Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr felt he was on his own once Jon Gruden had to resign amid his email scandal. Well, according to Hondo Carpenter of Sports Illustrated, he did. Looking back, it’s an intriguing prospect. With the Raiders and Carr likely on the outs now, much insider information is coming out.
According to the Raiders beat writer, the relationship between Carr and Gruden was one of “love.” According to an unnamed NFL team official, “After year one with Carr and Gruden, Jon had some concerns, but he never looked back after that. He loved Carr, and Carr loved him.”
The two had their share of well-documented ups and downs. However, that’s true for any quarterback-coach combination. You could tell that they were in it for the long haul. Carr was steadily improving in Gruden’s system with each passing season. Yet the team itself had little to show for it in terms of wins and losses. Hondo goes on to add that an anonymous player stated that the dynamic around Carr changed once Gruden was gone. “When Jon was out, I think Derek felt unprotected,” said the anonymous source.
In fairness to Carr, once the 2021 season ended, it was clear that owner Mark Davis had seen enough of the Gruden regime. The black eye that the organization suffered from the PR nightmare that it endured didn’t help matters. Davis, in fact, cleaned house after Gruden left. Both interim head coach Rich Bisaccia and general manager Mike Mayock were shown the door. Once the new duo of Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler took over, it was evident they were going to win with “their guys.” To a large extent, they didn’t have to be loyal to any players they weren’t in charge of drafting or signing; this was a “new regime, new rules” type of deal.
In retrospect, maybe Derek Carr was right in feeling the way he did.
*Top Photo: Mark Brown/Getty Images