Derek Carr vows to be there for Henry Ruggs: 'He needs people to love him'

·3 min read

Las Vegas police said early Wednesday that Henry Ruggs III was driving 156 mph while intoxicated more than twice the legal limit before he allegedly crashed his Corvette into another car, killing the driver and her dog.

Hours later, Ruggs' former quarterback and head coach addressed the tragedy. Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and interim head coach Rich Bisaccia both spoke with media on Wednesday in the aftermath of Tuesday's fatal crash

Carr told reporters that he's there to stand by his former teammate, even if nobody else is. 

Derek Carr: Henry Ruggs 'needs to be loved'

"I will always be here for him," Carr said. "That won't change. I'll prove that over the course of time to him. Not to anybody else. 

"He needs people to love him right now. He's probably feeling a certain type of way about himself right now. He needs to be loved. If no one else will do it, I'll do it."

He also addressed his role as a team leader as the Raiders face a second crisis in a matter of weeks following the resignation of head coach Jon Gruden amid his leaked email scandal.

“Whether it’s fair or not, I have to compartmentalize and I have a job to do," Carr said. "These are two totally different situations. Some similar emotions. Some very different emotions."

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 15:  Quarterback Derek Carr #4 and wide receiver Henry Ruggs III #11 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrate in the second half of their game against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Derek Carr spoke of his friendship with Henry Ruggs and said he got a text from him the night before the crash asking for tips on his golf swing. (Chris Unger/Getty Images)

Carr said Ruggs asked for golf tips at midnight before crash

Ruggs reportedly posted video of himself at a local TopGolf the night before the crash. Carr told reporters that Ruggs texted him at midnight before the crash looking for tips on his golf swing. He made the revelation while speaking fondly of his and Ruggs' friendship off the field. 

“He literally texted me at midnight — golf swing — me and Hunter [Renfrow] — ‘How’s my swing look? You guys need to help me.'

"Just seeing that and getting the news when we woke up — how am I supposed to handle that? How am I supposed to react?"

Carr also said that he has his own second thoughts and wishes that he could have done something to prevent the crash.

"I do sit back and I think — did I not let him know that I’d be there for him at 3 a.m.? I want to be better. Could I have been better to help? I just wish I could have done something."

Bisaccia: 'Terrible lapse in judgment'

Bisaccia, meanwhile, directly addressed the crash victim's family. He also expressed his and the team's love and support for Ruggs.

"We want to express our sincere condolences to the victim’s family," Bisaccia said. "A person lost their life yesterday morning, and we think it’s important to keep focus on that as we talk about this tragic event. We’re deeply saddened for everyone affected. Especially, the victim’s family.

"That being said, we love Henry Ruggs, and want him to know that. It was a terrible lapse in judgment, of the most horrific kind. It’s something that he’ll have to live with the rest of his life. The gravity of the situation is not lost on anyone here and we understand and respect the loss of life."

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