Raiders quarterback Derek Carr survived the Jon Gruden experience. Carr may be ready to thrive under Josh McDaniels.
Carr recently raved about his latest head coach in comments to Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston.
“The depth of the conversations that we’re having is encouraging,” Carr told Perry. “It’s fun for me. The best part of my game has always been the mental side. And that’s how Josh is. He’s a genius when it comes to scheming things up and teaching his system and getting the best out of his players.”
That ringing endorsement of McDaniels arguably includes a backhanded slap at Gruden. If there’s any doubt about that, consider the next paragraph from the story.
“I feel like a better football player,” Carr said of his time with McDaniels. “And I’ve had a lot of great coaches. He’s come in, he’s seen those things, ‘Wow, that’s awesome. What about this, too? What about this here?’ It’s helping me grow. It’s been really fun to be around him.”
Yep. Whether Carr meant to do it or not, he’s comparing McDaniels to Gruden. And McDaniels wins.
The question is whether McDaniels can bring his winning ways from New England to Las Vegas, more than a decade after McDaniels failed in Denver.
“One thing Josh has done is he’s come in and he says, ‘This is not New England. This is Las Vegas,’” Carr told Perry. “‘We’re gonna do things our way.’ I’ve learned a lot of great things there that we’re going to implement, but I also have some things that I want to do my way.”
Carr said that McDaniels will do things differently than he did in New England, differently than he did in Denver. The end result could be something very different for the Raiders, who haven’t won a playoff game since qualifying for the Super Bowl 20 years ago.