The Las Vegas Raiders are searching for ways to close out the 2022 season on a high note, and their follies up to this point have led to a change at quarterback.
After Derek Carr had another rough outing, head coach Josh McDaniels decided to bench the long-timer Raider in favor of backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Stidham was originally a fourth-round pick of the New England Patriots, and after spending his career on the bench, he will finally get his first NFL career start.
Stidham reflected on his journey in the league and expressed his excitement for the opportunity via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN:
“You dream of playing in the NFL as a kid,” Stidham said. “And to start a game in the NFL, it’s a dream come true. But at the same time … I’ve tried to prepare the same every single week.
“Obviously, I’ve gotten to learn under a bunch of really good guys, players, coaches. So I’ve always tried to treat the weeks the same, and it’s no different this week.”
Even though Carr is away from the team currently, Stidham made sure to credit him for helping him along the way:
“I can’t thank him enough for everything,” Stidham said. “Him and his wife both have 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 great human being and obviously a great football player too. He’s obviously been here for a long time. … So I’m just going to try and go out there and play the best that I can.
“I mean, obviously, I’ll keep most of it private between me and him, but the biggest thing — and this is what I always appreciated a lot about Derek — was to always stay even, 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 each and every week, but to always just stay even.”
While it’s a fun story for Stidham to realize his dream, it might be a troublesome showing as he draws the vicious San Francisco 49ers defense. The 49ers have the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL, so Stidham has his work cut out for him if he hopes to lead the Silver and Black to a win in his first start.