Ever since Jon Gruden took over the Las Vegas Raiders, his relationship with Derek Carr has been a major talking point. Carr is the overly nice boy scout while Gruden is the angry, loud firebrand. There were those who thought the quarterback and coach weren’t going to work well together and that the relationship was destined to fail.
While rumors persist that the Raiders plan to eventually make a move at quarterback, the team sure does seem confident in Carr. They could’ve gone after a number of solid quarterbacks this offseason but haven’t shown much interest. Despite previous rumors that Carr and Gruden don’t get along, the quarterback has no clue where that narrative is coming from.
“What people don’t understand is how close we are. Not just football, but off the field,” Carr told Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.” Whether it’s him texting videos of his dog and what they’re doing, and I’m sending him videos of my kids hitting baseballs in their first game. People don’t understand that. And we’re going on four years together … But we honestly care about one another. We love one another. We grind together. He pushes me. I push him. It’s a great relationship. And I told him, man, I don’t want to play for anybody else. I’m playing for you. This has been the most fun playing quarterback I’ve ever had.”
Perhaps at first, there was some tension between the two but it’s clear they get along. In fact, Carr recently said that he would quit before playing for another team. He wouldn’t say that if he didn’t get along with his head coach who is on a 10-year contract.
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Carr Talks Offensive Line Changes
One thing the Raiders know about Carr is that he needs a strong offensive line to be his most effective. That’s why it was a surprise when they decided to move on from several key players this offseason. While Carr acknowledges that the talent on the offensive line could be lesser, he’s still excited to see what their replacements can do.
“The guys that are stepping into these roles, you see them on the practice field and you’re like ‘Ah, yeah, we’re going to be alright.’ I’ll say it this way: Andre [James] isn’t Rodney [Hudson], but that doesn’t mean he’s not a good football player. It doesn’t mean he can’t be one of the best,” Carr told Bonsignore. “We don’t know. But Andre is a good football player.
“Anyone who isn’t Gabe Jackson, they’re not Gabe Jackson. He’s gone. OK, someone new has to take his spot. Can he play better? Can he be a better fit? We’ll see. I love the guys who left, but I love the guys who are here.”
Will Carr Be the Raiders’ Long-Term QB?
2021 could very well be a make-or-break year for Carr. He’s been very good for the Raiders and has just been getting better each year under Gruden. However, if the team misses the playoffs for a fifth straight year, there are going to be fall guys. Gruden isn’t going anywhere but that doesn’t mean Carr is safe.
He could be one of the sacrificial lambs should the Raiders fail again. Now, a winning season would cure all and probably net Carr a contract extension. Las Vegas obviously wants him to be the long-term answer at quarterback but can’t keep accepting losing seasons.