After Sunday’s loss to the Chargers, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said that quarterback Derek Carr “just presses at some moments” while discussing the interception the quarterback threw on first-and-goal from the lip of the end zone.
Gruden revisited that play during a Monday press conference and made it clear that his issue was with the execution rather than not handing the ball off to Marshawn Lynch. Gruden referenced the most famous time Lynch was passed over in that spot while saying that he’s not going to lock himself into any play call should the moment present itself again.
“It won’t be the last pass I call on first-and-goal, either,” Gruden said, via ESPN.com. “I think that’s the best time to throw down there. I regret that it was intercepted. Turns out to be a horrible call. But we were down 20-3, Melvin Ingram is their middle linebacker in a jammed front, I want to throw a play-action pass on the 1-foot line. My opinion is, it shouldn’t have been intercepted; we shouldn’t do that right down there, but we did. We were down 20-3, OK? We were down 20-3. It wasn’t the last play of the Super Bowl. We were down 20-3.”
On the last play of the Super Bowl, there was certainly different time considerations to take into account than there were in Week Five against the Chargers but one can understand Gruden’s desire to keep opponents guessing in similar situations down the line.
One wonders how often Gruden will go to the well with Carr, however. This is the second time in five games that he’s publicly criticized the quarterback for his decision making near the end zone, which would certainly seem to be something to take into account when calling plays in the future.