Henderson, Nev.--The Las Vegas Raiders have steadily improved their roster this offseason, and veteran quarterback Derek Carr continues to inexplicably finds himself the punching bag of a select few vocal critics on social media.
Sports Illustrated's Raider Maven has spent significant time over the last year informing fans about the opinions of those around the league of Carr, but now we go further.
Jim Mora Jr. has been a head coach in both college and the NFL, and we caught up with him for this exclusive conversation about what he sees from the Silver and Black's field general.
"I like him," Mora said. "Playing quarterback for Jon Gruden is tough. He is hard on his quarterback. He is demanding of his quarterback. He asks a lot of those guys, and he is not afraid to be critical of them in public."
Carr gets paid millions of dollars, and it isn't to be cuddled by his coach. To his credit, he hasn't shied away from it. Carr embraces it.
"In Derek Carr, I think you have a winner," Mora said. "You have a guy who is a leader and displays toughness. I think he grew up a lot this past year, a season of change obviously. A difficult season."
While everyone in the NFL endured a challenging year, Carr's growth impressed the former coach.
"What I like about him is that he has become a really good decision-maker," Mora said. "His mind has calmed down when he is playing the game."
Despite having a banged-up offensive line for the last two years, Carr has gotten better. It is that experience that produces quarterback play at an elite level because the game changes. Something Mora sees as well.
"I see a guy that the game has really slowed down for him and he knows what is expected of him, he understands the scheme, and he understands the players around him," Mora said.
Mora doesn't have the resume he does because he is a fool.
Like everyone else who isn't an obsessed Carr critic, Mora knows the real problem in Las Vegas, and he addressed his optimism for the Silver and Black.
"If they can get the defense squared away, and I think they will, all of a sudden they become a powerful team with Derek Carr as their quarterback," Mora concluded.
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