It didn’t take long for critics to arise from the woodwork after the Raiders inked coach Jon Gruden to a record-setting 10-year $100 million contract. The naysayers point to the relationship of Gruden and franchise quarterback Derek Carr as a possible stumbling block for the team. In Gruden’s first stint in Oakland, he had Rich Gannon under the helm and was able to help him see massive amounts of success.
In the three seasons Gruden and Gannon shared together, Gannon threw for over 10,000 yards, 79 touchdown passes, and Oakland made the playoffs in 2000 and 2001 with this duo. Prior to joining the Raiders, Gannon’s top season was less than stellar as he only managed 2,305 yards through the air with ten touchdown tosses and six interceptions.
With a tough-love coaching style, Gruden was able to help lead Gannon on the path of his most productive years in the NFL. Now, Gruden will oversee an offensive attack that already boasts an MVP-caliber quarterback in Carr.
Despite Carr already showing a sense of resiliency with handling a plethora of coaching changes in his brief tenure as the Raiders quarterback, it’s the latest one that has some worried.
NBC Sports Mike Florio had former quarterback Chris Simms who played for coach Gruden, on air to talk about what it may look like for Gruden and Carr working together. Simms spoke about the direct and honest approach Gruden shares with his players and dubbed it as a cause for concern.
Florio posed the question: “Will Derek Carr be able to take the kind of coaching that he is going to constantly get from Jon Gruden? That’s a concern. It may be a relationship that just can’t work after some period of time.”
Simms said in his answer that, “If Derek Carr is too sensitive and can’t take, you know, the brutal honesty of Jon Gruden, then I would say, man, then Derek Carr is not cut out to be a superstar quarterback.”
However, the aforementioned Gannon recently paid a visit to the squad’s minicamp and shared his thoughts on the relationship between Gruden and Carr.
Really impressed w Derek Carr’s buy in and commitment to learning a new system. His aptitude and recall is special this early in the process. He and Coach Gruden are off to a terrific start!
— Rich Gannon (@RichGannon12) June 15, 2018
This isn’t Carr’s first rodeo with Gruden either. Prior to the 2014 NFL Draft, Carr was featured on ESPN’s Gruden’s QB Camp. Despite it being a sample size serving of the two working together, they operated like a well-oiled machine. Now that they’re reunited at the NFL ranks, they will look blossom their already fond connection.
After the first day of practices this offseason, Carr spoke highly of his coach saying:
“He’s hard on me. He pushes me. He challenges me. He’s everything I want.” Carr even said Gruden will look and say, “I love you, man.” With that Carr added, “You know how he feels about you. So when he pushes you, you don’t care. You want to do anything for him.”
With Carr showing no signs of any hindrance in his relationship with coach Gruden, the future looks bright in the East Bay.