It hasn’t taken long for the Las Vegas Raiders to move on from the Jon Gruden regime. The head coach was supposed to be with the team for a long time and likely would be if he hadn’t resigned after offensive emails sent from him were leaked to the media. The team decided to hire Josh McDaniels to replace Gruden, which was met with pushback at first.
However, after seeing how McDaniels has operated in the early days as head coach, opinions are quite high. During Gruden’s tenure, there was a lot of uncertainty at the quarterback position. Derek Carr was essentially playing on a year-to-year basis in recent seasons. One of the first things McDaniels did when he got hired was make it clear that Carr is the starting quarterback going forward. He also put his money where his mouth is by getting the quarterback a three-year contract extension.
While Carr didn’t directly call out Gruden for being non-committal, he was actually pleasantly surprised that the new regime of McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were so quick to commit with him in private and public.
“They told me that they were committed to me. And the cool thing, too, is, in public, they’ve been committed to me,” Carr told Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. “Usually when you get a new coach, GM, they kind of slow-play it like, Oh, we’ll see …
“I’ve been through that. My future is always up in the air, it seems like. But these guys just made it clear, No, we believe in you, and you’re our guy, and we believe we can win with you. And we’re going to prove that to you, too. We’re gonna sign you to an extension.”
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McDaniels Believed Carr Needed Quick Clarity
McDaniels spent most of his career coaching the greatest quarterback in NFL history in Tom Brady. He knows how important that position is for winning. He believed that Carr needed to know his status with the new regime immediately.
“If that’s the guy you’re gonna try to win with at that position,” McDaniels said, “then that person deserves to hear from you right away.”
When McDaniels was hired by the Denver Broncos as head coach in 2009, he quickly traded quarterback Jay Cutler. That was clearly a mistake and the coach didn’t even last two seasons with the team. He wasn’t about to repeat the same mistakes.
Carr Expands on the Early Impressions of McDaniels
Carr was vocal about his support of interim head coach Rich Bisaccia getting the permanent job. The Raiders didn’t listen to those requests and decided to go with McDaniels. Fortunately, Carr is very happy with who his new head coach is.
“Usually, football coaches are like, Do everything, and then if you can’t do it, whatever, we’ll figure it out,” Carr said. “He’s like, No, I care about you as a person, and I want to make sure you’re O.K., and the football part, I’m not worried about. You’ve proven you’ll take care of that. He has definitely shown the personal side, to the 100th degree, to me.”