Despite Mike Mayock having some very kind words for quarterback Derek Carr to start the NFL Combine, many aren’t buying that the Las Vegas Raiders aren’t ready to move on. Especially with so many exciting prospects hitting the draft this year. Until the team comes out and officially announces that Carr will be the starter in 2020, rumors are bound to fly.
The decision is ultimately up to head coach Jon Gruden and while he has always praised his quarterback in public, it’s hard to know exactly what he’s thinking. However, Gruden recently dropped some notable comments about the quarterback.
“I really think Derek is a heck of a player, and I got a lot of respect for what he has done in what was some tough circumstances,” Gruden said on Thursday. “So I’m not going to answer every media rumor out there, just can’t do it. I’m just going to listen to my serious rock and roll, classic vinyl and keep working. But I love what Derek Carr did, I love what he brings to our team and anxious to continue to build around him.”
These comments from Gruden could mean a lot of different things, but it definitely mostly sounds like an endorsement for Carr. He leaves the door open a little bit for a potential move, but it’s seeming like the Raiders aren’t as set on cutting Carr loose as some make it seem.
Raiders Meeting With Incoming Rookies
Even if the Raiders keep Carr, they need to shake up the quarterback room. Their backups don’t inspire a lot of confidence and it’s unlikely they bring back Mike Glennon and DeShone Kizer. That means the team could look to the draft for depth and Gruden revealed that the team has spoken to several prospects at the Combine.
“Mike Glennon’s a free agent, Nate Peterman was hurt, unavailable last season, so we’re evaluating all the quarterbacks,” Gruden said. “Free agents, certainly. And the kids in the draft – we met with five or six of them.”
It certainly can’t hurt to add some competition at the quarterback position. Even adding someone who could push Carr for the starting job wouldn’t be the worst idea. Despite last season also being filled with rumors of the Raiders moving on from him, he had it far too easy last season. Time to light a fire under him.
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Gruden Wants Raiders to Continue to Get Better at QB
Gruden’s earlier comments sure sounded like an endorsement of Carr as the quarterback of the future, but the coach got a little more cryptic later on.
“At quarterback, sometimes you get better because of your experience in the system,” Gruden said. “Sometimes you get better because of your supporting cast, and sometimes you get better because the playcalling is better. So we’ve got to continue to improve at that position, and we’re set out to do that, no matter how we do it.”
Now, those comments are very interesting because it’s unclear if Gruden is saying the Raiders need to do a better job of helping Carr or that they believe there could be an option that’s an improvement over Carr. Regardless of what the coach says or does, the Raiders are likely to be at the center of quarterback rumors until after the draft. It should be a pretty wild ride.