Insider Believes Recent Derek Carr Quote Is ‘Backhanded Slap’ at Jon Gruden

jon gruden derek carr

Getty Jon Gruden with Derek Carr.

Though Jon Gruden had an unprecedented amount of power during his tenure with the Las Vegas Raiders, the team has quickly removed his influence from the building. Gruden lasted a little over three seasons with the team before resigning after a slew of offensive emails leaked out to the media. Las Vegas then decided to replace him with longtime New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Despite Gruden not putting together a single winning season during his second tenure with the Raiders, quarterback Derek Carr has always been very complimentary of the coach. It’s still early in the day of him getting coached by McDaniels but it sounds like he’s been impressed by the coach.

“The depth of the conversations that we’re having is encouraging,” Carr told Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston. “It’s fun for me. The best part of my game has always been the mental side. And that’s how Josh is. He’s a genius when it comes to scheming things up and teaching his system and getting the best out of his players.”

While those comments just come off as praise for McDaniels, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believes there might be more to them. He suggests that Carr is taking shots at Gruden now.

“That ringing endorsement of McDaniels arguably includes a backhanded slap at Gruden,” Florop wrote.

Florio then pointed to other comments later in the interview with Perry.

“I feel like a better football player,” Carr said of being coached by McDaniels. “And I’ve had a lot of great coaches. He’s come in, he’s seen those things, ‘Wow, that’s awesome. What about this, too? What about this here?’ It’s helping me grow. It’s been really fun to be around him.”

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Was Carr Taking Shots at Gruden?

It’s a big stretch to suggest that Carr is throwing shade at his former coach. That’s just never been his style. He’s always been highly complimentary of Gruden, even after the coach resigned. Any shot at the coach would’ve certainly been unintentional.

Similar to McDaniels, Gruden has long been considered an offensive guru. The Raiders showed flashes of having a very good offense in recent years but was never consistent. Gruden had over three years to build an offensive juggernaut and there’s no doubt he failed to make it happen.

Carr Expands on McDaniels Praise

Regardless of how Carr feels about Gruden, it’s becoming clear that the quarterback and McDaniels are already building a strong relationship. That was proven by the fact that the Raiders gave Carr a three-year contract extension this offseason. McDaniels failed as a head coach in the past but he’s expressed to the quarterback that things are different for him now.

“One thing Josh has done is he’s come in and he says, ‘This is not New England. This is Las Vegas,’” Carr told Perry. “‘We’re gonna do things our way.’ I’ve learned a lot of great things there that we’re going to implement, but I also have some things that I want to do my way.”

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Rand Lowe
Rand Lowe
1 year ago

Carr would never overtly criticize Jon Gruden, (or, seemingly anyone else for that matter) but his effusive praise for McDaniels, citing things he didn’t experience previously, speaks volumes about Gruden’s lack of support for his QB.