Sacks rise for Carr be­hind hurt Raiders of­fen­sive line

The Modesto Bee - - Sports - BY JOSH DUBOW As­so­ci­ated Press

Af­ter tak­ing a ca­reer­high seven sacks be­hind a dec­i­mated Oak­land Raiders of­fen­sive line, Derek Carr got a phone call from some­one who knows just what that’s like to be­ing re­peat­edly hit by bruis­ing NFL de­fen­sive line­men.

Big brother David, who was sacked an NFL-record 76 times in 2002, of­fered some words of con­so­la­tion.

“It’s not that bad,” Derek Carr said Wed­nes­day. “It’s not that bad, my guys are awe­some. The thing about him is there were times where they would have the right guys blocked, they just phys­i­cally couldn’t do it. At least our guys fight, we have that go­ing for us. He did mess with me a lit­tle bit, but no, it’s not like, ‘Oh man, how do you deal with this or that?’ It’s not like that at all.”

The sit­u­a­tion in Oak­land def­i­nitely isn’t on the level it was for the ex­pan­sion Hous­ton Tex­ans, but it’s been a ma­jor drop-off from the solid pro­tec­tion Carr earned for most of his first four sea­sons.

Carr has al­ready been sacked 24 times half­way through the sea­son for the Raiders (1-7), a mark he has topped only once in an en­tire sea­son in his first four sea­sons. His sack rate has dou­bled from 3.9 per­cent of pass plays his first four years – low­est in the NFL among play­ers with more than 25 starts dur­ing that span – to 7.8 per­cent this year and he’s fac­ing pres­sure at a much higher rate than he has in the past.

“It’s hard, there’s some­times it’s got­ten that way and it’s not a knock on those guys,” Carr said. “They’re try­ing their tail off. We have some young guys try­ing to play, we have our vet­eran guys who dominate and they’re great play­ers, but we have some young guys that are just get­ting their feet wet against the best play­ers in the world.

“It’s not easy for them. For me, I’ve al­ways been one, I try to make it seven-on-seven as much as you can. There’s never a time where you’re ever look­ing down, you just try and feel things, move and make throws. You try and do it and as it’s hap­pen­ing you don’t no­tice it un­til you turn the film on like, ‘Oh, we can maybe ad­just this or ad­just that’ kind of a thing.”

In­juries on the line have played a big role with right tackle Don­ald Penn be­ing placed on in­jured re­serve fol­low­ing a Week 4 win against Cleve­land. Rookie Bren­dan Parker has strug­gled since re­plac­ing Penn and had to be pulled for part of the game last week against the 49ers.

Rookie left tackle Kolton Miller also hurt his knee in that game against the Browns and has been in and out of the lineup. He has been ham­pered even when he has played and came out against the 49ers be­cause the in­jury got too bad. The Raiders av­er­aged more than 11 yards a play in the first six plays against San Fran­cisco be­fore the of­fense sput­tered af­ter Miller first got hurt.

The sit­u­a­tion at left guard also hasn’t been good with Kelechi Osemele miss­ing time with a knee in­jury and backup Jon Feli­ciano both­ered by in­jured ribs.

The dec­i­mated line has ham­pered the play-call­ing and Carr did not com­plete a sin­gle pass more than 10 yards down­field in losses to Seat­tle and San Fran­cisco the past three games. He was sacked 13 times com­bined in those games.

“No doubt it af­fects him,” coach Jon Gru­den said. “It af­fects any quar­ter­back. … I’m not go­ing to make any ex­cuses. I think Derek is do­ing some good things. It does make things dif­fi­cult when you have the amount of in­juries that we have had.”

THEY’RE TRY­ING THEIR TAIL OFF. WE HAVE SOME YOUNG GUYS TRY­ING TO PLAY, WE HAVE OUR VET­ERAN GUYS WHO DOMINATE AND THEY’RE GREAT PLAY­ERS, BUT WE HAVE SOME YOUNG GUYS THAT ARE JUST GET­TING THEIR FEET WET AGAINST THE BEST PLAY­ERS IN THE WORLD.”

Derek Carr

MATT DUNHAM AP

Raiders quar­ter­back Derek Carr, shown af­ter a sack by the Sea­hawks last month, has al­ready been sacked 24 times half­way through the sea­son, a mark he has topped only once in an en­tire sea­son in his first four years.

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