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Raiders' Darren Waller on Jarrett Stidham Replacing Derek Carr: 'We Believe in Him'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 29, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 18: Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates after scoring a touchdown during an NFL football game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the New England Patriots at Allegiant Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Michael Owens/Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders star Darren Waller offered a vote of confidence in the team's new starting quarterback, Jarrett Stidham.

Waller told reporters Wednesday that he and his teammates "took note that he knew what he was doing" in training camp, which helped build belief in his abilities. The roster is now looking to maintain a unified front around Stidham with him taking over for Derek Carr.

"The only thing that's productive is to support Jarrett going forward," he said. "We're rallying around him and letting him know we believe in him and doing what we can to prepare for San Francisco."

This will be Stidham's first start since entering the NFL, and he hasn't done much in his limited time on the field. The 2019 fourth-round pick has gone 32-of-61 for 342 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in 11 appearances.

Benching Carr seems to be less an endorsement of Stidham and more a sign of the Raiders' plans for the three-time Pro Bowler. If Las Vegas cuts or trades Carr shortly after the Super Bowl, then it's only on the hook for a fraction of his $34.9 million salary cap hit in 2023.

But saying the quiet part—Stidham is a placeholder and a clear downgrade from his predecessor—doesn't achieve much. Las Vegas hasn't even been mathematically eliminated from the postseason yet.

You can't blame Waller for remaining outwardly optimistic about the Raiders' chances with Stidham under center.