 million over four years, making him the highest-paid lineman in football.
Brown is worth every penny.
The 27-year-old Brown, who was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time, was worth every penny, even though he played only 11 games because of a pectoral injury.
“He definitely makes a difference on the football games, that’s for sure,” said Carr, who was tired of getting knocked on his backside two years ago. “ … Trent, that guy is just a monster when it comes to pass game, run game. I mean you literally see him throw grown men 8-10 yards off the ball like it’s crazy what he's able to do against some really talented people.
“With the year that he had, him going to the Pro Bowl, rightfully deserved.”
Carr was sacked 52 times in 2018, but only went down only 29 times last season, behind a line that includes young and improving Kolton Miller at left tackle, four-time Pro Bowler Richie Incognito at left guard and veteran Gabe Jackson at guard, with three-time Pro Bowler Rodney Hudson anchoring at center.
According to the analytic site Sports Info Solutions’ blown-block rate, Brown had three blown blocks in 307 pass-blocking snaps and six in 250 run-blocking snaps.
In addition, he also defended Carr against some of his critics on Instagram, writing: “Watch ya mouth patna … just be a fan or fall tf back but whatever you do do it quietly.”
Brown, who was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Florida, believes he finally has received the respect he deserves when he landed the big contract with the Raiders and backed it up on the field.
“I just feel like I’ve been put on the back burner my whole life,” said Brown, who is the heaviest player in the NFL. “Just being a seventh-round pick to now, and through the process, people tried to dim my light . . . now I’m the highest-paid lineman in NFL history.
“That’s a testament to my work and how I go about my everyday life . . . I sow good seeds and I’m reaping the harvest with my everyday work.”
Brown played left tackle for the Patriots, but the Raiders moved him to right tackle because they believe Miller is going to be a great left tackle, and also because he can block pass-rushing giant, Von Miller of the Denver Broncos, twice a year.
The 49ers played Brown at right tackle and he has Miller’s attention.
“He’s the best right tackle in the National Football League,” Miller said. “And he may even be a top-five tackle, period, in the National Football League. There’s not another tackle who’s that tall, that big and can move the way he moves.”
Raiders Coach Jon Gruden feels the same way.
Gruden obviously was disappointed when he had to place Brown on injured reserve last season, but he know what he has protecting Carr on the right.
“Pretty good,” Gruden said of Brown’s season when he announced his right tackle was going in injured reserve. “I mean, to me, he’s the best right tackle in the game. Obviously, he’s a difference-maker. If you watch us play (the Chicago Bears) in London, if you watch us play against any of the teams that he played against, he’s a difference-maker in pass protection.
"He’s a good run player, and obviously, he’s been well respected by his peers in the league. Congratulations to him for making the Pro Bowl. Obviously, what he did put on tape was very impressive.”
Brown also has been something of a mentor for Miller, of who he said: “I think Kolton has it all. He just has to get it in his mind that he has it and have the confidence in himself to go out and do it.”
When Brown was asked by SB Nation to compare Gruden with Coach Bill Belichick of the Patriots he quipped: “Gruden is a lot more alive.”
So is Carr, thanks in great measure to Brown.
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