Raiders’ Derek Carr feeling more comfortable in Year 2 with Jon Gruden
The Oakland Raiders’ most realistic hopes of competing in the AFC West this season lie with Derek Carr regaining the level of play that him a breakout star in 2016. Fortunately, Oakland’s franchise signal-caller seems very confident his additional experience and comfort in Jon Gruden’s system will prove beneficial.
“Year 2, we’re having different level of conversations,”Carr told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio of he and Gruden, per Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. “I have two offseasons under my belt, almost two training camps under my belt, I have a full year of experience under my belt, of knowing what checks he wants, what he wants me to get to, what his thought process is on third-and-short, on second-and-short, I know what routes he wants me checking to versus different looks. I’m doing my best just to execute this difficult offense. There’s just so much on the quarterback’s plate that it’s different from some of the other systems that I’ve been in.”
Carr made three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2015 to 2017, establishing himself as one of the league’s best young quarterbacks. Oakland rewarded him as such in June 2017, giving the former second-round pick a five-year, $125 million contract, briefly the most lucrative deal ever in terms of average annual salary.
Carr struggled relative to expectations in his first campaign under Gruden, though, unable to lift an offense that ranked 28th in points per game. He threw for 4,409 yards, a career-low 19 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions last season as Oakland went a dispiriting 4-12, the team’s worst record during Carr’s five-year tenure.