Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will see a familiar face on the defensive side looking to go after him in the season opener Sunday in New Orleans.
Defensive tackle Tyeler Davison will be starting for the Saints and he’s hoping to chase down and sack his friend.
Going to be pretty crazy, actually playing against D.C.
New Orleans Saints defensive tackle and former Fresno State star Tyeler Davison on going against ex-teammate Derek Carr
“That’s going to be pretty crazy, actually playing against D.C.,” Davison said Friday. “Seeing him all the time in college and knowing how capable he is and having him on my team, you kind of take it for granted until you’re playing against him.”
It’s certain both former Fresno State stars will exchange pleasantries before the game and talk about their college days. They were teammates for three seasons at Fresno State. Carr finished his Bulldogs career in 2013 and Davison wrapped up his the following fall.
“I remember Tyeler just always being a good dude,” said Carr, who passed for 5,083 yards, 50 touchdowns against eight interceptions in his final season with the Bulldogs. “He was always a great guy in the locker room. He was very strong. I know he was a big-time wrestler and nobody really picked on him, obviously, with his size and that.”
When the game begins Sunday, the friendship will be put on hold. Davison’s focus will be trying to get past a big offensive line that protects Carr. Carr on the other hand is hoping to find open receivers.
“A little insight on him helps a little bit,” Davison said. “I’m mostly going against the offensive linemen, but on top of that we have the film to tell us what he can do. I’m focused on D.C. and his abilities and what his tendencies are and what he’s going to do, and the running back and whole offense in general. There’s a ... small advantage having played with him. Nothing significant.”
Davison said he got to Carr many times at Fresno State practice – but sacking was off limits.
“That happened many times and I’d talk trash to the offensive linemen,” Davison said. “I might talk a little trash here and there and let him know, but that’s going to happen. You’re going to say something.”
Davison said if he does sack Carr on Sunday, “I might have a little something to say to him, but we’ll see. Spur-of-the-moment type of thing.”
The same could be true about Davison, as Carr could tip the Raiders line on what to expect from him. But for the most part, Carr said it’s great to see his friend excel in the NFL.
Very happy for him because he’s worked his tail off to get where he’s at.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr
“I’m very happy for him because he’s worked his tail off to get where he’s at,” Carr said.
Davison, too, knows what Carr is capable of and is not surprised how well he fared last season.
Carr completed 350 of 573 for 3,987 yards and 32 touchdowns with 12 interceptions for the Raiders last season.
Davison, who was drafted in the fifth round (154th overall) in 2015, played in 53 career games at Fresno State and made 28.5 stops for a loss and 14.5 sacks.
In 2015, Davison played in all 16 games with five starts for the Saints, finishing his rookie campaign with 26 tackles (15 solo) and 1.5 sacks.
“I’ve been working hard, including at Fresno State and all the way until now,” he said. “Kept working hard and believing in myself and helping everyone around me.”
While Carr said he feels the same about helping other players, the NFL comes to one thing.
“We want to go out there and we’ve worked too hard – and so are they, so they’re saying the same thing – but you work so hard and you want to go out there and put your best foot forward,” said Carr, who was drafted in the second round in 2014. “But, at the same time, to be completely honest with you, I don’t care how it goes or how the season ends up (for me). I just want to win. It doesn’t matter about No. 4. I just want the Raiders to win.”