In each of the last six
That trend will continue this season — although the
The Raiders announced Monday that rookie Derek Carr had earned the starting job over veteran
Schaub sat out the exhibition finale against Seattle with a sore elbow, and Carr made a convincing case for himself in a 41-31 victory. He directed four touchdown drives in four possessions — including three touchdown passes — adding an exclamation point to his first training camp.
“There were a lot of factors involved in that,” Raiders Coach
Allen added that it won't be a week-to-week decision, and "Derek's the starting quarterback."
Carr, a second-round draft pick (36th overall), will be the first Raiders quarterback to start the first game of his rookie season.
“He's a tough kid, mentally,” former Raiders coach
Gruden is the voice of authority when it comes to the rookie quarterback class as a whole. He knows Carr well, just as he knows the three first-round quarterbacks selected before him: Jacksonville's
“A lot of these kids are underclassmen — Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Bridgewater,” Gruden said in a phone interview. “I think that's one of the reasons why their head coaches are going to be reluctant to start them right away. I think those three kids, albeit they're good prospects . . . look, they didn't complete their
"They're missing a spring practice. In Johnny Manziel's case, he's missing two spring practices and two regular seasons. And to be totally honest, the NCAA rules on time allowed with players is minimal now, so you're not getting fully developed triggers from college, especially when they're underclassmen."
That said, all four of those rookies could be starting soon enough.
The 6-foot-5 Bortles, who has drawn comparisons to Pittsburgh's
"That was made clear from day one," Bortles told reporters recently. "From the get-go, there was a plan, a big-picture thing that they had in mind and were going to do. That was to learn from Chad, figure out things and get acclimated. That's the plan that's been instilled the whole time."
Manziel, the 22nd pick, made a predictable splash in the run-up to the season, but didn't earn the starting job. His jersey shot to No. 1 on the sales charts, he played aerobics instructor "Johnny Jam Boogie" in a Snickers commercial, and he was fined $12,000 by the league for making an obscene gesture to Washington's sideline.
There was no wavering from first-year
It's a smart move for the Browns to sit Manziel in the opener against Pittsburgh. According to
But Manziel likely is one bad Hoyer game — or even one bad half — from lining up behind center. The Browns, who are particularly hurting for playmakers after All-Pro receiver Josh Gordon was suspended for the season, have their bye in Week 4, which could serve as a convenient break to get Manziel ready to play at Tennessee in Week 5.
Bridgewater, the last pick of the first round, improved by the week this summer after struggling in his exhibition opener. He threw a league-best five touchdown passes in exhibition games — tied with New England rookie Jimmy Garoppolo — and directed a game-winning two-minute drill in Week 2 of the preseason that had teammates calling him "Teddy Two Minutes."
No one has a more comprehensive view of the rookie quarterback class as a whole than Gruden, who spends an entire day one-on-one with each of the top prospects for his ESPN pre-draft series, "Gruden's QB Camp." Each episode features one quarterback, who visits Gruden at his office in Tampa, Fla. The two break down tape, draw up plays on the white board and go through a workout at a local practice field.
In the five years he's done the show, Gruden has mentored 37 quarterbacks, 13 of whom were selected in the first round. Fourteen of last season's regular starters — nearly half the No. 1 quarterbacks in the league — participated in his camp, among them Seattle's
“In Derek Carr's case, I thought he had the best arm talent in the draft,” Gruden said. “He's a senior, has taken a lot of snaps, has made a lot of throws. He's got a pedigree with his brother [quarterback
Gruden points to the fact Carr stayed in school and learned his craft, rather than bolting early to the pros.
"I like finishers," the coach said.
A finisher, and that's just the start.