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After opening Allegiant Stadium with a win, Derek Carr says what it means to be a Raider

Fresno Bee logoFresno Bee 9/22/2020 By Anthony Galaviz, The Fresno Bee

Derek Carr had a little prediction when crews broke ground at Allegiant Stadium in 2017.

“I’m going to take the first snap in that stadium, and it’s a dream that I had,” Carr told ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez then. “A lot of people didn’t believe it. When I first moved here, Tom Brady was on the front cover of the newspaper. It just adds a little fuel to the fire when you can still be here and accomplish things that mean so much to you.”

Carr helped lead Las Vegas to a 34-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

The Raiders improved to 2-0.

Carr’s family have always been Raiders fans. His father, Rodger, is a Ken Stabler fan. Even his uncle, Lon Boyett, played tight end for the Raiders in the 1978 season. So naturally, Carr heard everything about the Raiders.

His brothers, Darren and David, wore Raiders jackets while sitting on Santa Carr, aka their father, many years ago.

Carr said the Raiders mean everything to him.

“I love being a Raider,” he said. “I’m not going to ever play for anybody else. I love this place. This is home to me.”

Carr completed 28 of 38 for 282 yards and three touchdowns for a passer rating of 120.7.

In the first half, Carr tied Stabler’s record for multi-touchdown games (42) through the air. It was also the 19th career three-touchdown game, tying Daryle Lamonica for second-most in franchise history. Next up is Stabler, who has 20.

“This place, every relationship from the top down, it means everything to me to be mentioned with Stabler, Lamonica, (Jim) Plunkett and Rich (Gannon), who I talk to,” Carr said. “It means ... I’m trying to say how much it means to me in words, but it’s hard to do.”

Carr was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft and immediately was inserted into the starting role when Dennis Allen was the head coach.

For the second time in four seasons, Carr played against Allen, who is the Saints’ defensive coordinator.

Carr let Allen know what he means to him as well.

“I told Dennis Allen after the game, I said ‘Thank you so much for giving me my chance.’” Carr said. “I know he probably didn’t want to hear it, but every time I see him, I tell him that because it means a lot to me. This organization means everything to me. They stuck behind me through some hard times. Through some times our teams struggled. There is no doubt about it. But when you can get on the other side of things and be 2-0 as the Las Vegas Raiders, that’s a pretty cool thing.”

Jon Gruden gives Carr big endorsement

Gruden came away impressed with Carr after another strong showing.

Carr is in his third year in Gruden’s offense and is showing he can master the rigorous playbook.

Gruden gave big praise to Carr.

“This guy’s a great quarterback and we’re surrounding him with better players,” Gruden said. “When our defense starts playing to their potential he could be even better. He does so much with the ball and without the ball and behind the scenes that Raider fans should be proud of him and I know I am.”

Gruden had the coronavirus

During the course of the game, camera’s picked up on Gruden who was wearing a mask and later not wearing one properly.

Three head coaches were fined $100,000 Monday for violating mask policy on the sidelines.

When asked about not wearing one, Gruden revealed he had the coronavirus.

“I’m doing my best,” he said. “I’m very sensitive about it, but I’m calling plays. I want to communicate these situations.”

East Bay Times reporter Jerry McDonald texted Gruden after the game and told him he had COVID-19 in mid-July and wasn’t planning on going public with it, but was “irked” by the public saying he faked it.

“I apologize, but if I get fined, I will have to pay the fine,” he said. “I am very sensitive about all of that and I apologize.”

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©2020 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

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