It’s official: Josh McDaniels is the newest head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. The team held off on officially announcing the news until his introductory press conference on Monday. Now that he’s been hired, he can start getting to work. The first order of business will be constructing his coaching staff but there’s another big decision looming over the franchise.
Quarterback Derek Carr will be entering a contract year this upcoming season. It’s hard to imagine he’ll want to play in a contract year so the Raiders need to decide if they want to give him an extension or trade him away. Based on early comments from McDaniels, it sounds like he’s a big fan of Carr. He revealed at the presser that he’s spoken to the quarterback and they had a good conversation.
“Derek’s won a lot of games in this league and we’ve competed against each other a number of times,” McDaniels said. “I have a lot of respect for him, he’s certainly did a good job this year, leading their offense. I spoke with him yesterday, we had a great conversation. I’m looking forward to actually getting to meet him and get to know him as a person, as a human being and then get to work in terms of developing our offense this year into what it’s going to be. But there’s no question we have the capacity and capability of winning with Derek here. We all know that.”
Part of the appeal of the Raiders opening was that they had a capable quarterback in Carr. McDaniels had a long run with the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady but had success working with other quarterbacks like Matt Cassell and Mac Jones. Carr should be happy to have another offensive-minded head coach going forward.
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Dave Ziegler Not Fully Committing to Carr Quite Yet
Carr has been open about wanting to retire a Raider in the past. However, that was before the team decided not to retain interim head coach Rich Bisaccia, who the quarterback endorsed for the permanent job. New general manager Dave Ziegler was also introduced by the Raiders on Monday and was asked about Carr. Ziegler was not ready to tip his hand on a possible extension quite yet.
“Josh and I had a great conversation with Derek yesterday,” Ziegler said. “I think the one thing we all understand is there is going to be a process of us learning Derek, Derek learning us and fitting all of those pieces together and that’s going to be step one. Building a relationship, understanding what Derek does well, Derek understanding what Josh and the offensive staff are trying to build, and I think as that collaboration goes you kind of see how everything fits together. You have to see how everything fits together and work from that point and we’re just really excited to have Derek here and to get to know him and his strengths and work with him in our system.”
It’s entirely possible that Carr doesn’t have a ton of interest in working with this new staff and would prefer to get traded. It’s a process that will need to play out before a long-term contract is agreed upon.
Will Raiders Decide to Extend Carr?
Ziegler isn’t going to make promises right now and that’s understandable. Perhaps the McDaniels and Carr pairing doesn’t work out. That said, all signs point to it being a strong pairing. McDaniels has a history of working with quarterbacks who do their best work in the pocket. Carr can move but he prefers to stay in the pocket.
Finding a very good quarterback isn’t easy. Carr showed that he was good enough to lead a team with major roster issues to the playoffs this season. If the Ziegler and McDaniels fix the offensive line and land a No. 1 wide receiver, Carr could put up huge numbers. In the end, there’s a strong likelihood that the quarterback signs a big extension in the coming months.
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