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Derek Carr coming to terms with harsh realities of the NFL, looking for Wembley win

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Out of the hundreds of players who enter the NFL out of college football every year there are very few who make an immediate impact - and the class of 2014 is no different.

Number one overall pick Jadeveon Clowney has been limited through injury, the likes of Sammy Watkins and Kelvin Benjamin have suffered from inconsistency despite fleeting impressive displays, whilst only now in Week Four are two of the top three quarterbacks selected in the draft getting a start for their franchise - Johnny Manziel of course remains on the sidelines.

In fact former Fresno State QB, Derek Carr (selected with the first pick of the second round) is the only rookie to have been handed a start under center this season - getting the role in Week One for the Oakland Raiders.

Making the transition

Carr has drawn plaudits for his transition into the role but remains in search of his first win as a pro QB, coming into the Raiders' NFL International Series game in London against the Miami Dolphins with a record of 0-3.

And, speaking at the Raiders' UK base just outside of London, Carr was open about just how different the NFL is to college football:

"Being a rookie, especially at quarterback, the game is a lot faster. It's not even close to college," explained the brother of former number one pick David Carr.

"Even when I played in the (college) All-Star game with the top players in the country speed doesn't even compare.

"These guys have been doing this thing for eight, to 10, to 12, to (Charles) Woodson being 28th year in the league,they've been doing it a while. So they know what to do, they know how to hide things."

Having come up against the likes of J.J. Watt, thrown at (and thrown past) Patriots legend Derell Revis, and now preparing for Dolphins star Cameron Wake it has certainly been a baptism of fire for the 23-year-old Carr.

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Eyes on the prize

And whilst Carr can be proud to be leading a team in his rookie season, he is well aware of the ultimate goal - winning games.

"That's all I care about," explained Carr.

"I'll throw five touchdowns or five picks, I couldn't care less - I just want to win. That's all this game is about, that's all that matters in the NFL and I learned that quick.

With defeats to the New York Jets and Houston followed by a tight affair against the New England Patriots in which a last minute call from officials scuppered the Raiders chances of victory it has certainly been a steep learning curve for Carr.

But as with any good rookie he is taking the harsh realities of NFL life in his stride and looking to build on them:

"I learned the margin of winning is that close. As you saw last week, we score a touchdown and it gets taken away.

"You learn how hard it is to win in this league and you learn how hard it is to get that first win."

"Hopefully we can get it this week...that's obvious the plan. We definitely need to get it and then hit the bye week and then 75% of our season is still out there."

Carr can compete

In truth the Raiders offense has struggled to rack up points consistently over the first few weeks of the season - the Patriots limited them to just three field goals - but Carr himself has shown signs of the talent he has.

Throwing for 588 total yards he has a completion percentage (63%) which ranks third all-time amongst rookies' passing completion over their first three games.

He will be looking to transfer stats into points this Sunday when the Raiders take on the Miami Dolphins at Wembley, London.

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Topics:
NFL
Oakland Raiders

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