A mural of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is up in Fresno
In a home full of quarterbacks, Ken Stabler reigned supreme in the Carr household.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and his brothers, David and Darren, heard all about Stabler while growing up in Bakersfield because their dad, Rodger, is a big fan of the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback.
“I even read the book about the ‘Snake’ and that’s how big of a fan I was,” Rodger Carr said. “I just wish that Derek could’ve been able to meet him and just sit down and talk to him. That would’ve been awesome.”
Stabler died in 2015 at age 69. In his 15-season career (1970-84, the first 10 with Oakland) he set the Raiders career record of 19,078 yards.
Sunday at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, Derek Carr is poised to pass that mark. The ex-Fresno State star is 81 yards shy of Stabler’s record.
“Humbled and honored to even be close to breaking that record,” Derek Carr said in a telephone interview with The Bee. “Kenny Stabler’s the GOAT (greatest of all time), man. He’s the standard. The gold standard for Raiders quarterbacks. He’s the only person I heard stories of growing up. He was the first football player I ever heard of because that’s what my dad talked about. Kenny Stabler is the man and the best to ever play here.”
Carr said he’s surprised to be on the verge of the Raiders career passing record in only his sixth season.
He said he wants to be respectful about the moment.
“If it was my record and one of my Fresno State records was getting broke by somebody (he holds 27, by the way), I would hope it is someone with class and respect and honor and I hope that’s how they feel.
“I would do it in such a way and carry myself in such a way that they would feel that respect and feel that honor that they know how much it actually means to me to be close with my name next to his,” Carr said.
Stabler’s daughter cheering Carr on
Stabler’s daughter Kendra said her father was proud of his accomplishments, and she’s happy that it’s Derek Carr who’s on the verge of breaking the record.
“He’s so humble. It’s very cool for the Carr family when that happens. I know my dad would be very happy about it. If he were here, he would’ve loved to be at the game and be very happy.”
Kendra Stabler Moyes said she would have loved to be at the game Sunday, but has a family vacation already planned. She was in Oakland on Monday to see the Raiders defeat the Denver Broncos 24-16.
“I’ll be super happy for him and his family,” she said. “I think it would be exciting knowing how much it’ll mean for the Carr family.”
Carr family pride
The entire Carr family will be in Oakland on Sunday to cheer on the Raiders in hopes Carr breaks the record.
Derek said he knows how his dad feels: “It would be like my son growing up and playing for the Lakers one day and breaking Kobe’s records.
“There are only 32 (quarterbacks) in the history of this game that can say they led a franchise in passing. It’s a pretty special thing.”
Still, Derek said he’s trying to keep the record in perspective. “We’re only human to think about them. ... (but) we have a game to win.”
If Carr had one wish, it would be to be able to talk to Stabler and get valuable knowledge.
“It would be an honor to have that dinner and sit down with him,” he said. “But obviously that can’t happen, so hopefully his family will be able to know how much I respected him as a man and as a football player.”
The Raiders’ Valley QB connection runs deep: Stabler took the record from former Clovis High star Daryle Lamonica in 1979, who still sits fourth (behind Rich Gannon) on the franchise’s career passing list.
Lamonica passed for 16,655 yards in eight Oakland seasons before retiring in 1974.
Stabler is No. 1 in career TDs, too, with 150, two ahead of Lamonica. Carr has 123, Gannon 114.