Ex-Raiders HC Jon Gruden Reunites With Derek Carr [LOOK]

derek carr jon gruden

Getty Derek Carr with Jon Gruden.

There’s a Las Vegas Raiders reunion happening in New Orleans. The Saints brought in former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden to consult on the offense during organized team activities and now he’s back at training camp.

Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com was able to capture the first picture of Gruden with Derek Carr together since the coach resigned as Raiders head coach during the 2021 season, via an August 4 tweet.

As Duncan pointed out, Gruden is not getting paid for his Saints consultation but this could be a step for him to get back into the coaching ranks. Carr and Gruden spent four seasons together on the Raiders where they built a strong relationship. Though the two never were able to make it to the playoffs together, Carr did have success under the coach. The two best passer rating seasons of his career came in 2019 (100.8) and 2020 (101.4), which were both under Gruden. There aren’t many coaches who know Carr better so he should have valuable insight for the Saints.

Dennis Allen Addresses Jon Gruden’s Involvement

The first visit from Jon Gruden must’ve gone well for the Saints to bring him back. Head coach Dennis Allen could be playing a dangerous game by having a Super Bowl-winning coach in the building while he has a career record of 15-38. However, Allen is downplaying how involved Gruden is in these practices.

“He’s going to be here for the next couple of days, he’s really just observing,” Allen said during his August 4 media availability. “There’s not a role we have for him. He loves football, he loves being around it. And so, he comes out here, he watches practices a little bit, and if there’s things we can visit with him about, that he can provide some insight for us, we’ll utilize it.

“But I wouldn’t read too much into it. He’s out here observing, much like we had some other guys out here observing, Brett Maxie was out here today observing practice. He’s got a lot of experience with Derek, so there’s probably some things we can glean from that.”

New Orleans Saints Defense Dominating Training Camp

Derek Carr has typically been a very good practice player, but he’s now practicing against a defense that finished top-10 in the NFL in points and yards allowed last season. According to NOLA.com’s Jeff Duncan, the defense has been dominating early in training camp while Carr has dealt with some accuracy issues.

“It’s a competitive camp, and it’s good to see the back and forth (between the offense and defense),” Carr said during his August 2 media availability. “That’s the stuff you want to see. You don’t want to see one side winning all the time.”

Carr and star wide receiver Michael Thomas have also been out of sync on quite a few throws but the quarterback isn’t too worried about it.

“That’s what camp is for,” Carr said. “We hit on some and we missed on a few. He’s still getting back into it, and that connection is going to come with time and reps. That’s just part of the process.”

Carr is playing with a new team for the first time in his career so it makes sense why there would be some growing pains.

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