Raiders' Carr Says He Owes Much to Olson

Now-departed offensive coordinator taught young quarterback about protection schemes and calls that should help him into the future, he says

Greg Olson’s time in Oakland is over and Bill Musgrave is the Raiders’ new offensive coordinator.

But based on what quarterback Derek Carr said this week, he’ll always be hearing the advice of the Raiders’ now-departed offensive coordinator in his mind.

It will the job of Musgrave and head coach Jack Del Rio to provide Carr with the roster help and coaching to allow him to continue to grow and succeed as an NFL quarterback. It’s out with the old and in with the new.

But Carr said this week that Olson taught him things in his rookie season of 2014 that will be valuable for the rest of his career.

Olson is now working for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and when Carr was asked by the Florida Times-Union for his opinion of Olson’s coaching ability, Carr was very complimentary. Carr told the paper that Olson was the key to protecting his growth and allowing him to grow.

Though the Oakland offense wasn’t good in 2014 – ranking dead last in yards and next-to-last in scoring – Carr was sacked only 24 times as a rookie, despite the fact Oakland faced more blitzes than any other NFL team.

“Coach Olson taught me so much about protections,” Carr told the Times-Union. “We were one of the top two or three most pressured teams in the NFL while still being one or two in least amount of sacks. His big deal is eliminating hits on the quarterback. That’s something Gus (Jaguars coach Gus Bradley) liked when interviewing him. I’m sure he wanted to eliminate hits on their franchise guy.”

That would be Blake Bortles, the Jags’ QB who was sacked 55 times as a rookie.

With Olson now gone, the Raiders will still need to put a priority on protecting Carr so he can develop. No matter what Carr learns under Musgrave and the new coaching staff – and beyond to the rest of his career – he says he will continue to use the knowledge Olson gave him about protection schemes.

“I’ll have a protection plan for the rest of my life,” Carr said. “Just spending that one year with him. There won’t be a look or pressure that I’ll see where I have no clue what to do. I’ll know exactly how I want to pick it up and exactly how to pick it up, because of how he taught me and what he taught me.”

While the Raiders’ offense was among the worst in the NFL in 2014, Carr set team records for passing yards and TD passes and drew praise from teammates and opposing coaches. Said former Broncos head coach John Fox, now with the Bears: “I think he’s a tremendous young player.”

And, thanks to some terrific protection and coaching by Olson, a fit and healthy one going into his second season.

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