Jon Gruden wasted hardly any time in his first season back with the Oakland Raiders last year publicly criticizing Derek Carr for his poor play, but apparently the coach is planning to take a new approach in 2019.
On Tuesday, a reporter asked Gruden a seemingly standard question about what strides he would like to see from Carr this season. Gruden responded by complimenting Carr and saying he does not want to critique the quarterback through the media.
This is the same Gruden who had no problem calling Carr out for missing some deep throws after the very first game of the season last year. The coach said after another loss a few weeks later that he did not regret calling a pass play on 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line because Carr should have known not to throw the ball.
Gruden and new Raiders general manager Mike Mayock have said they are committed to Carr, but you have to wonder how long all these positive vibes will last if Oakland gets off to another bad start. Even if Gruden stays true to his word and doesn’t criticize Carr in the media, we’ve seen him light into Carr on the sideline during games. The leash probably won’t be very long for Carr in his second season under Gruden.
David Carr is widely considered to be one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, but at least the former quarterback has a good sense of humor about it.
Carr began his career with the Houston Texans after he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2002, and he ended it as a backup with the New York Giants. Carr wore jersey No. 8 during his time in New York, which is the number that was just given to rookie Daniel Jones. Carr sarcastically called that a “bold move” and said Jones didn’t even ask his permission.
Over two separate stints with the Giants, Carr appeared in a total of 11 games and completed 32 passes. He was a full-time starter for five seasons with the Texans, and he completed 58.8 percent of his passes while throwing 59 touchdowns compared to a whopping 65 interceptions during that span. Carr was a star at Fresno State like his younger brother Derek, but Derek has already had a much more successful NFL career.
The Giants, of course, are hoping Jones goes on to enjoy a lot more productive of a career than Carr did. If he turns out the same, general manager Dave Gettleman will be crucified for picking the former Duke star even more than he already has been.
We all love anonymous scout opinions, where people that refuse to put their name on something dish on a young man. Sometimes, though, the concerns and issues pointed out by someone in confidence prove to be accurate. I thought I would take a look back at some recent past quarterbacks who have played enough for us to make an evaluation, and see if the scouting comments proved prescient or problematic.
Bob McGinn, who used to write for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel compiled scout comments on the draft for years, and so I am looking at what he relayed for the 2011 to 2014 drafts.
2011, of course, was the year of the lockout and also the year that Cam Newton was entering the league. That entire spring was full of negative comments about Newton, most notably with the controversy involving Nolan Nawrocki’s assessment of Newton.
I could not find a recap that went down each QB individually, like some future editions, but McGinn did go in depth on Newton.
Let’s start of with this fire assessment from one scout. “I don’t like any of them, really. There’s no Sam Bradfords. There’s no Josh Freeman. I think they’re all second- or third rounders.” That one does not stand up well to history. Freeman flamed out soon after and Bradford never became a star, while Cam Newton won an MVP award, Colin Kaepernick appeared in a Super Bowl, and Andy Dalton has started for almost a decade.
Bill Polian was quoted as saying there was a big dropoff after Cam Newton, but of the 24 personnel people interviewed by McGinn, most thought Newton would be a bust. Sixteen of them had Blaine Gabbert as the best quarterback in the class, and only two thought Newton would be a perennial pro bowler.
Some scouts did favor Newton, though. One said, “our coaches just ripped his (expletive), but I’d take him top-10. This guy is so talented, so much a winner, such a force.”
That scout has largely been proven right.
The Oakland Raiders are getting quarterback Derek Carr plenty of help in the offseason’s early going, and he seems to be all in favor.
Days after trading for wide receiver Antonio Brown, the Raiders reportedly agreed to a record deal with offensive lineman Trent Brown to give Carr some added protection in the pocket. Within moments, the Oakland quarterback took to Twitter to express a simple sentiment.
Carr has every right to be happy. He was sacked 51 times last season, and only two quarterbacks took more sacks than that. The Raiders have spent $120 million on getting him a world-class weapon and a key protector on the offensive line, so with that in mind, his excited reaction is no surprise at all.
Think Derek Carr and Antonio Brown are excited about the trade?
Brown was pumped up about the Oakland Raiders acquiring him in a deal that was reported on Saturday night. He shared a few posts on social media hyping the move. Carr also got in on the fun.
The Raiders quarterback tweeted at Brown to talk about getting to work.
Carr was also asked how business is going and said “boomin!!!”
How could he not be excited? In Brown, he is getting a player with six straight 100-catch, 1,000-yard seasons. Brown’s 15 receiving touchdowns led the league last year. He’ll have arguably the best receiving option in the league to throw to and just got a major upgrade to his passing game.
There has been some speculation that new Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock could work with head coach Jon Gruden to find a replacement for Derek Carr, but it does not sound like that is the plan — at least in the short term.
Mayock was asked about Oakland’s quarterback situation while speaking with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday, and he had a strong endorsement of Carr.
Carr struggled in his first season under Gruden. He threw for over 4,000 yards, but he had just 19 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He didn’t make the types of strides many expected him to with a supposed QB guru taking over the team, but the Raiders have invested a ton of money in the 27-year-old and probably would prefer for him to get another shot in 2019.
While Gruden has been known to say one thing and do another in the past, the way he spoke about Carr late in the 2018 season made it seem like he is not looking for a new starting quarterback. The Raiders have three first-round picks and could potentially use one of them on a QB to groom behind Carr, but it would be a surprise if the veteran is not back under center for the team in Week 1.
Jon Gruden indicated last month that he is comfortable moving forward with Derek Carr as his starting quarterback, but that does not necessarily mean the Oakland Raiders are opposed to drafting his potential successor early on.
Armed with three first-round draft picks, the Raiders will have a great shot at drafting one of the top QBs available. Peter King of The MMQB wrote on Monday that there is “lots of suspicion” around the league that Gruden and new general manager Mike Mayock could do just that. However, that does not necessarily mean Carr would be in danger of losing his starting job in 2019.
“As one personnel guy told me, the Kansas City model of having a young guy learn under a willing veteran as Patrick Mahomes had with Alex Smith could be tempting,” King wrote. “Now Smith is a special case; he’s generous to a fault. Not sure Carr would be that willing to help a young kid take his job.”
Carr struggled in his first season under Gruden. He threw for over 4,000 yards, but he had just 19 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He didn’t take the types of strides many expected him to with a supposed QB guru taking over the team.
Gruden has been known to say one thing and do another in the past, so it means virtually nothing that he threw his support behind Carr toward the end of the season. If there’s a quarterback both he and Mayock are high on in the draft, it seems unlikely that the Carr situation will deter them from drafting that player.
Derek Carr did not take kindly to some criticism from ESPN’s “First Take” and decided to answer back with a challenge.
During “First Take” on Wednesday, one of the topics was Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talking up Kyler Murray. Host Max Kellerman then said that Carr “didn’t want it” this season, which was his way of saying Carr didn’t have the passion and dedication. He said Carr was just a placeholder QB and the Raiders should take Murray.
Someone tagged Carr in a tweet about the “First Take” comments and he responded, calling Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith “clowns.” He wanted to break down film with them to show their viewers how ignorant they are.
Carr then tweeted at Dana White and the UFC, asking how he could challenge the hosts to a fight.
Carr has been taking a lot of heat from analysts, and his willingness to engage shows his passion. Will the Raiders move on from him? It could be a consideration, but Jon Gruden has expressed support for the former second-round pick.
Is Derek Carr still the long-term answer at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders? If you trust Jon Gruden, the answer is yes.
Gruden was effusive in his praise for Carr on Monday, calling his production in spite of major issues around him “astonishing” and referring to him as a “great quarterback.”
In other words, if Gruden’s telling the truth, you probably shouldn’t count on the Raiders drafting or otherwise pursuing a quarterback this offseason. Of course, Gruden has said one thing before doing the opposite before, so it probably bears watching anyway.
Carr hasn’t been intercepted since Week 5 and has topped the 250-yard mark in three consecutive games. He actually has produced fairly well in spite of how bad the Raiders have been.
Derek Carr went into the medical tent on the sideline in Baltimore for a concussion check after hitting his head before halftime against the Ravens.
The Oakland Raiders had just gotten the ball back on an unreal interception in the end zone. They tried to run a screen pass but Carr was under pressure and threw the ball away. He was pushed by Brandon Carr as he was backpedaling and ended up tumbling over and hitting his head.
An official sent Carr to the sideline to get a medical check. Carr went into the tent, while backup AJ McCarron entered the game to kneel out the clock through halftime.
Carr quickly exited the tent and jogged into the locker room along with the rest of his teammates for halftime with the Raiders trailing 13-10.