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Graney: Derek Carr learns offense with assist from Tom Brady

The story of this past NFL week was about quarterbacks and film study.

Seems the Arizona Cardinals want young star Kyler Murray to do more of it.

Seems like Derek Carr never stops.

“My wife was counting the (hours) the other day,” said Carr, implying they add up to a lot more than four per week.

Seems like he has some pretty impressive tape from which to learn.

Carr is entering a ninth season as the Raiders’ starter but will now run the offense of new coach Josh McDaniels. He arrived from New England with a bag full of Super Bowl rings and a scheme that was previously directed by a fairly successful name.

Not bad. You’re studying the stuff Tom Brady made so incredibly superior.

“It has been cool for me to see (Brady) doing it,” Carr said. “Watching his eyes and things he was doing to manipulate it — trying not just be new at it but to take the next step.

“It’s a process. I’m learning a new one. But it has been fun for me. I enjoy the mental side of the game.”

Film study. Lots of it.

A fine line

The Raiders open their preseason schedule against Jacksonville on Thursday night in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. It’s one of four such contests to ready McDaniels’ team for its 2022 season. One with increasingly high expectations.

Carr said there have been no discussions yet if and for how long he will play, be it against the Jaguars or three other preseason opponents.

Hey. It’s a fine line.

You can’t take a snap and not put yourself in some level of harm’s way. Yet this is a new offense with a new coach and coordinator and several wide receivers. Lots to see about how things jell against live competition.

Which doesn’t change this: Carr should be limited at best in his usage as the preseason plays out.

You have to at some point understand how things might mesh offensively. You also have to protect your most valuable asset.

“I don’t have a preference (about playing),” Carr said. “I’ve always tried to practice — I don’t treat it any differently from the speed I want to play. I push all the receivers and the coaches do. Make it as real as possible.

“I’ve played in (preseason games) and I haven’t played in them. Either way, we’ll be ready. If we play, awesome. If we don’t, we’ll be ready from a speed side of things.”

He is being cautiously optimistic about the offense’s potential. About how explosive things might be with wide receivers like Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow and a tight end like Darren Waller. About how a running game might flourish should the offensive line paid to keep Carr upright performs at a much higher level than last season.

His mindset: Steady as it goes.

Lots of film

“We have to prove it,” Carr said. “It’s an exciting time when you go out to practice and can roll guys out who play at a high level. But practice and games are two different things. Enjoy the process of getting better with each receiver and see where it takes you.”

That also involves watching film, the league’s most talked about story this past week.

Arizona removed an “independent study” clause from Murray’s new $230.5 million extension, one originally attached to the deal as a way to ensure the player did his homework.

And, you know, cut down on video games.

“At the end of the day, I just hope for him that he can limit the distractions and go play ball,” Carr said. “He’s super talented and successful. I’m not going to get into his (situation). Just keep playing and keep leading your team. I hope Kyler is doing great.

“I watch a lot of film. I’ll leave it at that.”

Some of a pretty darn good quarterback, too.

Ed Graney is a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for sports column writing and can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.