NAPA, Calif. — What does Derek Carr think will happen after he hands off the football to Marshawn Lynch in a regular-season game?
“He’s going to run through some people’s faces,” the Oakland Raiders quarterback said of his new running back. “I think that’s what he’s going to do. He’s going to protect the quarterback … he’s good at that. Very physical. That part of the game is fun to him.
“I tend to like to slide or go over people, and he likes to go through them.”
Yes, that’s part of the reason the Raiders acquired Lynch in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks after he came out of his one-year retirement: to be a punishing runner in a high-octane offense.
So it matters little that through four training camp practices DeAndre Washington has been the one taking most of the snaps with the first team. The job description is all Lynch.
“Just to play in Oakland,” Lynch said in June, “is like a dream come true, or something like that.”
The addition of Lynch has elevated the already high expectations for Oakland, which is coming off a 12-4 season and its first playoff appearance since the 2002 season.
The anticipation is palpable at camp, though Carr is trying to quell it in Napa.
“You always want people saying good things around this time,” Carr said. “But also we know that that’s only because of what happened last year; that’s not even this team. We know what we need to do better.
“We didn’t even beat Kansas City … last year. So I don’t know why everyone is so excited.”
Indeed, while Carr’s first career NFL victory came against the Chiefs, in 2014 after an 0-10 start to the season, he is a combined 1-5 against them.
“We have a lot more work to do to be a better football team,” Carr said. “I understand the excitement of the people that we have, but I don’t understand the excitement of how we finished so far. We need to do a better job there. I think that that’s what keeps our team focused.
“One day when we reach our goal, we’ll look at it and say, ‘Well, that was cool, now we know how to do it’ kind of a thing. Always looking forward to that.”
Almost as much as anticipating Lynch running through someone’s face.