In times of crisis, the Las Vegas Raiders have often relied on their alumni to help get them through tough times. The team is dealing with the fallout of head coach Jon Gruden resigning after a number of racist, homophobic and sexist emails were leaked out. He was supposed to be the man in charge of the franchise for the next decade but now the team has to start fresh.
Quarterback Derek Carr is playing under his fifth head coach since he was drafted by the Raiders in 2014. He gets a bad wrap for only getting the team to the playoffs once in the previous seven seasons but there are a lot of quarterbacks who would have a hard time winning with so much turnover. Carr now has to deal with the fallout from Gruden and continue to lead his team. One thing that has to help is the excellent support he’s gotten from former players. Raiders legend and former teammate Charles Woodson made sure to reach out to Carr amid the drama and gave him a call ahead of Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.
“My feeling was that his voice has got to be the loudest in the building,” Woodson told Jim Trotter of NFL.com. “He’s been through multiple head coaches and offensive coordinators; he’s been through a lot during that time so he’s seen a lot and been weathered in this game. So I felt like if anybody was going to be able to handle that situation, it’s going to be him. They were words of encouragement to be a leader, be the loudest voice in that locker room. You’ve got to get this win. Be 1-0. Really, I was just trying to be supportive. It was a weird moment for him, the team and Raider Nation. It was kind of shocking how it all went down.”
Woodson was one of the great leaders the Raiders have had over the last two decades. Even though he doesn’t play for the team anymore, he remains a source of leadership for the franchise.
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Carr Believes Situation Has Brought Team Closer
Woodson’s support must’ve helped Carr as he played one of his best games of the year on Sunday, leading the Raiders to a 34-24 win over the Broncos. He threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Adversity can sometimes bring people together and that’s exactly what Carr believes this Gruden scandal has done for the Raiders.
“It for sure brought us closer,” Carr said after the game Sunday. “Talking with the guys in meetings and that type of stuff, I’m proud of where we’re at and glad for our organization to get a win. We needed a win bad this week. Sometimes when you get punched in the gut it’s hard to bounce back.”
Can Raiders Stay Consistent?
One big thing that marred Gruden’s tenure with the Raiders was the team’s inconsistency. They started off the 2019 season with a 6-4 record and last season with a 6-3 record. Both years ended in disaster and with no playoff berth.
The Raiders got a big win on Sunday but it would be in character for them to lay an egg against the Philadelphia Eagles at home this week. However, Gruden no longer leads this team. Perhaps interim head coach Rich Bisaccia is exactly what the Raiders need to play at a more consistent level. The win over the Broncos was great but Sunday’s game against the Eagles could really determine how this season will playout for the silver and black.