Jon Gruden has drooled over young quarterbacks in his time with ESPN, including Derek Carr. Now Gruden will get a chance to coach a quarterback he’s fond of.
“He has a great arm talent. He’s athletic. He’s got natural leadership skills. He’s young. He’s in his prime. He’s healthy now,” Gruden said. “I think he’s got a huge upside. With Greg Olson and the system that we are going to put in place is going to demand a lot from him. I think that’s what going to unlock the greatness in him.”
Another way the Raiders may look to unlock the greatness in Carr will be changing the personnel around him.
“We have to improve our roster. No question,” Gruden said. “The draft will be a big part of it. Who is available when we pick. What is available to us in free agency.”
Guden didn’t go into details on what needs to be improved, but he did single out the offensive line as being talented. Outside of Carr, that was the only position group he complimented.
The Raiders offense was among the most disappointing units in the NFL last season. After ranking in the top seven in the league in yards and points in the 2016, the Raiders stumbled to 23rd in points and 17 in yards.
Gruden will have decisions to make on who he keeps around. The receivers led the charge in failure with dropped passes. Under offensive coordinator Todd Downing, Amari Cooper went from one of the best receivers in the NFL to an afterthought.
Michael Crabtree can be released this offseason with no monetary commitment from the Raiders. Plus Marshawn Lynch may not be brought back.
Gruden lamented that he had not gotten a chance to speak with Lynch while he was working with ESPN. But Gruden said he looks forward to sitting down with someone that came to the Raiders because he loved Oakland.
Oakland seems to have the talent on offense. It’ll be up to Gruden to make the right changes to see this unit soar under Derek Carr.
“If I was a Raiders fan, I’d come to stadium every week excited to see number four under center.”
Tyler Bischoff hosts Coaches Corner on AM 720 KDWN Monday through Friday at 6:00 pm.