Trai TurnerAs someone who is paid to help protect Cam Newton, Trai Turner is understandably frustrated when he sees the Carolina Panthers’ quarterback taking dangerous hits and not getting additional protection in the form of officials throwing flags for them.

The Panthers’ guard hopes something will change, because, for one, it is too big of a risk to Newton’s health, and, for another, it isn’t right. Turner doesn’t think Newton is being treated as fairly as other quarterbacks, a point the quarterback set out to make in a conversation with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

‘There’s rarely a consequence for it’

“It’s tough when you know that’s the guy that’s going to lead their team and going to help me get a win and he’s possibly not in the game because of a hit that people are taking because they know that, one, it’s not going to be called; two, there’s rarely a consequence for it,” Turner told Alex Marvez and Mark Dominik on Late Hits. “The same consequences I get for raising my voice about it is the same consequence that they would get for hitting somebody.

“It doesn’t add up at the end of the day. It’s a terrible situation all the way around. It sucks for the person who gets the hit. It sucks for the person who’s doing the hit. And it sucks for the NFL because ultimately, I think, it puts a damper on things and it makes things viewed in not such an optimistic light.”

 

Stewart on Raiders: ‘Once they pass on us, they don’t have a chance’

Darian Stewart

You would think the last thing a defense facing the Oakland Raiders would want to see is quarterback Derek Carr and the rest of their offense consistently attacking through the air.

After all, Carr has been productive enough throwing the ball to put himself in the conversation for NFL MVP.

‘Stop the run first and make them pass’

None of that matters to Denver Broncos safety Darian Stewart, however. In fact, he’s hopeful the Raiders will be looking to win with their passing game when they face the Broncos Sunday night.

“Stop the run first and make them pass, that’s our key,” Stewart told Alex Marvez and Mark Dominik on Late Hits. “Once they pass against us, I don’t think they have a chance, honestly, especially when we’re out all there playing our technique.”

‘Miller’s just a phenomenal player and pass-rusher’

Stewart believes the Broncos have the league’s top defensive player in outside linebacker Von Miller. Miller’s numbers (he ranks second in the NFL with 7.5 sacks) make a strong case. But the safety points to Miller’s reliability.

“Any time a big play is needed, you can count on him,” Stewart said. “Sack-fumble, he’ll get it for you any moment of the game. He’s just a phenomenal player and pass-rusher. I definitely appreciate him.”

‘Siemian’s confident and he’s a great leader’

Stewart also appreciates the Broncos’ quarterback, Trevor Siemian.

“I think he’s confident and he’s a great leader,” Stewart said. “I just like his leadership. I think he takes control of the offense and just learning from Peyton (Manning) last year, seeing how Peyton handled everything, I think that’s what he brought to the team.”

 

Raiders’ Carr protecting the ball ‘for my team’

Derek Carr

There was more than one remarkable aspect to Derek Carr’s performance in the Oakland Raiders’ 30-24 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday.

But there was one that stood out above the rest and spoke volumes about what has helped the Raiders get to 6-2 and share a piece of first place in the AFC West with the Denver Broncos, whom they face Sunday night.

‘Play the game as a whole’

In attempting 59 passes against the Buccaneers, Carr didn’t have a single interception while throwing for 513 yards and four touchdowns, and a passer rating of 117.4.

“The thing about protecting it is just a big emphasis on it, but do a good job of protecting it for my team,” Carr told Bruce Murray and Brett Favre on the SiriusXM Blitz. “It was a big emphasis going into the year. We have weapons in the special-teams department, we have weapons on defense, and we can make stops when we need them. So just learning how to protect it and play the game as a whole, all thinking in the big picture.”

‘Don’t need to do anything different’

Carr said the key for the Raiders for when they face the Broncos is to maintain as much normalcy as possible in their preparation and performance during the game.

“It’s exciting, it’s definitely exciting,” Carr said. “It’s the thing that I’m sharing with all my teammates this week: You don’t need to do anything different. Don’t change what you’re doing. Don’t think you’ve got to do something extra or anything like that. If you think you’ve got to do something extra, you’re not doing enough in the first place.

“I think that, if our guys just stay focused and continue to prepare the way that we have, then that’s how you make it just like every other game. That’s how you make it, they all should be that important. It’s definitely a cool feeling now, don’t get me wrong; we’re tied for the division lead and all those things. But just eight games into it, we have a long way to get to where we want to be.”

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