Carr 'ready to rock,' ankle fully healed entering Raiders offseason program

Carr 'ready to rock,' ankle fully healed entering Raiders offseason program

Derek Carr started the Raiders offseason program on time. His surgically repaired fibula didn’t hold him back. Not one bit.

The Raiders quarterback says he’s as good as new after breaking his ankle late last season, an incident that battered and bruised his team’s playoff hopes. The Raiders lost both games after Carr went down, including the postseason opener at Houston.

The Raiders slammed the brakes on his rehab this winter, and even a conservative approach left him in good standing this offseason.

“I’m ready to rock,” Carr said Monday afternoon. “I’ve been running, jumping, throwing, cutting. … I’m ready to do absolutely everything. I did everything the guys did today. I’ll do everything the guys do tomorrow. I feel great. I’m truly blessed that it wasn’t worse. It could’ve been a lot worse and it wasn’t. I’m thankful for that.”

Carr’s rehab was relatively painless, and he progressed according to plan. Getting hurt in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis should be considered poor timing, but the injury itself wasn’t anything above the standard break. While Carr considered the rehab undaunting, he was excited to get beyond rehab’s early stages

“The best part was getting off the crutches,” Carr said. “That was the best part. That’s when I could be a human again. I had the boot, but that was easier. I think what I really took for granted was picking my kids up and taking them to their room. Little things like that made me appreciate what I have so much more. I felt like a long process, but it flew by. Each day felt like a long day, but we tried to make it fun.”

The next stage is getting hit again, something that won’t happen until the summer. Carr isn’t concerned about that mental hurdle.

“I had my wife tackle me a few times. Wrestling Khalil Mack in pool basketball, that helps,” Carr said with a smile. “You can ask him, too. I held him to no points. I’ve broken a lot of things. I’ve torn a lot of things. Because this one happened at such a dramatic time, where I couldn’t play the next couple games, it’s kind of bigger than it was. It wasn’t hard for me to take the boot off and take my first step. For me, the mental side is easy to defeat because it’s me versus me. That’s going to be a win every time.”

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.