When Drew Brees retired in 2020, the New Orleans Saints weren’t 100% sure of their quarterback plans.
Since then, the Black & Gold have shuffled through five different starting quarterbacks to reach their newest leader: Derek Carr.
Carr was drafted 36th overall in 2014 by the then-Oakland Raiders out of Fresno State, where he had a shining college career.
The head coach that drafted Carr is one that Saints fans are familiar with: Dennis Allen.
Allen was the head coach for Oakland from 2012-2014, but only coached Carr for four games as Allen was fired after an 8-28 record.
During his nine seasons in the NFL, Carr holds an overall record of 63-79, which is far from good. However, he’s always played on a team that didn’t put a lot around him, especially from a defense and special teams perspective.
When you look at just Derek Carr, his numbers are quite impressive.
Carr holds a career completion percentage of 64.6%, throwing for 35,222 yards with 217 touchdowns and 99 interceptions. Yes, the interceptions could be lower but if you carry a 2-1 TD-INT ratio after a decade in the league, I’m not going to complain.
Carr also has plenty of comebacks in his career, with 28 comebacks and 33 game-winning drives to his credit. He’s a four-time pro bowler who finished third in the league’s MVP race in 2016.
When you look at the postseason, he’s technically brought the Raiders to the playoffs twice, but he was inactive for the first game against Houston in 2017. In 2021, however, he led Las Vegas to a wild-card berth against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. In that loss, Carr went 29-54 for 310 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The pick came on the final drive when Carr had the offense on the verge of tying the game.
Derek Carr has gotten a lot of praise from his new head coach. This is what Dennis Allen said about Carr a few weeks back:
“Quarterback is the most important position on the field, and when you have a highly skilled player, a highly intelligent player, a guy that works the way the Derek does, a guy that has the type of leadership qualities that Derek has, that’s going to filter throughout the whole football team, players and coaches,” Allen said via Jeff Duncan of Nola.com. “I think that gives you a lot of confidence going into the season.”
Carr will now come to a strong offense in New Orleans full of weapons with players like Chris Olave, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and plenty others. Add that to the top-15 defense the Saints had in 2022 and the Black & Gold look like a surefire playoff team in 2023.
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