From reports, Derek Carr seems to fit within the construct of Jon Gruden’s offense. Yet, questions remain about the long-term effectiveness. The Raiders invested 125 million dollars in Carr. As a result, the team needs to see a solid return on investment. Specifically, how can Jon Gruden alter Derek Carr’s approach?
Give Carr full autonomy. Prior coaching staffs were either, A. Hesitant to give Carr that control, or B. Outright lies about giving DC the keys.
Gruden is reportedly giving Carr full control at the line of scrimmage and this will determine if DC is a franchise QB or simply just a highly paid one. Either way, Carr must assume a larger input in the offense.
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I think it really all comes down to confidence. Two seasons ago, Carr was threading needles into spots that appeared unthreadable while being pressured. Carr continued doing this until his injury in 2016. Coming back from injury in 2017, Carr appeared to have caught a case of the yips. Any time a defensive lineman cracked into the pocket, Carr’s demeanor changed. I could see a sense of panic come over him and I could see it in his throws. In 2017, Carr appeared to regain his confidence, at least until he was kneed in the back and had to leave the game against the Broncos. However, Gruden is a quarterback wizard. If anyone can get Carr back to his MVP caliber play style of 2016, it is Gruden.
Gruden should show him film of former first round pick Josh Freeman, Brad Johnson & former MVP Rich Gannon to show him the spectrum of where his talent can lead or his mental makeup can end up. He could completely fall apart like Freeman, underachieve within himself like Johnson, or reach elite status for his team like Gannon. Gruden must show Carr his failures and allow him to truly be a coach on the field. Carr must be given that responsibility. Carr needs his mechanics & decision making challenged.
In essence, Jon Gruden and Derek Carr will remain inextricably linked. From the first regular season snap to the last, these two hold the fortunes of the Oakland Raiders in their hands.