After nine years with the Las Vegas Raiders, Derek Carr is now a member of the New Orleans Saints. When Carr signed a three-year contract extension with the Raiders in April of 2022, things weren’t expected to sour so quickly. In his first year under head coach Josh McDaniels, he had a passer rating of 86.3, which was the lowest since his rookie year (76.6).
He also tied a career-high of 14 interceptions. This led to him getting benched in favor of Jarrett Stidham following a Week 16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in which he threw three interceptions. Expectations were high for Carr in 2022 following the Raiders’ offseason trade for star wide receiver Davante Adams. He wasn’t able to reach those expectations and he understands that. Carr admitted that he wasn’t playing up to his standard last season.
“They just didn’t get my best and that drove me crazy at the end of the year because I felt so spread out in so many different ways,” Carr said during his June 13 media availability. “I just didn’t feel like myself and I feel bad for the (Raiders) coaches and players.”
Why Did Derek Carr Struggle in 2022?
Opinions were high regarding Carr following the 2021 season. He helped lead the Raiders to a playoff berth that required them to win four straight games to end the year. Owner Mark Davis decided to replace interim head coach Rich Bisaccia with Josh McDaniels, who almost completely reworked the coaching staff. The Raiders were 6-9 before Carr was benched and lost the following two games with Stidham at the helm.
The quarterback and McDaniels haven’t directly addressed where things went wrong but David Carr, Derek Carr’s brother, has given some insight. According to him, the two just had different styles and saw the game of football differently.
“I think the issue with Derek and Josh was that there was always a bit of head-butting going on because they were different styles,” Carr said on a March 13 episode of “NFL Total Access.”
Carr had spent the previous four years with Jon Gruden, who likes to have his quarterback exercise a lot of control over the offense. McDaniels prefers to have things more scripted. That difference in philosophy proved too big for the two sides to work it out.
Derek Carr Hoping to Return to Form in New Orleans
Carr had previously stated in a June 15, 2021, press conference that he would sooner “quit” football than play for a team other than the Raiders. Two years made quite a difference for him. Things didn’t end how he would’ve liked in Las Vegas and the Saints are providing a fresh start. They even brought in Jon Gruden to give some ideas for the offense to help make Carr more comfortable. He’s hoping to bounce back in a big way this season now that he’s in New Orleans.
“I’ve tried my best to get back to that. Hopefully, it leads to some success,” Carr said. “It’s going to be a great lesson for me to learn to help some guys down the road when they go through a coaching change or a shift in whatever they’re doing.”