Jon Gruden and Derek Carr disagree. It happens quite often in fact, in meeting rooms and practice fields and, yes, even on the sidelines during a game.
All parties shrugged it off without second thought, other than to insure it didn’t show fractures in their relationship. That last part probably was unnecessary, given Gruden’s history of being hard on his quarterbacks and so expressive that the viewing audience knows exactly how he feels.
Gruden has said several times that he has failed if he can’t get Derek Carr going strong. Carr’s 2016 season showed what he’s capable of, though a return to that form has proven elusive save a few flashes.
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All the offensive injuries and all the losing haven’t helped, producing more bumps in the road than Gruden or Carr would like. Gruden still believes Carr can produce well in this scheme, and his expectations remain sky high.
“I think he has the ability, I tell him, to complete every pass he throws. I mean that,” Gruden said in his Monday press conference. “He’s got that kind of arm talent and I am going to continue to raise the standards for him. I thought he threw a fly ball (Sunday) to Jalen Richard, I thought it landed out of the end zone and I let him know about it, that he was out of bounds. I just think he’s got as good an arm talent as there is and I want to try and hold him to those standards. I think deep down somewhere, he appreciates that."
“As we continue to get better around him, with our pass protection, if we can ever get some continuity at wide receiver it’d be nice. I think he has got a chance to really be special.”
Gruden insists that his criticism is constructive, even when Chucky comes out to play. That certainly isn’t unique to Carr. Gruden produced colorful sideline discourse with Rich Gannon and Chris Simms and Jeff Garcia and most every other quarterback on his rosters.
“I’m a big cheerleader sometimes,” Gruden said. “I’m very positive a lot of the time. Every once in awhile, I think you have to make your points in some different ways. Sometimes raising your voice ... I look ridiculous to some people, but I want urgency. I want to have some urgency to get things right. It doesn’t mean I’m always right, either. Derek pointed that out to me yesterday. So be it.”
[WHITE: Gruden's passionate speech]
Passionate back-and-forth isn’t uncommon. It also isn’t a bad thing. It might even be good when Carr fires back, as someone who is putting his stamp on how Gruden’s scheme gets run. Carr generally listens and responds to commands from a superior officer, but definitely has a voice in what’s happening with the offense. Frustrations should boil over for a team that has performed so poor, with just two wins on the season that have both come down to the wire. Volume increases when that happens.
“I don’t have a ‘no yelling’ sign on the sideline,” Gruden said. “Things happen. We get excited down there. I get excited when we get a first down. Get excited when you work on something all week and it doesn’t work out. I get excited when he makes big plays, too. That’s just part of football. I think cameras can catch things sometimes that maybe make things look a little bit peculiar, but that happens.”