Jon Gruden Blames Antonio Brown for Derek Carr’s Struggles

antonio brown derek carr

Getty Antonio Brown & Derek Carr.

The Oakland Raiders have a new scapegoat for Derek Carr’s struggles.

As the Raiders look to snap a two-game losing streak when they take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4, the biggest storyline heading into the weekend is none other the struggles of their 28-year-old franchise quarterback.

Although Carr’s stat line actually looked good in Week 3, the Raiders’ 34-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, one absolutely disastrous interception definitely tainted Carr. Heck, the Raiders offense struggled to move the football all day and one of Carr’s touchdowns came on a trick play while the other was in garbage time.

So who’s to blame for Carr’s sluggish play over the last two weeks, coach? Well, Jon Gruden has an answer — it’s Antonio Brown.

Via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez:

“It’s caused us a little bit of … rethinking,” Gruden said Wednesday of Brown’s departure and the subsequent impact on the wideout group. “When you lose your starting ‘Z,’ who arguably is a great player, I don’t think anyone’s going to dispute that you have to replace him. And we’re making an effort to move Tyrell [Williams] around; we’re bringing on some younger guys. J.J. Nelson also got hurt; don’t forget that. He was hurt. Dwayne Harris got hurt, so we’ve had some multiple things to deal with, and we’re dealing with them.”

Follow the Heavy on Raiders Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!

Antonio Brown Was Derek Carr’s No. 1 Receiver

For those that have already forgotten about Brown’s Raiders tenure, he was going to be their No. 1 receiver after the team made him the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. Of course, things didn’t work out between both sides as Brown went through a number of high-profile incidents that eventually led to him demanding and receiving his release.

The problem with that is that Brown had participated in training camp and wasn’t released until two days prior to the team’s season opener in Week 1. Basically, the Raiders had no time to adjust.

Gruden continued to deflect blame away from his franchise quarterback, instead of pointing the finger at players around him and himself for the play-calling at hand, as ESPN revealed.

“I think he’s done some good things,” Gruden said of Carr. “I’m not going to put it all on Derek. We take responsibility as a playcaller. I’m calling the plays and designing some of this stuff, so I put it on myself. He’s done a good job.

“Getting stuffed on fourth and a foot isn’t his fault. He didn’t miss the blitz pickup in the red zone. We had a ball that could have been caught, could have set up points at the end of the half. He’s doing some good things. I’m not going to sit here and say that we’re a finished product yet. We’ve gone through a lot of change through the first three weeks, and we played two really good teams, actually, three really good defenses in back-to-back weeks.”

Raiders Still Looking for Reliable Wideouts

There’s no doubt it’s been an adjustment period for the team. Heck, the Raiders just released one of their opening-day wideouts — Ryan Grant — so they could sign a practice squad linebacker who has never played in an NFL game in his career.

In other words, the departure of a receiver who was once considered the very best in the NFL has had a profound impact. While Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller have performed well in AB’s absence, Oakland has zero-depth beyond them. They have yet to find a reliable wide receiver other than Williams.

Finding that reliable No. 2 wideout may prove to be the difference in not only Carr’s production — but the Raiders’ win-loss record.

Until then, the criticism surrounding one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL won’t die down anytime soon.

READ NEXT: Raiders’ Vontaze Burfict Appears to Throw Punches at Vikings Player [WATCH]

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments