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Tony Sparano to Derek Carr: 'This is your football team'

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Coach Tony Sparano said after taking over the Oakland Raiders' head gig that he would give players like Denarius Moore a clean slate and judge them with his own eyes.

One position the coach isn't taking a new look at is quarterback. In fact, Sparano said he wants to empower rookie signal-caller Derek Carr to be more of a leader.

"I visited with him and we got a chance to talk about that," Sparano said, per CSN Bay Area. "I said to him, 'This is your football team; you're the quarterback. We don't have time for you to be a rookie right now, this team needs you to step up and be that leader. Don't sit around and wait to do that.' ... It's in Derek's DNA, he wants to go out there and do that. He wants to be the leader."

The quarterback being the leader is not a novel concept. How well it will work with so many veterans used to leading -- not following a rookie -- remains to be seen.

Sparano is desperately trying to change the fortunes of an already-forked season. He'll have a tough time Sunday reversing the course of a sinking ship against the San Diego Chargers. But it's a positive note that the interim coach is willing to empower a young quarterback who could grow to be the face of the franchise.

"Now it's like, 'Here are the keys, now take it and let's go," Carr said. "There's no easing into it anymore. We've already done that for the first four games. Now it's, 'You're our guy. Let's roll. Lead them and let's go do this thing.' "

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