Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders are on a roll so far in 2021. On their way to a third straight win yesterday, Carr had some interesting pre-snap audibles.
Raiders fans have had a stress-inducing, yet extremely positive first 3 weeks. After beating the Ravens in OT in a MNF blockbuster, the Raiders picked up a comfortable win against the Steelers in week 2.
But yesterday, it was back to overtime heroics for Jon Gruden’s men. They were down 14-2 in the first quarter against Miami, but pulled it back quickly and looked to be on track for another convincing win.
However, with just 3 seconds left to go, Jacoby Brissett ran in for a TD before completing a pass for a successful 2 point conversion which sent the game to OT.
In overtime, Las Vegas and Miami traded field goals before Daniel Carlson hit the game winner as time expired. The Raiders improved to 3-0 on the season, the first time they’ve accomplished this in 19 years.
Derek Carr Uses “Damian Lillard’ and ‘James Harden’ as Audibles
On the path to victory, mics picked up some of Derek Carr’s more interesting audibles. The Raiders QB, who has been on fire this season, turned to the names of some NBA superstars to make pre-snap adjustments.
Before taking a deep shot to Henry Ruggs III, Carr could clearly be heard shouting, “Damian Lillard! Damian Lillard!”. Now, assigning the name of the Trailblazers guard to a deep pass makes sense, considering that Lillard is well known for his incredible shooting range, especially after he drilled that iconic deep 3 against OKC in the playoffs.
But you can’t help but wonder if that makes the audible too obvious, seeing that football players generally follow the NBA, too. In the end, Carr’s receiver got separation but the ball was simply overthrown, although it did take some serious arm strength to launch the ball that far downfield.
During the game, Carr also used the name of Rockets guard James Harden as an audible.
Raiders audible for a deep throw is Damian Lillard, this just confirms he’s the best deep range shooter of all time pic.twitter.com/SaUltbexH2
— (@503Blazerfans) September 26, 2021
“James Harden” audible
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) September 26, 2021
Because QBs need audibles they can remember, this is certainly not the first time we’ve seen the names of celebrities or other references to pop culture used pre-snap.
One good example that comes to mind is Jared Goff in 2017 when he was with the Rams. During a game where he was mic’d up against the Texans, Goff, perhaps more discreetly than Carr, used “Wilson Hoosier”, “Elvis”, “Tupac”, “Dusty”, “Obama”, and even “Ric Flair” as audibles.