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Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said he doesn’t feel the need to give long-time starter Derek Carr a caution before coaching Colin Kaepernick.
After bringing the 34-year-old freestyle quarterback to training on Wednesday who was said to have impressed the Raiders, the coach stressed that the team still belonged to Carr.
“I think Derek is very comfortable where he is,” McDaniels told reporters on Thursday. “I think he knows who he is to us and I know he knows how I feel about him, how we feel about him. I don’t think that’s a big deal for Derek at this point.”
Carr, 31, signed a three-year, $121.5 million extension this year, and remains firmly established as the team’s primary quarterback. The Raiders were reportedly looking to see if Kaepernick would fit in well in the center room which also includes Garrett Stidham and Nick Mullins.
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“I think he knows this is his football team, he’s working like that on the field, he’s leading the way we want him to lead, and he’s doing all the right things,” McDaniels added. “I couldn’t ask for more from Derek Carr and I’m very happy with what he’s been doing so far.”
After Jon Gruden stepped down as Raiders coach midway through last season, Carr was able to lead the team to the playoffs in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL.
The three-time Pro Bowler had its highest levels of both passing yards (4804) and interceptions (14) in 17 games last season. He also threw 23 touchdowns and led the team to a record 10-7 before losing to eventual AFC champions the Cincinnati Bengals on the Wild Card Tour.
McDaniels declined to say on Thursday whether the team would sign Kaepernick, who last played in the NFL in 2016, the same year he began kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice.
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The coach noted during his press conference that he would not ask questions about players who are not currently on the squad.
“We’ve got a lot of people in for rehearsals,” McDaniels said. “We’ve said that from day one that we’ll look at every opportunity, and he’s not the first player we look at and not the last.”
“So there will be a lot of people going in and out of this building and they will have the opportunity to make an impression,” the coach added. “The evaluations we do are private to us, and if we make the decision to add someone to the team, we will.”
Kaepernick stated in a podcast interview last month that he “definitely” wants to play in the league again, and is even willing to return to the league as a back-up quarterback if it helps his return chances.
While Carr did not speak on Thursday, other players, including defensive end Max Crosby, were asked which team brought Kaepernick for practice.
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“I honestly don’t know much about that,” Crosby told reporters. “I’m worried about the guys out here right now, so that’s all I have on it.”