Bill Parcells once famously said, ¨You are what your record says you are.¨ Now, I’m not going to pretend I know for sure what he meant by this, but I have some assumptions. Essentially, regardless of the ´what ifs’ of the season, your record is indicative of how you play and the kind of team you are on. Further, a team should accept their record for what it is and try to build from it rather than suggest that the record does not reflect who the team actually is. Perhaps I’m now overthinking this, but this quote speaks loudly to the idea of holding oneself accountable, taking responsibility for how a season has played out… Las Vegas/Oakland legend, Derek Carr, never played for Parcells. He seems to think the Raiders, despite finishing 2020 at 8-8, were close to winning more games:

“We were three or four plays away from having 12 or 11 wins. “Like, literally three plays. And it’s like, we’re so close. Especially, we feel so confident on the offensive side with all the weapons that you mentioned and all those kinds of things. Now adding coach Gus Bradley and Yannick and the different guys that we’ve added to our defense, I mean, we’re kind of excited — to say the least. So we’re really looking forward to the season.”
2019 NFL Week 1

Not long ago, I wrote a piece for Belly Up in which I dissected Carr´s intention to be a Raider for life. In it, I talked about how he oozed leadership and loyalty. I correctly pointed out that his numbers suggest he may be the best Raider QB ever. Given the aforementioned Parcells quote, it’ll be easy for many to assume I’m going to heavily criticize Carr for these comments. I’m not.

Carr Is Right

Carr is simply pointing out the obvious. the Raiders were, ¨like, literally three plays¨ away from winning more games in 2020. If one or more things happen differently, the Raiders might go to the playoffs. In other words, the Raiders and Carr were actually a good team masquerading as a .500 team. Pay zero attention to reality. What actually was means very little compared to what might have. This man is being a leader. Holding himself accountable for the plays his team didn’t make and the record they failed to achieve. He has the right mindset. Ignore what transpired in favor of what didn’t. Leadership personified.

They´re Close Though

I appreciate that Carr highlighted how ¨confident¨ they are on offense while noting the new additions to their defense. In no way should this be read as him saying the defense stunk last year. That’s for the GM to say. Again, Carr is doing what legends do. They push their teammates to play better. He’s inspiring the defense by pointing out that his team needed to bring in reinforcements to help them literally win ¨12 or 11¨ games instead of hypothetically. How can you not love this guy? Raiders fans, start thinking about a playoff push this season.

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About Author

Brian Nicoll

I'm dry, I'm snarky, and I write things. It's hard for me to take anything seriously. New England/Boston sports fan.

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