Dennis Allen played a part in Derek Carr ending up with the Raiders as a second-round selection in 2014. They were together only four games before the Raiders fired Allen as head coach.
Carr will play his former coach Sunday when the Raiders travel to New Orleans to play Allen’s Saints.
“DA and I have a great relationship still to this day,” Carr said, via Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I still talk to him — obviously not this week — but we’ve always kept in contact. We’ve always been close.”
Allen’s firing was an early lesson for Carr: The NFL is a business.
Allen lasted only 38 games as he went 10-28, with a team that had salary cap problems and while coaching under Mark Davis, who had only recently taken over as owner after the death of his father, Al Davis.
“I’m like, ‘Bro, what is going on?’” Carr remembered thinking. “This sucks. Is this what it’s like all the time?’ So I got welcomed into the league pretty quick with that.”
Allen was in his third year with the Raiders when they selected Carr, who started Day 1 after beating out Matt Schaub.
“I mean, he gave me my chance in this league,” Carr said. “And I’ve told him 100 times and I’ll tell him 100 more times how thankful I am for the chance that he not only drafted me, but to trust me when he asked me if I was ready to start. And obviously, the rest is history.”