Derek Carr

Jon Gruden needs to do a better job at developing quarterbacks

Head coach Jon Gruden is infamous for not being able to develop a rookie quarterback. That has to change if the Las Vegas Raiders want to have a bite at having success on a constant basis.

One of the reasons why critics are against the idea of drafting a quarterback is the fact Gruden has had less than stellar results when he’s worked with young signal-callers. The sample is dim, but not encouraging at all: Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski and Josh Johnson.

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It could be said that Gruden’s offense is complex and difficult to learn, but if that’s the case, the coach is at fault, not whoever is at the helm. The best play designers in the NFL adjust their game plan to suit their playmakers’ strengths, not the other way around.

Also, let’s not all act as if Gruden’s system is the holy grail of offensive prowess. He hasn’t had a top quarterback under his tutelage besides Rich Gannon and hasn’t been able to produce a steady offensive attack. It can be also said his scheme isn’t about scoring points rather a focus on ball control, but that’s irrelevant as the ultimate goal is to win games and that hasn’t happened a lot during his second tenure with the Raiders.

Going back to molding a quarterback, Andy Reid has successfully done it throughout his career with the Packers, Eagles, and the Chiefs. He got the most out of both Alex Smith and Donovan McNabb. He was in Green Bay during Brett Favre’s early development and was able to finally win a championship with his Magnus Opus, Patrick Mahomes. Reid showed he can develop quarterbacks thru adjusting his system to fit his signal-callers playing style.

If the Raiders don’t want to fall behind in the AFC West, Gruden needs to take cues from Reid and find a way to maximize his quarterback’s talent. Otherwise, the Silver and Black have to settle on watching other teams continuously contend.

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4 thoughts on “Jon Gruden needs to do a better job at developing quarterbacks”

  1. Travis Rodgers

    Developing QBs is different from getting the most from a QB.

    Andy Reid did not “develop” Alex Smith. Smith’s 91 and 104 passer ratings in the two seasons before joining Reid are as good as in his tenure with KC. And his 19-5-1 record in those years is better than his cumulative record in KC.

    Gruden has frequently employed veteran QBs. In fact, his career has been made on getting the most from veteran QBs. So, if Smith counts in this conversation, Gruden’s good at his job.

    He arguably got the most out of Hollas (not a very high bar), Wade Wilson (his 86 passer rating was 10 points better than his career mark, and he hadn’t been much of a QB for four seasons before joining Oakland). He clearly got the most out of Gannon. Brad Johnson’s first two seasons with Gruden in TB were arguably his best (only 1999-2000) is really a candidate to oppose that claim. He threw for his most yards, his most TDs, won the second most games in a two-year span – and most with a single team – made a Pro Bowl, won a SB.

    Rob Johnson didn’t play much, but he did win two games for TB with Gruden as coach. He didn’t have to do very much, but this hardly counts against Gruden.

    Shaun King had a successful start to his career, and then he was quickly out of the league after leaving TB. He didn’t play well for Gruden, and you can say that Gruden neither got the most from him nor developed him.

    Brian Griese had a solid career in Denver, and then he went on to win 12 of 21 starts under Gruden. He threw a lot of INTs, but he also posted a passer rating of 85.5 under Gruden, his best with any team or coach. His 12-9 record was also his best with any team under any coach.

    Chris Simms wasn’t developed anywhere, and he fizzled out of the league after he couldn’t catch on outside TB. Maybe that’s on Gruden.

    Bruce Gradkowski was a 6-14 QB with a sub 70 passer rating. Raiders fans really liked him, but he wasn’t a good player. Gruden didn’t develop him, though.

    Tim Rattay wasn’t really an NFL QB. He played a respectable season, starting 2 games, with Gruden.

    At age 37 and 38, Gruden-coached Jeff Garcia made his first Pro Bowl in five years, won 14 of 24 starts, and posted consecutive 90+ passer rating seasons.

    Luke McCown’s best season came under Gruden, at age 26.

    Derek Carr has posted consecutive 4000-yard seasons, hasn’t thrown more than 10 INTs in a season, and has had passer ratings of 94 and 101. Carr’s best season was arguably 2016, but last year Carr was right there.

    It looks like he’s developing Carr right now, and I’m curious to see what he can do with a young QB with serious talent. I’m not sure he’s dealt with many of those on his roster.

  2. Alex Smith turned a corner while being coached by Jim Harbaugh. He was a finished product when he went to kc. It’s easy to say develop a young quarterback like Mahomes but the problem is, Reid isn’t teaching him that running ability and ability to throw on the run and fling perfect 50 yd bombs. Simply, there is nobody like Mahomes. Plus surround him with all pro tight ends receivers and backs. Reid has coached 20 years and found Mahomes once. I’m not impressed with McNabb. Once again surrounded by talent as well. There isn’t a Mahomes available every year. So give him Mahomes and let’s see what he can do with him before making an absurd comparison.

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