ALAMEDA, Calif. - Derek Carr believes he has made steady progress in his rookie season as an NFL quarterback even if it hasnt always been evident in his results.Those subtle steps to becoming a more polished pro passer paid off in a big way last week in the signature performance of Carrs rookie season with the Oakland Raiders.Carr threw three touchdown passes and was in complete control of the game when the Raiders beat their Bay Area rivals last Sunday in a 24-13 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.Carr now looks to follow that up with another strong performance this week when Oakland (2-11) visits Kansas City (7-6) for the second meeting between the teams in less than four weeks.The biggest development for Carr has been the way he has been able to control defences with his eyes or shoulders, creating openings for his receivers. Carr said he did that a little in college but had had to learn to do it more often and with more subtlety as a pro.Its been cool to learn because your eyes can dictate a lot of throws being open, he said Wednesday. You can help yourself out a lot, especially in zone coverages and all those things. Its been nice to be able to progress and do it in games, not just practice.In a season that started with 10 straight losses and included coach Dennis Allens firing, Carr has provided a reason for optimism with his play at quarterback. He threw two touchdown passes in a turnover-free debut against the New York Jets, almost led a late rally at New England, threw four TD passes in a loss to San Diego and threw a winning TD pass last month against Kansas City.But the performance against the 49ers was by far his best. Carr completed 22 of 28 passes for 254 yards with no turnovers, posting the highest passer rating (140.2) for an Oakland quarterback since Rich Gannon had a 141.9 against the Giants in 2001.It came a week after the low point of his season when he threw two interceptions and got pulled for Matt Schaub in the fourth quarter of a 52-0 loss at St. Louis that was Oaklands most lopsided defeat since 1961.But even in that game, Carr saw improvement in the way he was able to control the defence.Ive seen him grow a lot that way, interim coach Tony Sparano said. Hes done a good job. He can use his vision really well. Hes starting to play with the secondary that way with his eyes and has a much more definitive plan on what hes doing with the football before the snap.Those changes helped Carr succeed in crucial situations last week when the offensive line gave him plenty of time to throw. Carr completed 9 of 10 passes for 98 yards and three touchdowns on third down. He even handled the little pressure he faced well, completing 6 of 7 for 93 yards in those situations, according to Pro Football Focus.For the season, Carr has completed 60.5 per cent of his passes for 2,676 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for a 78.3 passer rating. He has also been sacked just 16 times as he has shown the ability to get rid of the ball quickly after watching his older brother David get sacked an NFL record 76 times as a rookie in 2002 with Houston.He knows how to move in the pocket, Kansas City defensive lineman Dontari Poe said. He doesnt play like a rookie at all. Hes a real good quarterback. It really wasnt a secret though. We knew that watching film on him.NOTES: CB Tarell Brown did not practice after leaving Sundays game briefly with an injured right leg. ... WR Rod Streater, who is still on short-term IR, did not practice because of soreness in his broken foot. ... WR Denarius Moore (knee, ankle) got hurt away from the building and did not practice. ... RT Menelik Watson (ankle, foot) also was sidelined. ... The Raiders signed WR Kenny Shaw and TE Evan Wilson to the practice squad.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL Cheap Andre Dawson Jersey . Watching them over the past year - and in some cases, two years - has given us a starting point for this seasons Craigs List. Cheap Fergie Jenkins Jersey . -- David Freese is starting to pick up his run production, which is something the Los Angeles Angels have been waiting half a season to see. http://www.cheapcubsjerseysauthentic.com/?tag=cheap-ryne-sandberg-jersey . Alen, 28, hit .315 with five home runs, 59 RBI and a career-high nine stolen bases for the Goldeyes last season. He is the longest serving catcher in Goldeyes history, having already spent five seasons with the organization. Cheap Brandon Morrow Jersey . With the suspension, Nigeria is unable to take part in any kind of international fixtures. FIFA had issued a warning to the NFF last week after the federation was served with court proceedings from the government that prevented the NFFs president from running the NFFs day-to-day affairs. Cheap Cubs Jerseys Authentic .com) - The 12th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes continue a four-game homestand at Value City Arena on Wednesday night when they face off against the High Point Panthers in a non-conference matchup.ORLANDO, Fla. - The Carolina Panthers believe Steve Smith lost "top-end" speed, a big reason the franchise parted ways with its all-time leading receiver. Speaking publicly for the first time since cutting Smith two weeks ago, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday they had to "move on eventually." "He didnt lose his speed," Rivera said at the NFLs annual meetings. "He lost his top end. Steve still fought and would still find ways to make plays. But as far as the football decision goes, we have to move on eventually. This was an opportunity to do it." Smith wasnt unemployed for very long. He signed a three-year contract with Baltimore about 24 hours after the Panthers released him. Rivera said the desire to give young receivers Marvin McNutt, Tavarres King, Brenton Bersin, Kealoha Pilares and Toney Clemons opportunities factored into the decision. "With Steve around, they may never get that chance to develop," Rivera said. Rivera also made it clear the Panthers intend to select a receiver in the NFL draft in May — and hopefully replace Smith. "The thing we have to all understand is that eventually its going to happen; its inevitable," Rivera said. "In this game, its inevitable. A lot of great ones have moved on and gone on and played a couple of more years somewhere else. For us (Rivera and GM Dave Gettleman), this is a very hard decision. I know Dave anguished over it for several days before the decision was made, and we had a lot of discussions about it. Its one of those things that you have to, at some point, make the move to go forward." The decision was not popular among Carolina fans. A third-round draft pick out of Utah in 2001, Smith made an immediate impact as a rookie, returning the opening kickoff of the season for a touchdown against Minnesota. He became the first Panthers rookie selected to the Pro Bowl, earning that honour as a return specialist. Known for his feisty behaviour on the field, Smith became a dominant receiver over the next 12 seasons. He ranks 19th in the NFL in career receptions. He caught 64 passes for 746 yards and four touchdowns in 2013. Smith is Carolinas leader in receptions (836), yards receiving (12,197) and touchdowns (67).dddddddddddd As productive as Smith was, his fiery personality often rubbed people the wrong way, and some viewed him as a distraction in the locker room. Smith had run-ins with teammates on at least two occasions. He punched out fellow wide receiver Anthony Bright in a film room fight and later socked cornerback Ken Lucas on the field during a practice at training camp in Spartanburg, S.C. On both occasions, Smith was suspended by the team. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said they had few reservations about bringing in the 34-year-old Smith, even with his history and his age. "Chemistry is really important, and its something that I think every team should be working really hard to try it build," Harbaugh said in Orlando. "It starts with the type of person that you bring in as a coach and then as a player. But through our investigations, I guess you can call it, we came away feeling really good about the impact Steve is going to have on our team that way. "Hes a tough competitor. Hes a mature, grown man. Hes a family man. Hes a man of faith. I think the world of him." The Panthers signed veteran Jerricho Cotchery to a two-year contract, giving them some experience at the position after releasing Smith and seeing Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon leave in free agency. Rivera insisted the team will miss Smith, even though hes not the player he was in his prime. "Hes got a lot of football left," Rivera said. "Hes still explosive. ... He practices so hard. He competes so hard. I think hes at the point now where he has to manage himself and know that, Hey, I cant practice every day like that. "Steve has a lot to prove. Hes got that chip on his shoulder going forward. I know hes going to be 35, but I still know hes going to be a very competitive guy. Hes going to will himself to do some things. But I think as the season wears on, if he hasnt taken the time that hes needed off between the games, he might slow down. But he still has some gas in the tank." ___ Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '