Carr dreams of Brady-like career, playing ’til 45

  • Covered Oakland Raiders for CSNBayArea.com and Sacramento Bee for eight years
  • Member of Pro Football Writers Association
  • Previously worked at Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Sports Illustrated

HENDERSON, Nev. — Tom Brady just turned 44 years old and is entering his 22nd NFL season. Derek Carr is entering Year 8, and the Las Vegas Raiders quarterback just might be using Brady as a target, so to speak.

“I feel like I can play another 15 years, without a doubt,” Carr, who turned 30 on March 28, said Wednesday, after Raiders coach Jon Gruden gave the team the day off from on-field practice. “Nothing’s hurting. It’s the middle of camp, and I feel great. I feel strong, I feel fast, I feel explosive. And I think it’s just the way we train now.”

Carr, who holds Raiders franchise records for passing yards (26,896) and touchdown passes (170) but is 47-63 as a starter, said he recently had a conversation with defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, 26, about turning 30.

“The only thing that’s different is I’ve got gray hairs in my beard,” Carr said with a laugh. “I haven’t grown it out in a while; I’ve got five gray hairs. What is going on?

“I feel like I’m 20. I honestly believe this — that our generation, the way we can take care of our bodies with football, I think 30 is the new 20. … That comes from science and that comes with more understanding.”

Carr, a second-round pick of the Raiders out of Fresno State in 2014, is coming off career highs in passing yards (4,103), passer rating (101.4) and Total QBR (71.0) after throwing for 27 touchdowns and 9 interceptions for Las Vegas, which went 8-8 last season.

This will be his fourth season in Gruden’s offense, and Carr has not missed a game since Gruden returned to the Raiders. In 2016 and 2017, though, Carr suffered a dislocated right pinkie finger, a broken right fibula and a transverse process fracture in his lower back and missed a combined two games, along with the Raiders’ 2016 playoff loss at the Houston Texans.

“I honestly feel stronger, faster, better than I first did when I got to the NFL,” Carr said. “And that comes with more knowledge on how to train, how to eat, how to take care of your body. And that takes a little bit of money sometimes, but it’s definitely worth it.

“Because I’m sitting here in Year 8, and I remember people ahead of me talking about Year 8 like, ‘Yeah, I’m miserable,’ and they can barely walk out of bed. I’m blessed, man. I don’t have those problems. And I’ve had broken bones. But the way they rehab and stuff nowadays, I feel great.”

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