- Covered Oakland Raiders for CSNBayArea.com and Sacramento Bee for eight years
- Member of Pro Football Writers Association
- Previously worked at Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Sports Illustrated
HENDERSON, Nev. — Both Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and receiver Davante Adams expressed relief Wednesday at team owner Mark Davis giving his support to first-year coach Josh McDaniels in the wake of the Raiders’ disappointing 2-7 start to the season.
Davis on Monday told ESPN that people want “instant gratification” and that “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Carr said Wednesday that Davis’ vote of confidence allowed the players to exhale.
“It really did,” Carr said. “Just being here for nine years and everything that we’ve all seen and been through, and some tragedies, and all this stuff, right? I’m so happy to hear that Mr. Davis feels that way. I’m so happy that he loves Josh, he loves [first-year general manager Dave Ziegler], he believes in them.”
Carr was emotional at the postgame podium following Sunday’s 25-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, needing several instances to catch his breath while rocking back and forth and fighting back tears. The Raiders play at the AFC West rival Denver Broncos (3-6) on Sunday.
Davis’ endorsement, Carr said, “kind of just gave us a breath like, ‘Yes. Let’s just get better. Let’s work on being a better football team. Let’s go out and win all these games. Let’s go try and do all that, of course, but let’s just be a better football team.’
“It kind of let us know, the process, trust that process. There is a process and we do have time during the season that we know who our leader is, and we know that we’re rolling, and that gives us confidence as a football team. So, absolutely, when he came out and did that, ‘Whew, thank goodness.’ That kind of thing.”
McDaniels’ job status came into question with the Raiders’ slow start a year after their 10-7 finish under interim coach Rich Bisaccia and then-GM Mike Mayock, one that resulted in just the franchise’s second postseason appearance since 2002. McDaniels, who came to Las Vegas after winning six Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots, is just 7-24 as a head coach since starting 6-0 with the Broncos in 2009.
As such, Adams, acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers in March, said Wednesday he hoped Davis would be “patient” with the new regime and its process.
“You look at the history of this place, I mean, I don’t think a playoff game has been won in over 20 years here,” Adams said, referencing the Raiders’ AFC title win against the Tennessee Titans on Jan. 19, 2003. The Raiders lost Super Bowl XXXVII, a wild-card game at the Houston Texans in 2017 and last season’s wild-card matchup at the Cincinnati Bengals.
“There’s no magic coach that’s going to come in and change that,” Adams added. “And I think that Josh is doing a great job and he does deserve that, in my mind. We can all be better in certain instances but some of the greatest coaches that this league has seen had some tough times and I’m sure they didn’t all come out the block sprinting like Usain Bolt, starting their career off, or starting with a new organization. So, I think it’s good move by [Davis] doing that. It’s good for Josh, good for the rest of the guys, too.”
Added Carr: “I think what our owner said is best — it’s not built in just one day. Like, it really isn’t. What his belief is and what Josh’s belief is, and Dave’s belief is, there’s no denying their success. There’s no denying what they’ve been able to do.”
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