Derek Carr needs to match Jon Gruden’s insanity for Raiders to blossom

ALAMEDA, Calif. — There is this theory floating around the Raiders that one gigantic contract was offered to precipitate the signing of another, that owner Mark Davis awarded quarterback Derek Carr a nine-figure deal last offseason with the intention of eventually offering another to the man he wanted to coach him.

That the union of Carr to Jon Gruden, in the mind of the guy who is paying each an exorbitant amount of money, has been brewing for some time.

True or not, the theory became reality Tuesday.

Now, it’s on Carr to keep up.

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“Someone said I was insane,” Gruden said as he was introduced at a news conference at the team’s headquarters. “That’s probably right.”

He not only received a record contract of 10 years for $100 million to return to a silver and black franchise for which he obviously holds an impassioned attachment, but also inherited the best and most promising quarterback of his career as a head coach.

Which says something, given Gruden won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay.

But while Brad Johnson owns a ring for that XXXVII triumph over the Raiders, and Rich Gannon was an MVP in losing to his former coach in that season’s final game, neither quarterback at the time was as young or talented as Carr.

Jeff George. Donald Hollis. Wade Wilson. Jeff Garcia. Chris Simms. Brian Griese. Luke McCown.

Tim Rattay.

Bruce Gradkowski!

In 11 seasons as an NFL head coach and having counseled numerous quarterbacks, Gruden has never tutored the individual skill and promise he will find in Carr.

“He has great arm talent, he’s athletic, he has natural leadership skills, he’s young and in his prime,” Gruden said. “He’s been in a lot of different systems. There hasn’t been a lot of continuity around him that way. He has huge upside. With the system we are going to put in place, it’s going to demand a lot from him. That’s what is going to unlock the greatness in him.”

No one used the G-word in regard to Carr this season, when the Raiders were 6-10 and their $125 million leader regressed from the 2016 campaign that earned him such lifetime security.

How much an injury at Denver in early October — Carr suffered a transverse process fracture in his back — affected his play as the season wore on is unknown. But he wasn’t right most weeks. He wasn’t 100 percent.

His numbers from last season to this dipped in all categories, including a passer rating that went from 96.7 to 86.4. There were issues on the offensive line and wide receiver. The culture of a locker room suffered. Things weren’t great internally.

Losing will do that.

But if Tuesday was about a clean slate for everyone, nobody will be more impacted by the arrival of Gruden than Carr, and how he responds to the insanity of which his new coach refers will go a long way in determining how fast the Raiders are again winning more games than not.

“I told Derek this is an unbelievable opportunity,” said Gannon, who played under Gruden in Oakland from 1999-2001. “If he just takes advantage of it, there are so many great things in store.

“I don’t know if anyone can match Jon’s intensity. I don’t know if that’s possible. But what you have to do is put the work in and be prepared and have a passion for the game. I don’t care how hard Derek has worked before, he’s going to have to change his work habits to fit in.”

There has been a video shared around the internet in recent days of when Carr met Gruden during the coach’s television “QB Camp” before the 2014 draft. Gruden, as he has with so many soon-to-be drafted quarterbacks, watched tape of Carr during his college days and offered his thoughts.

“Your position playing style is completely different. I want you,” Gruden told Carr on the ESPN show. “What do you have to say about that?”

Offered Carr: “I appreciate that. Let’s go win some championships now.”

Maybe this really was the plan all along from the guy who writes checks.

Maybe the stars just aligned and this is how things fell.

But there is no maybe about this: Jon Gruden just inherited the best quarterback of his career as a head coach. How Derek Carr responds could shape the Raiders for years to come as they prepare to arrive in Las Vegas in 2020.

Carr needs to get working.

Insanity waits on no one.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
More information on design of Raiders' practice facility in Henderson
Officials plan to finish the Raiders' Henderson headquarters by spring 2020. The planned facility would be home to offices, training facilities and 4 1/2 football fields.
Vegas Nation: Leon Hall battles sickle cell illness
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about Leon Hall's sickle cell illness that prevented the cornerback from flying home with the team last week in Denver.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Week 3
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano answer your burning questions about the Raiders and Jon Gruden.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Practice After Loss To Broncos
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over how Jon Gruden is improving the team after the 20-19 loss to the Denver Broncos.
Gruden touts Carr's pocket presence
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden hopes to get bigger plays from Derek Carr as the season rolls along, and the coach praises Carr's ability to feel pressure in the pocket.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Pass Rush Noticeably Lacking
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about another poor pass rushing performance by the Raiders defense as the team looks ahead to Miami.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Fall To The Broncos
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and sports writer Gilbert Manzano goes over the Raiders 19-20 loss against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: Kolton Miller prepares for Von Miller matchup on Sunday
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken previews the upcoming matchup between rookie left tackle Kolton Miller and Broncos linebacker Von Miller.
Vegas Nation: Bryant ready to play for Raiders immediately
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about Martavis Bryant's return to the Raiders practice field, as well as a potential suspension for the wide receiver.
Martavis Bryant "Very Surprised" with Raiders Re-Signing
Raiders wide receiver Martavis Bryant speaks with the media for the first time since the team cut and re-signed him within a ten day time frame.
Vegas Nation Mailbag
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano goes over Raider Nation's reaction to the Raiders loss to the Rams.
Vegas Nation: Martavis Bryant Returns to the Raiders
Bryan Salmond is in studio and Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda as Martavis Bryant returns to the Raiders and Oakland picks up to new defensive linemen.
Gruden, Carr Believe Bryant is in a "Good Place"
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and starting quarterback Derek Carr talk about Martavis Bryant returning with the team after being cut over a week ago.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium Progress
Construction at Las Vegas Raiders stadium as seen on September 11, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation: Raiders fall short in Week 1 to the Rams
Bryan Salmond and Gilbert Manzano are in studio recapping the first game of 2018 for the Oakland Raiders. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
Vegas Nation: Raiders fall short in Week 1 to the Rams
Bryan Salmond and Gilbert Manzano are in studio recapping the first game of 2018 for the Oakland Raiders. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Las Vegas sports books will be Raiders fans in season opener
Las Vegas sports books will be big Raiders fans in Oakland's season opener. Mat Luschek/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Raiders name 4 locations for stadium parking
Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney and business reporter Rick Velotta discuss the Raiders' four proposed stadium parking locations and what that could mean for tailgating and traffic to and from the stadium.
Vegas Nation: AJ McCarron Learns Gruden's Playbook
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over AJ McCarron learning Gruden's offense before the Raiders play the L.A. Rams on Monday.
Kolton Miller "excited", "a little nervous" for regular season debut
Raiders starting rookie left tackle Kolton miller talks about his impending regular season debut against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Khalil Mack trade
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over what Raider Nation thinks about the Raiders before their first game against the Rams.
Amari Cooper Ready for Monday Night Football
Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper looks forward to team's season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.
Vegas Nation 9.3 Alt
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about the team's first practice after the Khalil Mack trade, and the player's reaction to the trade.
Vegas Nation 9.2 Alt
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda, Calif. as Jon Gruden addresses the media for the first time after Khalil Mack's trade to Chicago.
Derek Carr looks toward career without 'brother' Khalil Mack
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr speaks with the media for the first time following Khalil Mack's trade to the Chicago Bears on Saturday.
Gruden Addresses Khalil Mack Trade
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden addresses the media for the first time following defensive end Khalil Mack's trade to the Chicago Bears.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hold first practice since Khalil Mack trade
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about the team's first practice after the Khalil Mack trade, and the player's reaction to the trade.
Marshawn Lynch celebrates grand opening of his Las Vegas store with fans and family
Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch meets with fans and discusses the opening of his store 'Beastmode' in Las Vegas.
Raiders BBQ
On Friday, July 20, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden hosted — and paid for — a free barbecue for Raiders fans. Gruden teamed up with the Raiders and Ricky's Sports Theater and Grill in San Leandro, Calif. as a way to show thanks and gratitude for the support of the Raider Nation. Over 500 Raiders fans showed up to the event that had music, raffles, and appearances from Raiders alumni. This was the final event before the Raiders begin their training camp next week in Napa. Chris Booker Las Vegas Review-Journal
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like