The Raiders’ first veteran minicamp began this week, and new head coach Jon Gruden was hard at work giving the Raiders a taste of his coaching style and endless, infectious chemistry. However, it’s up to the players themselves to develop chemistry and timing with one another. The Raiders’ biggest offseason acquisition, WR Jordy Nelson has been doing just that with Raiders QB Derek Carr, and he says the process is much like how he went about his business with the All-Pro quarterback he used to catch passes from.
“It’s going great. It’s just communication and getting the reps on the field. It’s no different than what Aaron [Rodgers] and I did for 10 years. We’ll continue to grind at it. It’s getting on the same page, understanding the playbook the same way and then getting the reps in on the field if it’s on air, one-on- one, seven-on- seven, team, all of that. It all adds up – just being comfortable with one another,” said Nelson.
Derek Carr, who has been stuck to Nelson’s hip since Nelson arrived in the Bay Area, shared similar sentiments.
“Yeah, it’s really cool. It’s fun because when I was in college, I would watch Aaron [Rodgers] play all the time. I’d try to have some of the same mannerisms, getting it out quick, stuff like that. Now listening to the mental side of things, how they worked together and him coming up to me and saying, ‘Hey what do you think about this, or this depth,’ learning that stuff has been really cool,” said Carr.
“Getting on the same page. For the first day, we were on the same page but there were a couple that we missed. That’s just us saying ‘I thought you were doing this’ but that’s the fun part. That’s the growth process. Hopefully we can do it faster so we can win.”
The man Jordy Nelson was brought in to replace, Michael Crabtree, seemed to have an almost preternatural connection with Carr, so it will be vitally important to the Raiders’ offense for Nelson and Carr to be completely in sync at all times. Nelson had that connection with Rodgers, but not so much with his replacement Brett Hundley, as evidenced by Nelson scoring six touchdowns from Rodgers but none the rest of the year after Rogers suffered a season-ending collarbone injury in Week 6. With Carr, one would expect Nelson to return to his accustomed high level of play.