Derek Carr and Jon Gruden Taking Raiders Offense into Final Frontier

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been in an offensive system with the same head coach for three years just once. In his third year with Jon Gruden, Carr is finished with rudimentary concepts. 

Speaking to donors during the DC4Kids Touchdown Challenge -a benefit for kids at Valley Children’s hospital in Fresno- Carr talked about being in the same offensive system for three years for the first time ever in his career. The veteran quarterback feels he has a strong grip on Gruden’s system despite the fact the Raiders haven’t even gone through training camp yet.

This is the first time in a row where I’ll have a coach for the third year in a row. This is the first time where it’s the same system so this time is legit. I’m doing it again for the third time and we’re adding some stuff. We’re at a Graduate level course that not a lot of other people are at as a play caller and a quarterback. What we’re going to be able to do together, and what we can do today, without even going through training camp is a lot farther along than other teams and with this quarantine I think we have a real advantage.

Although Jack Del Rio actually did coach the Raiders for three consecutive years during the signal-caller’s tenure, Carr appears to be a little more fond of Gruden and more like-minded. Both are students of the game. In the two seasons they have been together, Carr has grown further, developing into a more complete quarterback.

Related Links: Raiders Camp: Derek Carr’s Backup Will Be Only Quarterback Battle

Top Ten, you better respect it

The Raiders finished ninth in total passing yards, 13th in rushing yards, and 11th in total yards in 2019. Also, Carr threw for a career-high 4,054 yards. Although the Raiders offense moved seemingly at will, they were 24th in total points.

It’s my third year in the system, and every year I’ve played in this system the numbers have gone up, the production, the efficiency have gone up, all that. And as we add the new guys, what people can start seeing, Raider fans, is that our team is getting better. We were a top ten offense last year. People don’t want to talk about that, they talk about other stuff. We were a Top 10 offense, and we’re healthier, and we’ve added more talent. -Carr

Raiders will benefit from offensive continuity

Darren Waller believes the Raiders could be a top-five offense. The offensive line, which only surrendered 29 sacks was near the top ten in sacks allowed. Carr has been practicing with his top receivers all offseason long. Tyrell Williams is finally over his plantar fasciitis. Zay Jones will have undergone a full “offseason” cough, cough.  Hunter Renfrow isn’t an unknown rookie, who is new to the system, anymore. If that wasn’t enough, the offense didn’t just stand pat.

Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have filled in the roster blanks this past offseason. They added wide receivers with pure speed in the draft. Henry Ruggs III, the fastest man in the draft. Bryan Edwards, a big physical wide receiver capable of imposing his will, will be wearing Silver and Black in 2020. Lynn Bowden Jr, the Joker, an offensive weapon from the SEC, can do pretty much anything at any skill position.

The farthest reaches of the playbook

Accused of being conservative with his play-calling, Gruden now has the weapons needed to open up his playbook all the way. He has the option to play matchup football across all skill positions. Allowing him the flexibility to display all the X’s and O’s genius he’s stashed away for players such as the ones he has. Gruden has invested in continuity and solid drafting. In year three, he shouldn’t need to hold anything back.

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*Top Photo: Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports

 

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