Raiders QB Jarrett Stidham has NFL ‘dream come true’

Dec 29, 2022, 3:16 AM | Updated: 5:17 pm
FILE - Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham (3) throws a pass during the second half of th...

FILE - Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham (3) throws a pass during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 30, 2022, in New Orleans. Stidham called getting the opportunity to start his first NFL game “a dream come true” even if the circumstances weren't ideal and the opponent Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers, owns the league's top defense. Stidham takes the place of Derek Carr, whose nine-year era likely ended Wednesday, Dec. 28, when he was benched for the final two games by Raiders coach Josh McDaniels. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

(AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Quarterback Jarrett Stidham called getting the opportunity to start his first NFL game “a dream come true” even if the circumstances weren’t ideal and the opponent Sunday owns the league’s top defense.

Stidham takes the place of Derek Carr, whose nine-year stint with the Raiders likely ended Wednesday when he was benched for the final two games by Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels. Carr left the Raiders’ facility and hasn’t returned.

“He’s getting the chance of a lifetime,” defensive end Maxx Crosby said of Stidham, “and I’m going to be his biggest fan.”

Like Carr, Stidham was informed Wednesday morning. He said he spoke with Carr, who told Stidham to maintain an even keel no matter what happens on the field.

“I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s helped me with personally and professionally,” Stidham said. “Him and his wife both have been very supportive and very welcoming to me and my wife here and our time together. He’s just a great human being and obviously a great football player, too. He’s obviously been here for a long time. I’m just going to try and go out there and play the best that I can and I know how.”

That won’t be easy against a San Francisco 49ers team that is first in total, scoring and rushing defense. Niners defensive end Nick Bosa comes to Las Vegas as the NFL leader with 17 1/2 sacks.

“You’re not going to get any better unless you do it against the best,” Stidham said. “So it’s going to be a great challenge for us as a team. They’re good in all three phases, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m super excited about it.”

Stidham, 26, was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft by the New England Patriots, where McDaniels was offensive coordinator.

He was a backup all three seasons, appearing in eight games. Stidham didn’t play in 2021 because of back surgery that July.

The Patriots traded him and a seventh-round pick to the Raiders in May for a sixth-round selection. That deal reunited him with McDaniels, so Stidham hasn’t had to learn a new offensive system.

“It’s been great,” Stidham said. “Coming in the offseason, obviously, that was good, having a good understanding of what was going on. But every week this year, just tried to prepare with whatever the game plan is and be as prepared as possible to go and play.”

Stidham — who has made three appearances this season — said he didn’t look at these final two weeks as an audition. The Raiders very well could look for their next quarterback in the draft or try to acquire a veteran.

The offense is Stidham’s for now, a dream that has become a reality, if only for a short time.

“I think he’s ready,” tight end Darren Waller said. “I think he’s going about it in a way that’s unique to him. Not trying to be anybody else, not trying to be too rah-rah or too loud. He speaks when he feels like he needs to speak and jokes with guys. He has the personality to go out there and do well.”

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett ...
Associated Press

Gilgeous-Alexander has 35, leads Thunder past Cavs 112-100

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 35 points, his fourth consecutive with at least 30, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-100 on Friday night. Gilgeous-Alexander made 12 of 21 shots and added eight assists and five rebounds. Jalen Williams added 17 points and made all three of his 3-point attempts. […]
20 hours ago
Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell (0) celebrates after a three-point basket by forward ...
Associated Press

Timberwolves top Memphis after moment of silence for Nichols

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 13 of his 25 points in the third quarter as Minnesota extended its lead, D’Angelo Russell added 19 points and the Timberwolves topped the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies 111-100 on Friday night. The Grizzlies took the court minutes after video footage was released of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols being beaten by […]
20 hours ago
Ottawa Senators forward Brady Tkachuk (7) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Toron...
Associated Press

Tkachuk, Forsberg lift Senators past Maple Leafs 6-2

TORONTO (AP) — Brady Tkachuk scored twice, Anton Forsberg made 31 saves and the Ottawa Senators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2 on Friday night. Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Chabot, Drake Batherson and Derick Brassard also scored for the Senators, who won at Scotiabank Arena with fans in attendance […]
20 hours ago
San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47) blocks a shot by Carolina Hurricanes' Stefan Noesen (2...
Associated Press

Martin Necas leads Hurricanes past Sharks 5-4 in overtime

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Martin Necas scored late in regulation and again in overtime, and the Carolina Hurricanes topped the San Jose Sharks 5-4 on Friday night. Necas tied it at 4 when he got his 20th goal of the season with 11.5 seconds left in the third period. Then he beat James Reimer again […]
20 hours ago
Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov (16) attempts a shot at Los Angeles Kings goaltender Pheo...
Associated Press

Kings hold on to beat Panthers 4-3 for 3rd straight win

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Adrian Kempe had a short-handed goal and an assist, Pheonix Copley made 41 saves and the Los Angeles Kings held on to beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Friday night for their third straight win. Anze Kopitar, Viktor Arvidsson and Matt Roy also scored for the Kings, who led 3-0 midway […]
20 hours ago
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb (3) skates between New York Rangers left wing Chris ...
Associated Press

Trocheck, Halak lead Rangers to 4-1 win over Golden Knights

NEW YORK (AP) — Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist, Jaroslav Halak stopped 33 shots and the New York Rangers beat the struggling Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 on Friday night. Chris Kreider, Filip Chytil and Jimmy Vesey also scored for the Rangers, who are 8-2-3 in their last 13 games heading into their […]
20 hours ago
Raiders QB Jarrett Stidham has NFL ‘dream come true’