Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is grateful that the franchise believed in him when hiring a coach like Jon Gruden who wants to make him better as a player.
While there are a lot of skeptical people out there who don’t think the Gruden experiment will work—like Colin Cowherd, host of the sports show “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”–Carr couldn't be more pleased to have Gruden as his new head coach. He told ESPN that it was hard to let go his former coach Jack Del Rio who was fired after two seasons in Oakland, but he appreciates Mark Davis' decision, owner of the franchise, to have gotten someone who believes in him and wants to teach him.
"I just said thank you for, you know for just believing in me,” Carr said, “After you let a coach go, it is always tough, because I love coach [Jack] Del Rio, I love coach [Todd] Downing and it's like, 'Dang, man, what's next?'
"So for [Davis] to go get coach Gruden, we have to take the next step and it's like, well, you know, if we had to do it, well thank you for bringing someone in that believes in me, wants to teach me, wants me to be better. So absolutely, man, I thank Mr. Davis and Mr. [Reggie] McKenzie all the time."
In his first season, Jack Del Rio led the Raiders to their first playoffs since 2002 with a go-for-it-on-fourth game style, in which Carr scored 28 touchdowns with a rate of 96.7. For some unknown reason, Del Rio changed his playing style the following season and finished third in the AFC West with an embarrassing 6-10 record. This change, inevitably, messed up Carr’s game, during the 2017-2018 season he got six touchdowns less than the previous one and an 86.4 rate. This is why Del Rio’s departure seems to be convenient for the 27-year-old's player development.
Moreover, to have Jon Gruden as a coach, with an offensive-oriented mindset, will definitely boost the Raiders quarterback level. He has done it before with former Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon, who scored more touchdowns during the four seasons he spent under the wing of Gruden than the rest of his career.
Oakland tight end Jared Cook has already noticed a change in Derek Carr since the arrival of Gruden.
“Derek looks like a completely different person in my eyes,” Cook said, “just from the way he’s attacking the game, from the way he’s attacking the challenges Gruden has been giving to him.”
The new Silver and Black head coach has been criticized for his lack of communication with Khalil Mack—who hasn’t sign a contract extension with the team yet—and “doing things the old fashioned way,” showing films from the 70’s to the players.