Intensity Up: Carr ‘a Completely Different Person,' Attacking Gruden Challenges

NAPA – Derek Carr doesn't keep Jon Gruden hours. Nobody does that.

The Raiders head coach is both insomniac and early bird, pouring over film to evaluate players and refine scheme.

The franchise quarterback needs some shut eye, but still regularly beats the sun to work and misses it on way the home. Gruden's presence didn't change Carr's schedule.

Long days are typical Carr. There is, however, a lot to learn this training camp. Intensity has racheted up. 

Gruden heaps responsibility on quarterbacks, providing freedom to change plays at the line. He must also orchestrated well choreographic pre-snap movement while making proper reads under the play clock. Oh yeah, then he has to make a quality throw.

That's the routine on standard plays. Gruden, however, likes to throw a stick in the spokes. Pop quizzes come in meetings and on the practice field. They are both constant and irregular, so Carr has to be ready to respond at a moment's notice.

Carr doesn't like being wrong. Not his style. Those around him see heightened focus. They see Carr pushing himself more than ever working with Gruden.

"Derek looks like a completely different person in my eyes, just from the way he's attacking the game, from the way he's attacking the challenges that Gruden has been giving to him," tight end Jared Cook said. "Every time that Gruden asks him a question, he gets it right, no hesitation.

"Every time Gruden asks him to get up in front of a meeting room and call out a play, run a play, get to the right check, get to the right audible, he does it every time. That's a responsibility that Derek never had last year. You see a totally different player out of him. He's attacking the game differently mentally and he has a totally different attitude going in to this year."

Gruden is notoriously hard on quarterbacks. Always has been. Carr is fine with that always being the case now and in the future.

There's plenty to learn while mastering the new scheme, but the workload won't slow once after the transition ends.

"I don't think there's going to be a time over the next 10 or so years where I'm not going to have to have something to learn," Carr said. "He pushes me every day. I'm constantly asking, ‘What do you have for me today? Give me something else.'

"Where we're at right now, we feel very, very confident that we can go out and execute at a high level. We get a lot of plays in. I think we get more plays in than anybody in the league. Just getting those reps as a quarterback. Just rep after rep after rep. There's really nothing like it."

Carr isn't giving many reasons to be critical of his play to this point. Early reviews of his franchise quarterback have been positive.

"I couldn't be more pleased," Gruden said. "I've worked with a lot of really great quarterbacks in the past, but this guy is as into football as any guy I've met. He is talented and smart."

There is passionate discourse, with raised voices at times in the quarterback room. That's part of the process.

Carr has thus far matched Gruden's devotion to the craft. As much as one can, anyway. That's a good thing for coach, quarterback and team.

"I don't know if that man sleeps," Carr said Friday. "I don't know if he has slept yet. Him and I have to be on the same page. Him and I have to work the hardest out of anybody out here. If the head coach and the quarterback are the hardest workers, then usually that's a good recipe. It doesn't guarantee success, but it's a good recipe."

Copyright CSNBY - CSN BAY
Contact Us