As much as he would never like to it admit it, the walls are closing in for Derek Carr. The Oakland Raiders quarterback was able to survive one offseason of rumors, but he’s going to have a very difficult time surviving another. Jon Gruden has been more open about criticizing Carr during the team’s four-game losing streak and now reports of a “significant disconnect” between the two are coming out.
Unless a miracle happens and Carr leads the Raiders to the playoffs, rumors are going keep coming out. On Wednesday, Gruden made an admission that won’t quiet the rumors.
“He’s done a lot of good things in tough circumstances,” said Gruden. “We don’t see the ball a lot in the second half if you want to do the math on that. We don’t get a lot of possessions. We got to do better, he’s got to do better and I got to do better.”
There’s no doubt that both Gruden and Carr need to do better. The problem is, neither have them have gotten better. In the last four games, Carr had a strong first half against the Tennessee Titans and that’s about it. Fortunately for Gruden, he doesn’t have anybody to hold him accountable if he doesn’t do better.
How Important Are These Last Two Games for Derek Carr?
Heading towards the end of last season, rumors of Jon Gruden getting rid of Derek Carr seemed premature to say the least. Those rumors turned out to be untrue, but thanks to another disappointing season, new rumors are creeping and this time, they feel more real. Carr had myriad excuses that season. Bad offensive line, bad wide receivers and injuries all over the offense were his saving grace.
This year is different. Yes, the offense has been dealing with a number of injuries and poor wide receiver play, but Carr has one of the best tight ends and running back in the NFL, plus a solid offensive line. He’s still far from being one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. If he got sent to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and got to throw to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, he might shock people with the number he puts up.
The Raiders have two-games left in the season against two division rivals. Nothing stings worse than a loss to a hated rival. If Carr comes out and looks flat in both games and the team finishes 6-10, the quarterback is in serious trouble. If he leads the team to two epic victories, his odds of continuing as the Raiders’ quarterback will greatly increase.
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Nobody Knows What Jon Gruden Is Going to Do
Everybody likes to pretend they know everything about Jon Gruden because of his earlier tenure, but that was over a decade ago. Nobody knows what’s going on in Gruden’s head besides Jon Gruden. He has unprecedented power for an NFL head coach and he essentially can do whatever he wants. Now, Gruden knows as well as anybody that finding a good quarterback is very difficult. He’s never been able to find a new Rich Gannon. The most likely thing that will happen is that the Raiders draft a quarterback in 2020 and give Carr one more chance to prove he should be the team’s starter of the future.