Raiders locker room in turmoil with another 2-7 loss

Raiders locker room in turmoil with another 2-7 loss

Accumulating losses are never good for morale. But the way the Raiders have lost this season and the quality of the teams they’ve lost to lately, they’re well past low morale and are in chaotic territory.

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This week, there seemed to be pretty solid evidence that this team was packing up and focusing on next year. Or at least he did when it came to the trades that were made that sent several players to injured reserve and a few players gone by cut and retirement.

Following Sunday’s 25-20 loss to the Colts, we had proof that the audit permeated the entire team.

Derek Carr stepped onto the podium already visibly emotional after he and other team leaders had a heated discussion about a perceived lack of energy and effort. This emotion continued as he repeatedly choked up and had to take a moment to calm down or couldn’t finish at all.

“I can’t speak for everyone. I know where I stand and I love the Silver & Black and will give it my all every time I go. I can’t speak for everyone. For every man, what’s going on in his head, but I can tell you what’s going on in my head and I’m going to give him everything I have every time…”

That was Carr’s first response and that’s all he got before he had to stop.

It was the emotion of a guy who knew that going into this season felt like the best and maybe the last chance this team as it is currently built would have to qualify for the playoffs. And with almost half of the season still to go, this ship has already sailed.

But Carr went further. Giving us a glimpse of just how dysfunctional this locker room has become.

Carr said he “doesn’t think” the issue has to do with a disconnect between him and the coaches. Then he choked again and had to take another moment.

“I’m sorry for being emotional. I’m just pissed off at some of the things a lot of us try to do just for practice. What we put our bodies through just to sleep at night,” Carr said in tears. “And for that to be the result. Of all these efforts. It annoys me. Piss off a lot of guys. It’s hard. Know what some guys are doing. Like I said, just for practice. What they put in their bodies just to sleep at night. Just so we can be there for each other. And I wish everyone in this room felt the same way about this place. And as a leader, that pisses me off.

Davante Adams echoed those sentiments after the game. Although neither of them point a finger.

What we saw from the Raiders early in the season was an inability to put together a full game. Sometimes it was a slow start, sometimes it was a flat ending. But at that time, it felt like growing pains. Something that, as the season progressed and players got used to the scheme, things got better.

It seemed to improve for about three games, with the Raiders beating the Broncos, hanging out with the Chiefs for most of the game, then beating the Texans. Then they fell back to earth.

Since then, the Raiders have been shut out by the Saints, blown a 17-point lead to lose to the Jaguars, and Sunday had a slow start AND a flat end to losing to the Colts.

It was clear that this team was missing something. And Derek Carr was not immune. He started the game 0-for-five in the first quarter with three straight three-and-outs.

Then Amik Robertson had a forced fumble and suddenly the attack was energized. Then Maxx Crosby made a big sack which led to a missed field goal and once again the offense was energized and went down and scored.

“Having these games really fueled us,” Derek said. “I’m happy we made those games because it really pushed us forward.”

It was like a switch was on, that light that came on went out shortly after.

The problem is clearly that this team cannot generate its own power. He seems to need a jolt to play to his potential.

And no one is safe from this. Even Derek Carr isn’t immune, despite being the one who called out the team’s lack of energy. It’s part of his job, after all, to lift this team.

He did a miraculous job lifting this team at the end of last season. But that unlikely rally for a playoff run now feels like ancient history and this team has lost its mojo.

And Carr knows that could mean a lot more than just “maybe next year” this time around. I could mean his time is over with the Raiders along with several others as the Raiders try to shake things up.

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