Hanie's lack of experience could work against Raiders


Hanie's lack of experience could work against Raiders

ALAMEDA -- On the surface, it would seem the Raiders have a distinct tactical advantage over Chicago, what with the Bears starting a relative unknown at quarterback in Caleb Hanie.After all, Hanie has thrown all of eight regular-season passes in his three-year NFL career, with his emergency appearance in last January's NFC title game against Green Bay the lone highlight.But in actuality, facing a QB with such a small sample size might actually be a negative for a defense, right?
"It is," said Raiders defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan. "With our roller coaster, doing well against the run one week and not so well the next week, I've always told you I worry more about what we do than what the opponent does."So when you get a situation like this, then, yes, you have to now back off and make sure you do a few things well, rather than do too much and confuse a new young kid. Let's do our stuff well and make this young guy beat us. I'm more concerned with what we do."In six games of regular season action, Hanie has completed eight of 14 passes for 66 yards with an interception.In relief of the injured Jay Cutler and the ineffective Todd Collins against the Bears on Jan. 23, Hanie completed 13 of 20 for 153 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions."He was not the backup, he was the third quarterback in," Bresnahan said. "You think about the limited number of reps the second quarterback gets during the week, what do you think the third quarterback got? They didnt miss a beat. He came in, threw the two picks, but he also played with some poise. So they've got enough weapons and they've got a solid enough football team that they're going to expect him to manage the game, not win the game."Which means the Raiders' Helter Skelter run defense will have to step up, rather than focus on a new quarterback."With Matt Forte, that's the primary thing to do," Bresnahan said. "And they put in (Marion) Barber for short yardage, goal line, and as a change-up back, and you've got to be able to tackle that man because he's a big powerful man. Stopping the run is first and foremost and hopefully we can get it into a situation where we have to worry about Hanie."

Carr excited to work with Gruden: 'I want him to be tough on me'


Carr excited to work with Gruden: 'I want him to be tough on me'

Jon Gruden has been interviewed several times since becoming Raiders head coach. Quarterback Derek Carr hasn’t listened to most of those sessions, and certainly doesn’t seek them out.

One landed in Carr’s inbox recently, and something Gruden said really resonated.

Gruden’s message, paraphrased: If Derek Carr is not successful, then I’ve failed as a coach.

There are two comments in that one. Gruden considers Carr extremely talented, and he’s taking responsibility for unlocking the quarterback's vast potential.

Gruden will be hands on in Carr’s development, with all the coaching intensity and fire and eyebrow raises that have become Gruden’s signature.

“He’s going to demand of me. He’s going to push me,” Carr said on this week’s episode of the Raiders Insider Podcast, which will drop Tuesday morning (Subcribe right here). “He’s going to make me be the best version of myself.”

Carr had a direct answer to skeptics wondering aloud whether he can thrive under Gruden’s particular coaching style.

“I want him to be tough on me,” Carr said. “For anyone who thinks I want him to be a different way has no clue about me or how I play football or how I prepare to play this game. I don’t need to tell stories about how I prepare or manage myself.

“(Jon) and I are going to get along great. I hope that he demands of me. I hope he’s hard on me. I don’t need to know he loves me. He has already told me that about 20 times. I appreciate that and we’ll be friends forever, but I know he’ll be demanding and tell me what I need to do. Let’s go fix problems that I have and let’s do what I need to do to win championships. Hopefully that will give people some insight and hopefully that’s the story that gets out, because that’s the truth.”

Carr met his new head coach briefly before his introductory press conference, but has known Gruden since filming the Gruden QB Camp segment back in 2014. They got along great then, and in each interaction since.

“We have so much more in common that people realize,” Carr said. “I think it would blow some people’s minds. Him and I are very similar in the way we go about our business and how we carry ourselves. It’s an exciting time.”

Carr’s excited to have some stability in his football life. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback will start his fifth NFL season with his fourth head coach, fourth go-round with an offensive coordinator and third offensive scheme. Gruden signed a 10-year contract. OC Greg Olson signed a four-year pact. They’ll be here a while, and Carr’s excited about that.

“It’s going to be really nice,” Carr said. “To know Jon signed on for a 10 years and (Olson) signed on for a long time shows me a couple of things. No. 1: that they believe in me. I don’t think Coach Gruden would’ve quit his day job, which I’m thankful he did. To get (Olson) out of a good spot in L.A (with the Rams), shows that they believe in me and that’s awesome. And, No. 2: I’m going to have two people I can talk to in a different language for years to come. We can grow within the relationship, and hopefully we’ll all ride off together. It’s set up that way right now, and we have a lot of work to do to reach that point.”

Raiders QB Derek Carr named to third straight Pro Bowl


Raiders QB Derek Carr named to third straight Pro Bowl

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is headed to his third consecutive Pro Bowl. He became eligible once New England qualified for the Super Bowl and Tom Brady was out of the running for next week’s NFL all-star game in Orlando.

Carr was the next alternate up, and accepted the invitation to represent the Silver and Black. Khalil Mack, Rodney Hudson, Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn were named to the original roster, though Penn has bowed out with injury.

Carr will join his teammates in Florida for game-week festivities, followed by the inter-conference clash on Sunday at noon at Camping World Stadium. The game can be seen on ABC.

He joins Rich Gannon and Ken Stabler as Raiders quarterbacks with at least three Pro Bowl selections. Carr had a down year relative to his previous two, but still posted standout numbers. He had 3,496 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and an 86.4 passer rating.

The Raiders finished a disappointing 6-10, and head coach Jack Del Rio was fired in favor of Jon Gruden.

“It was not the year we wanted, but to still be recognized by you, Raider Nation and fans everywhere, and the players and coaches you go against is an extremely high honor I will always be thankful for!” Carr wrote in a note posted on Twitter. “Although I am extremely blessed to be thought of in such a way by my peers, I understand there is more work to do. There is more to achieve and more to accomplish and I will now ret until we get there, Raider Nation!”