Derek Carr has heard all the stories about Jon Gruden. Now, he hopes they’re all true.
Gruden has been called a relentless coach who demands a lot from his quarterbacks. After the disappointing season he had in 2017, Carr is ready for that. In fact, he welcomes it.
“I hope he’s really hard on me and I think that he will be,” Carr said in an interview on 95.7 The Game Monday. “We’ve had great conversations. I know that he loves me. He tells me multiple times when I’ve talked to him that he loves me. He knows that I love him, but he knows that I love winning and I know that he loves winning.
“I don’t think that this is going to be a problem at all and actually it’s not that I think, I know it’s not going to be a problem at all. We’re going to have a great relationship. We’re going to be hard on one another, push each other to be better and that’s how it should be. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m excited.”
Carr talked about Gruden and what’s ahead on the same day he was selected to the Pro Bowl as a replacement for Tom Brady, who’s now out of the game because the Patriots are going to the Super Bowl.
Obviously, Carr didn’t have a Pro Bowl-type season in 2016, but on Monday Carr said he’s excited about the opportunity and issued a statement to Raiders fans that he knows there’s “more to achieve and more to accomplish, and I will not rest until we get there. … ”
There’s some thought that Carr’s regression in 2017 had to do with the new offensive coordinator, Todd Downing. Also, in an interview with Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Carr said the Raiders offense seemed to turn away from things it had done well after an early-season loss to Washington. Plus, Carr suffered a back injury early, but came back quickly from it. It’s possible he was playing through discomfort that inhibited the way he played previously.
Wrote Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback, in late December: “Carr won’t use it as an excuse, but there’s a widespread belief in the organization that playing through (the injury) led to on-field problems.”
Now healthy again with a new coaching staff, Carr has a chance to turn things around in 2018. He seems eager to get to work.