Las Vegas Raiders ‘rallying around’ new starter Jarrett Stidham

Las Vegas Raiders ‘rallying around’ new starter Jarrett Stidham

HENDERSON, Nev. — Newly installed Las Vegas Raiders starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham will make his first career NFL start on Sunday, but said he’s been preparing for this moment since entering the league in 2019.

Stidham, who will take over for Derek Carr, has backed up Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Mac Jones and Carr and appeared in 11 games in his career. He also said he has been given a vote of confidence by Carr.

“You dream of playing in the NFL as a kid,” said Stidham, a fourth-round pick of the New England Patriots. “And to start a game in the NFL, it’s a dream come true. But at the same time … I’ve been trying to prepare the same thing every week.

“Obviously, I’ve been learning under a really good group of guys, players, coaches. So, I’ve always tried to treat the weeks the same and it’s no different this week.”

However, on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium, Stidham will face the No. 1 defense. 1 of the NFL to the San Francisco 49ers.

“Yes, it’s a big challenge,” he said. “I’m a firm believer in anything in life you do, you’re not going to get better unless you do it against the best. … It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m super excited about it and I think it’s going to be a big challenge for us. I know we’re looking forward to it.”

Stidham was acquired, along with a 2023 seventh-round draft pick, by the new Raiders regime of coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler for a 2023 sixth-round pick in a trade with the Patriots on May 13.

As such, the only offensive system Stidham has known as a pro is McDaniels’ scheme, and that showed in OTAs, Darren Waller said.

However, there was a stunned Raiders locker room with Carr being benched and leaving the team in a split decision for the final two weeks of the season. Carr has been the team’s starter since his rookie season in 2014, missing just two games while going 63-79 without a playoff win.

“It’s a reaction where you have to take the emotion out of it and just realize that the only thing that can be productive is to support Jarrett moving forward and guys are excited for him to be able to have an opportunity,” Waller said. . “So we’re rallying around him, letting him know we believe in him and just trying to do what we can to get ready for San Francisco.

“Obviously it’s difficult, but I believe two things can coexist – to believe in Derek and believe that he can always do it, but also to support Jarrett and move forward with this week and prepare.”

Stidham started all four of the Raiders’ preseason games and completed 63% of his passes for 316 yards.

He also appeared in relief in three regular season games, completing 8 of 17 passes for 72 yards in the Raiders’ 24-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 8.

Stidham said Carr had helped him both “personally and professionally” since joining the Raiders.

“I can’t thank him enough for everything,” Stidham said. “He and his wife have both been very supportive and very welcoming to me and my wife here in our time together. So, I can’t speak highly enough of Derek. I mean, he’s just a human being and definitely a great football. The player too. Obviously he’s here for a long time… So I’m just going to try to go out there and play as well as I can.

“I mean, obviously, I’ll keep most of it private between me and him, but the biggest thing — and that’s what I’ve always appreciated a lot about Derek — was always staying even-keeled, not never get too high and never get too low. Football is an imperfect sport and you try to do, obviously, the best you can. You prepare hard every week, but always stay level.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *