Concerns emerge regarding Jon Gruden/Derek Carr relationship

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Barring an twelfth-hour screwup of which few owners are capable (no comment on whether Mark Davis is one of them), Jon Gruden will be the next head coach of the Raiders. Which means that Gruden eventually will be working directly with quarterback Derek Carr.

Sure, Gruden told Carr during a snarling QB Camp interview that Gruden would want Carr to be his quarterback (specifically, in comparison to his brother David), and there’s a chance that’s actually the truth. (Gruden has a well-earned reputation of saying good things about anyone and everyone, part of a nine-year long con calculated toward this specific moment.) The more important truth is whether Derek wants Gruden.

More specifically, the more important truth is whether Carr will still want Gruden to be his coach, after dealing with Gruden for a while.

Per a league source, there’s a real concern that Carr won’t be able to put up with Gruden’s style for very long. Gruden will ride him and needle him and yell at him and criticize him and ride him some more. Carr will have to learn how to deal with that, or Carr won’t last.

And that’s ultimately the concern: Carr, given the way he’s wired, may not make it with Gruden.

“Jon Gruden is not easy to deal with,” PFT Live co-host Chris Simms told me by phone on Thursday. “He’s in your face, he’s blunt, he’s extremely honest. At the same time, he’ll be extra hard on a quarterback if he knows the kid has talent. The quarterback has to remember it’s only because he wants him to be better and knows he can be better. . . . If he wasn’t yelling at you, that’s the bigger concern. It’s all for the greater good. It’s only going to make you a better quarterback.”

Simms explained that Gruden regards his offense as an expensive sports car that he has loaned to the quarterback.

“You’ve got the keys to his red Lamborghini,” Simms said. “When there’s a lane to go to 100 [miles per hour], you’d better go 100. But you’d better not scratch it, either.”

Simms said that, in the end, the haranguing is “all to make you better,” and that Carr will “learn more football under Gruden than he’s learned in his entire career.”

If Carr can handle it.

Here’s a prime example of the dynamic Carr will be dealing with. Remember his Superman routine after running for a first down late in the Cowboys game, when he lunged unnecessarily for the pylon and fumbled out of the end zone, essentially ending the game? Carr compared it to taking the last shot in a basketball game; Gruden will compare it to crashing the red Lamborghini, because there was still time to get out of bounds and take that last shot without trying to do too much.

And Gruden will let Carr hear it, if that happens again. (Gruden probably will let him hear about it during their first meeting.) And if Carr can’t take it, Carr won’t be long for the Raiders.

Coincidentally, Carr’s gigantic contract has a fairly early out for the team, allowing them to dump him after 2018 with only a $7.5 million cap charge, at a cash outlay over two years of less than $48 million. After spending a full season with Gruden, Carr may be willing to pay back some of that money in order to get out of town.

I’m kidding about that. Maybe. Sort of. Not really.

85 responses to “Concerns emerge regarding Jon Gruden/Derek Carr relationship

  1. I think we’re all getting ahead of ourselves here. Gruden knows the Raiders QB’s much better than the Raiders know their own QB’s. Conner Cook is a much better QB than Carr. Gruden doesnt have to carry anything over from a 6-10 team. He’s not coming to town to make friends, although winning super bowls is a great way to make friends.

  2. Carr played like trash this year with his buddy as the OC; if he can’t take the pressure then he isn’t the guy to lead them anyway.

  3. WOW. Everyone in the US is getting weak. People just can’t handle the truth anymore. Everything needs to be watered down.
    I’m a die hard Vikings fan, I love Zimmer cause he says it how it is. If the player can’t handle it, then he’s GONE!
    Carr, grow a pair, get some thick skin and become a true Franchise QB….cause this year you looked average.

  4. Per a league source, there’s a real concern that Carr won’t be able to put up with Gruden’s style for very long. Gruden will ride him and needle him and yell at him and criticize him and ride him some more. Carr will have to learn how to deal with that, or Carr won’t last.
    —————————————————————

    If any QB can’t handle being pushed to improve then they certainly don’t deserve to be a NFL QB. I think the problem with the NFL these days is too many coaches are afraid of their players which shows in the lack of discipline.

  5. 9 year con? Someone jealous?
    If an website host and a QB who flamed out says its so, it must be the case.
    The assumption of this article is it’s the same Gruden from 9 years ago, which I personally don’t think it is, 9 years doing what he’s done as QB camp and MNF has given him a bigger picture approach and he’s been close enough to the game to see how it’s changed. So this isn’t old Chucky picking up where he left off and yelling at QBs…and his previous Qbs were largely vets.

  6. So they are saying that Derek Carr will wilt under a demanding coach who will push him to be a better player. Maybe Carr needs to start looking for a new line of work or go play for the Cleveland Browns where 0-16 doesn’t get you fired.

  7. Sooooooo, the entire article is about what may happen? The headline reads as if there is already a problem. I read another article saying Carr was called out after the 2nd KC game, and yet he still seemed to be a bit saddened by Del Rio’s departure. Maybe, just maybe, this is why Gruden wants Gannon to be the QB coach, so he can be a go between for the two of them, and Gannon can help Carr deal with any Gruden issues since he played under him. Can PFT please, one, let Gruden be hired first, and two see how it goes? Then PFT can write about reality, not speculation.

  8. I still don’t understand if the Raiders traded Gruden in the past, what’s so special they want him back? Then why trade him in the first place? Kinda silly – they’re going to get what they had before and will likely want out again.

  9. I’m far from a Raiders fan, but the one thing I can’t question about Carr is his character. From an outside perspective, the kid seems mentally tough. If he wasn’t, he would’ve quit with the rest of his team his rookie season when they were 0-10. I genuinely believe that Gruden will bring out the best in Carr.

  10. I too believe that Gruden is really overrated, in the media and talking head circles especially. But, I mean come on. This guy is going to take up most of your salary cap and on top of that demand a coach who babies him at the same time? What has he done? The contract is starting to look worse and worse.

  11. “A 9 year-long con”? Maybe Gruden just figured it’d be better to be the guy that likes everyone on TV than the Skip Bayless type that likes almost no one. TV personality is not real personality and that doesn’t make it a Con.

  12. and maybe this , and maybe that, and let not forget this or that, and could even posssibly this or that as well.

    Go Raiders!!!! Go Chucky!!!! Go Reggie!!!

  13. Gruden is an old school, in your face, kind of coach. Players around the league aren’t used to that anymore. I can’t think of many QBs that match the same attitude as Gruden. Could you imagine Gruden getting in A-Rods face? A-Rod’s prim-dona attitude would remark, “Do you know who I am?”. Only guy I could picture meshing with Gruden is maybe Phillip Rivers and Jay Cutler. But having a “yes sir” kinda guy would work too. Carr, Wilson, Mariota, Manning.

  14. CARR Voted SI’s Most Disappointing Player of the Year:

    A landslide “victory” for Carr, who slid back significantly in what was supposed to be an MVP-type campaign. Teammate Amari Cooper wasn’t far behind, in a receiver-heavy vote.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Goo Regggie!

  15. charliecharger says:
    January 4, 2018 at 3:53 pm
    …Conner Cook is a much better QB than Carr.
    – – – – – – – – – – –
    I live in East Lansing, watched all of Cook’s games, even I’m not this delusional.

  16. Well, we all know how “reliable” league sources are.

    Maybe Gruden’s coaching style is why he won “with Dungy’s players”.

  17. I think if Gruden can bring in Gannon as the QB coach, he could be a solid buffer for alot of that. I remember seeing practice tape of gannon yelling at gruden from the huddle and gruden screaming back from the sidelines, then gannon running plays gruden didnt call, just to piss him off.

  18. omegalh says:
    January 4, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    This reminds me of Joe Gibbs return to coaching.
    ——————–

    In what way? As many have stated, the better example is Dick Vermeil.

  19. Hiring Jon Gruden as your head coach right now is a PR move to keep butts in the seats until the Vegas stadium is built. It has nothing to do with winning football games. If it did, they wouldn’t hire a has-been who hasn’t coached in more than a decade and whose current resume entails selling Corona and babbling nonsense while watching football on TV. Why not sign OJ at RB while we’re at it? Think of the publicity!

  20. I see lots of potential issues with Gruden but dealing with Carr isn’t one of them. It’s been a LONG time since he had a QB with that kind of talent–he went his whole career in Tampa including the Super Bowl with nobody nearly that talented.

    Elephant in the room is that Gruden never won a playoff game following his Super Bowl. (He only made the playoffs twice following the SB and lost the wild card game both times.) He was 15-4 in that first season in Tampa but only 2 games over .500 overall with the Bucs. There’s way more hype around him than his actual record warrants.

  21. Must be a slow news day. Carr has been around football a long time, I’m sure he’s handled hard coaching before.

    Bigger concern – Carr’s on field play this past season.

  22. firecracker87 says:
    January 4, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    I still don’t understand if the Raiders traded Gruden in the past, what’s so special they want him back? Then why trade him in the first place? Kinda silly – they’re going to get what they had before and will likely want out again.
    ————————

    You seem to not recall that Al Davis was a lunatic.

  23. “Per a league source” ? What is this CNN or the NY Times with their “unnamed sources” ?
    Carr is a pro and will work with any coach. He hasnt had any conflict with anyone

  24. I’m a die hard Vikings fan, I love Zimmer cause he says it how it is. If the player can’t handle it, then he’s GONE!
    —–
    Yeah I remember when Zim fired the entire secondary last year when they went off script and fell apart. Oh wait.

  25. Simms explained that Gruden regards his offense as an expensive sports car that he has loaned to the quarterback.

    When Chris Simms was an NFL QB he would have turned the expensive sports car into a Yugo so who really cares what he says/thinks? It seems the only thing he knows how to do is make idiotic statements.

  26. Per a league source, there’s a real concern that Carr won’t be able to put up with Gruden’s style for very long. Gruden will ride him and needle him and yell at him and criticize him and ride him some more. Carr will have to learn how to deal with that, or Carr won’t last.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Im not a fan of the Gruden rumors/hiring however if he is in he should push Carr to improve. And if Carr does not like it you need to remember you are the second highest paid QB in the league. You are supposed to be the leader. If you cant handle the heat give the money back and move on.

  27. so a coach who wont baby a QB, and expect to be held accountable isnt good for the QB?! What a MESS this is! Go look at quotes from Kevin Faulk about tommy and Bill. “ill go get a QB from Foxborough high school and ill be HE CAN RUN THIS OFFENSE BETTER THAN YOU.”

  28. PFT just posted a link of Gruen soundbites when he was with Tamp and the Raiders the other day. He’s a coach and he’s gonna needle you, bark at you, challenge you and get under your skin to get the best out of you. You either step up or you don’t. I think this article is an insult to David Carr because I think he can handle that type of pressure. One thing that been well proven; a “players coach” aint gonna make it in the NFL.

  29. Florio, stirring the pot.

    I think you’re way off, but I’m picking up what you’re putting down.

    Should be interesting, to say the least.

    Go Raiders

  30. Wow Florio, way to rain on the Faider fans off season playoff run to their eventual off season super bowl win. Every year the Faider’s are the favorites for all the off season awards and accolades, just ask any Faider fan out there.

  31. jackedupboonie says:
    January 4, 2018 at 4:10 pm
    If that’s the case, then how about Gruden just trades this overhyped bust QB. Who cares what Carr thinks.
    _________________
    Cause you are upside down with this contract of Carr’s and are stuck with him no matter what for a few years to come-salary cap wise. The salary cap is where the SB’s are won and lost first and foremost. Get in cap hell and you are not going to sniff a SB with anybody at QB-as proven by the Patriots having Brady locked and loaded at $13 mill against the might cap!!! Having great depth is critical to enduring a year of play and winning a SB. Actually, as bad a Clevelands record is, their situation is better than the Raiders because they have the cap freedom to do whatever and pay whomever they want in addition to having all those top draft picks.

    People may think Sasha was naive thinking he could lose his way to a solid cap and team, but after year two-that team is in great shape for draft and bringing in free agents!!! The Raiders, not so much.

  32. 1-Derek Carr doesn’t take things like that personal. He’s handled more things in his young life than many will their entire life. He’s resilient.

    2-There isn’t a single factual statement supporting WHY you think Carr can’t handle it.

    3-Any Raider fan would be delighted to see Carr play with more fire. He tries to stay so even keel, but a little fire could go a long way with him.

    4-Any leader knows that accountability, instant accountability, is a great way to get those who work for you to improve. Gruden isn’t Derek’s friend, he’s his coach. They will probably have a decent amount of respect for one another, but Downing was clearly trying to be Carr’s friend, and it made Derek sloppy because there wasn’t someone there keeping him in check. Del Rio didn’t seem to care about the offense. The OC had no way to control it. Gruden will be there, micromanaging it, making sure it’s perfect and you’ll see Carr play to his full potential. I don’t think we’ve seen Carr play close to his full potential yet.

  33. illumination666 says:
    January 4, 2018 at 4:08 pm
    Gruden is an old school, in your face, kind of coach. Players around the league aren’t used to that anymore. I can’t think of many QBs that match the same attitude as Gruden. Could you imagine Gruden getting in A-Rods face? A-Rod’s prim-dona attitude would remark, “Do you know who I am?”.
    ========================================================

    You know absolutely nothing. Rodgers has already had a very tough-in-your-face coach in Jeff Tedford in college. He thrived under that pressure.

  34. The 9 year con quip is a cheap shot : Gruden knows his stuff; and has WON …. he might even be able to make a real NFL QB as oppposed to a talented athletie playing QB out of your beloved St Kaeiernick

  35. IF Gruden becomes the coach
    IF Gruden coaches Carr as Simms predicts
    IF Carr objects to being coached that way

    Maybe we ought to wait for that whole sequence of events to occur before speculating what’s going to happen after that.

  36. regaliaimagewear says:
    January 4, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Actually, as bad a Clevelands record is, their situation is better than the Raiders because they have the cap freedom to do whatever and pay whomever they want in addition to having all those top draft picks.

    People may think Sasha was naive thinking he could lose his way to a solid cap and team, but after year two-that team is in great shape for draft and bringing in free agents!!! The Raiders, not so much.
    ————————–

    It remains to be seen if the Browns can turn all of that into wins.

  37. Rich Gannon in Oakland and Brad Johnson/Brian Griese in Tampa Bay.

    Really, what quarterback has Jon Gruden ever developed? He has never even been quarterback coach, but instead an offensive coordinator.

    I seem to be in the minority, but am not feeling good about his return to the Raiders. I’m not sure where his hype started — 8-8 in his first two seasons In Oakland — but it has certainly lasted a long time, especially for someone who hasn’t been a coach in a long time.

  38. Chris ‘bobble-head’ Simms was a third rate journeyman QB who couldn’t carry Gruden’s jockstrap, never mind being an authority on evaluating him as a coach.

  39. Gruden isn’t going to bet the house just on Derek Carr, whose accuracy and decision making both deteriorated this past season. Yes, he will needle and cajole Derek and maybe he makes progress. But Gruden will also have a backup scenarios eg Conner Cook and maybe an experienced veteran as well, to see what they can do. A lot of pressure will be applied to Carr and his receivers. They are going to experience hell if they don’t please their coach. The other thing that Gruden will have to deal with is that some of the things that worked well for him 10 years ago in Tampa Bay, may not succeed today. The game subtly changes over time and he may have more to learn than he expects. Eg Joe Gibbs found it much harder to win when he came back to coaching after a long time away.

  40. I thought fake news was only on CNN seriously how come you NEVER cover the story of the downfall of the Raiders week 3 … the protest. The Raiders were NEVER the same after that game.

  41. If Carr thinks Brady got to where he is by being babied, he’s got another thing coming. Gruden will beat the crap out of you mentally, but it will be worth it after you retire. You need to be a perfectionist out there, not just show it from time to time during a season. If he doesn’t last, there will be QB’s lining up to play for the Raiders with Gruden there. I want to see how this Gruden offense can do with Rishard. I’m envisioning something like Charlie Garner.

  42. I think it’s funny that a lot of people think Gruden is overrated. I think he’s underrated. A good coach can win if he has good players, but no coach can win with bad players. When Gruden had good players, he won. When he arrived in Tampa they had talent. They won. But he didn’t have good personnel people down there, so they couldn’t sustain anything. Gruden isn’t going to make that mistake again. That’s why he’s only coming to Oakland if he gets full control of personnel. Everyone is going to have to work their tails off. Not everyone likes to work so hard. Those people will be shown the door. I don’t care if you’re the starting QB, or the G.M. Don’t be the first one to leave the building every night. Gruden is going to call every player on the roster and tell them to start working. There will be open competition at every position. Including QB. I don’t see Carr in Oakland next year. No free rides.

  43. I’ve always liked Gruden; he’s “charismatic” and a “straight-shooter” with his players. That being said.. his reputation as a successful coach is, primarily, based upon winning a Super Bowl (the Gruden Bowl) in Tampa Bay. Respect.

    However, let’s not forget that Gruden coached the Raiders the year before that Super Bowl win for Tampa.. and who did Tampa defeat? The Raiders.

    Gruden knew the Raider playbook inside and out – John Lynch even was caught on NFL Films, during the game, commenting on how “every play they’ve run… we ran in practice.” I get that Gruden “fits” the Raiders image and that the fans want him back desperately, in some odd way of wanting a “glory-days” revisit.. but at what cost?

    Carr is talented and they have developed an identity. If Gruden is smart he will check his demeanor and give the talent that is on that roster some space while at the same time the tools that can grow it.

  44. I hope Carr handles this well. The last thing I wanna see is Carr’s eye makeup start to run down his face with his tears.

  45. Carr better be ready to come to work.

    Back in the day, Gruden would arrive at the Raiders HQ way before sunrise, and Gannon wasn’t too far behind him.

    The hard work helped a journeyman qb earn the MVP.

    Carr needs help. His footwork is inconsistent, bordering on poor, which causes him to be inaccurate. (see the throw to Seth Roberts in the Phily game)

    He too often believe he has the “arm talent,” of his idol, Brett Favre, which he doesn’t.

    If Carr’s skin is “thick enough”, he will definitely benefit from the Gruden hire.

  46. This is a non-issue. Carr will thrive with an offensive minded coach who knows how to get the most out of a teams skill players. Look for Amari Cooper to have a comeback year.

  47. Half the idiots commenting on this article don’t even know why Gruden left the Raiders in the first place, let alone anything about Carr or his mentality. This article mentioned nothing about Derek being the first in the “office” everyday, studying film of his next opponent on the plane ride home from the game that day. Funny how the media tries to paint a picture of something that isn’t true at all, that way they can claim credit no matter which way things go. If Carr has an MVP campaign next yr, its bc Gruden turned him around. If he fails, it’s bc he didn’t want to put the work in and is too mild mannered to work under Gruden. Carr has the potential to be great, and he’s the only reason Gruden would even consider coming out of retirement. Period. He will raise Carr’s game, bc that’s what he does. Literally. The only QB’s he’s been successful with are established ones, which Carr is. That’s why he’s back.

  48. Carr had a down year but if you think he’s going to be replaced any time soon you are crazy. Did we forget how hard it is to find a good QB? Connor Cook? Carr can handle it.

  49. devastators says:
    January 4, 2018 at 5:51 pm
    Rich Gannon in Oakland and Brad Johnson/Brian Griese in Tampa Bay.

    That’s my point he took experience nfl QB’s to the SB. I think he was a QB coach for GB under Holmgren. Again overrated coach

  50. Chucky and the god child will not get along. One of them will be gone by the time they move to Vegas. Is there any Vegas Raiders
    gear available? Sorry Oaktown!

  51. I’m sure Carr is a big boy and will handle it. Then if Gruden brings in Gannon, THEN we’ll see what Carr is truly made of. Carr needs to demand more from his players, hold them accountable.
    Carr will be fine, He surely recognizes what’s before him and he will take it on.

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