Watching teammates from sideline painful for Raiders QB
As painful as a broken bone in his back may have been for Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, being forced to sit and watch his teammates play caused perhaps as much hurt.
Carr got hurt in Denver on Oct. 1 and immediately apologized to coach Jack Del Rio for missing time. But now after sitting out last week against Baltimore when Oakland (2-3) lost its third straight game, Carr is on target to return Sunday when the Raiders host the Los Angeles Chargers (1-4).
“I felt bad because I care so much about this team and this organization that even though I had a broken back I still felt bad that I couldn’t be out there to help because as you guys know, I sat there for two games last year and had to watch knowing there’s nothing I could do to help,” Carr said. “It is a lonely feeling. It hurts because I see the sacrifice all my teammates make and I just want to be out there to help them because I believe that I can.”
The Raiders need a healthy Carr to reverse this recent slide that began with losses at Washington and Denver when Oakland was held to 10 points or fewer in consecutive games for the first time since 2009. Oakland has lost its 11 games that weren’t started by Carr, including the regularseason finale and playoff game last season.
Carr got hurt in the second half of the 16-10 loss to the Broncos and backup E.J. Manuel couldn’t get the offence going last week in a 30-17 loss to Baltimore.
There were some signs of improvement, including the Raiders running for 108 yards after being held to 56 over the previous two weeks combined. But Oakland had only 137 yards passing as the offence struggled for a third straight week after scoring 71 points the first two games.
“We just have to be efficient,” Carr said. “I’m sitting there watching the game, when you watch it from the sideline it’s really hard. To sit there and see certain looks and see things going on with all those kind of things. I think that if we can just be efficient, and each man has to do their job.”
The one aspect of the offence that has been missing most has been receiver Amari Cooper, who has been held to four catches for 23 yards the past three games.
Cooper topped 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first two seasons but has been missing in action this year either because of dropped passes, bad throws or quarterbacks not targeting him when he’s open.
“I think everyone on our team is a little frustrated at something,” Carr said. “That’s just one thing. The frustration, that part of it is what we have to get rid of. We just have to go out and let it loose. I don’t think there’s one thing where it’s like, hey, it’s this or it’s that that leads to that. I think if we can go out there and cut it loose and just trust what we have, I think we’ll be better going forward.” Oakland quarterback Derek Carr is on target to return Sunday when the Raiders host the Los Angeles Chargers.
Steve Kerr recently threw out a perplexing question to his starstudded Golden State roster: What should he tell a team that has won championships in two of the last three years and still reached the Finals in the other?
How might he spark improvement from a group that has won 67, 73 and 67 games the past three seasons?
“It’s got to be about what’s important to us,” Kerr said. “The joy of coming to practice every day is important for our guys to remember, the process.”
Kerr is already challenging his Warriors to find ways to get better. He is strategizing ways to make sure they don’t become complacent, maintaining the edge that has turned this franchise into a perennial contender with names such as Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green leading the charge after decades of futility.
“It’s been really smooth. There’s a chemistry and a certain expectation of how we’re going to play versus last year,” Curry said. “There were a couple unanswered questions going into camp and a feeling out process but Coach has challenged us to focus on the details in how we can get better from last year. He joked around: ‘What do you tell a team that’s won 67 games or 65-plus the last three years, two championships, how do you tell a team like that to get better? Or what do you tell a team like that to get better? It’s basically about the details and the fine points of our offence, and cutting hard, setting screens for each other, the counters that we’re going to add to our offensive sets. All those little things are built on the foundation that we set last year and obviously Kevin’s a part of that. We all are. So it’s kind of good to put that in the right perspective.”
What the franchise has accomplished the past three seasons isn’t lost on Green.
“It’s a special thing,” he said. “And I think a lot of times in life we forget to live in the moment, especially in our day and age, social media — let me record this — miss everything I’m watching because I am looking at it through a phone. You forget to enjoy the moment . ... As much as I try to enjoy the moment, you’ll never fully understand it until it’s over.” Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr recently threw out a perplexing question to his star-studded roster: What should he possibly tell a team that won two championships in three years and lost in the Finals the other?
Here are some things to watch for with the Warriors:
Invite withdrawn Curry made headlines on media day last month when he reiterated he didn’t want to visit the White House under President Donald Trump, who then withdrew his invite to the champs a day later via Twitter.
The Warriors have become a face for social advocacy in sportsspecifically speaking up against racial injustice.
“That’s the genesis of our stance and if you watched us all last year we stood for the national anthem,” Curry said. “Certain teams locked arms or had different demonstrations and the NFL’s taken a different approach. But it’s about the message, it’s not about the act. For the life of me if that doesn’t just get across to everybody, it’s not a disrespect at anything about the flag or the anthem and we can hopefully move in the right direction.”
Kerr missed 11 games during the post-season dealing with neck pain, nausea and other symptoms stemming from a 2015 back surgery.
He has made improvements but still feels discomfort at times. The 2016 NBA Coach of the Year is staying optimistic he will be on the bench all season.
“It’s been a long odyssey ... and not easy, but I’m lucky to have the support of not only the players but Bob (Myers) and Joe (Lacob),” Kerr said. “Everybody is
constantly so supportive, and I’m looking forward to the season. I’m excited. I think it’s going to go smoothly. I think I’ll be fine. But who knows. As Vin Scully once said, we’re all day-to-day.”
With so many familiar faces back — 12 to be exact — there are only a handful of players being integrated for the first time.
“It’s a lot easier to pick up the system when you’re only one of two or three new guys instead of six or seven,” Kerr said. “Because all the other guys who have been here, they can help and everything flows more smoothly. So I think it’s a little easier job this year for the new guys to blend in because there are fewer of them.”
Kerr can again use his three diverse centres in a deep rotation — beginning with Zaza Pachulia then going to alley-oop dunk man JaVale McGee or precision-passer David West.
Pachulia said it’s much different this season with everybody understanding what to expect from each other and having already developed a trust level.
“When something is working, let it work,” Pachulia said.
Nick Young and Omri Casspi are two newcomers on an experienced roster, both capable shooters who will be counted upon to take pressure off the starting five when called upon for key minutes.