Jon Gruden may be the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, but there’s no doubt he’s spending the majority of his time working with the quarterbacks. He hasn’t tried to hide the fact that he’s focused on how the offense performs over the defense. He has Greg Olson as his offensive coordinator but it’s no secret who is really running the team’s offense.
Though Olson’s role isn’t huge, quarterback Derek Carr recently talked about working with both of his lead offensive coaches and praised both of them.
“They’re both sick when it comes to the details … like they’re both sick when it comes to protection, in the details of routes in all those things,” Carr said of Gruden and Olsen on The Underrated Hour podcast. “What really has helped me is that I’m playing the game with my physical body and coach Gruden’s mind, and I’m getting to the plays he wants and I’m making the checks that he wants … it just lets me see the game in a completely different way.”
Much is made about how difficult Gruden’s offense is to learn and it was clear that Carr needed at least a season to pick it up. He had a better grasp of it in 2019 and played much better. With a third season in the system on the docket, Carr should be a master of Gruden’s offense.
Carr Talks Amount of Turnover Raiders Have Had
In six seasons, Carr has had four different head coaches and even more offensive coordinators. For the first time in his career, Carr will be spending a third season in a system. Gruden isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and that could really help the quarterback out.
“There’s just always been so much turnover,” Carr said. “I think that really Mr. [Mark] Davis … he’s like ‘we’re giving [Gruden] a 10-year contract, we’re just gonna grow from the ground up and see where this thing takes us’ … it’s been, I think, the greatest thing not only for me but for a lot of our young guys to just get into a system and just grow in it every year.”
Stability is really important for teams to thrive. There’s a reason teams like the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks have been so successful. Once Gruden is able to build a winner, hopefully he can keep it consistent because the Raiders signed him for the long haul.
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Carr Poised for Big Season
The Raiders have used a lot of resources this offseason to surround Carr with more talent. He’s now got a first-round pick at wide receiver to go along with the likes of Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs. He’ll also be protected by one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.
Last season felt a lot like the Raiders’ 2015 season. The team was in the playoff race but just wasn’t good enough. They were able to take a major leap in 2016 and Carr played like an MVP. The team could see a similar trajectory this year. They have serious talent all over the offense and the defense is definitely improved. There’s no reason Carr shouldn’t have the best season of his career in 2020.