Communication is everything when it comes to the quarterback position. Everyone involved needs to be able to work together to create a cohesive unit that can then run the rest of the offense. It’s huge when the QB and the coaching staff are not on the same page, just ask newly added QB Christian Hackenberg about his experience with the New York Jets.
The Raiders coaching staff is built to communicate with the quarterback. Jon Gruden is a former QB coach himself and is known as a QB guru with what he has accomplished with less talented players in the past. Derek Carr is the most physically gifted QB Gruden has ever worked with, so he made sure to go out and get an offensive coordinator that Carr is already familiar with too.
Greg Olson was the offensive coordinator under Dennis Allen when Carr was a rookie and already has a relationship with Carr to build on. Then Gruden also added up-and-coming QB coach Brian Callahan who is the son of Gruden’s former offensive coordinator Bill Callahan. Brian has had an excellent start to his career with positive work in Detroit with Matthew Stafford and as Peyton Manning’s QB coach in the Broncos 2015 super bowl season.
“Jon runs the meeting, per se,” said Olson. “There’s certain duties that Brian and I are in charge of, but it’s a collaborative effort within the meeting and I think with the different backgrounds. Jon, obviously, had a chance with his years off to study and look at a number of different schemes throughout the league. If he’s in the meeting or if he cannot be in the meeting, I guess, and he has to turn it over to myself or Brian, he just wants to make sure that we’re all speaking the same language. I think it’s gone pretty well.”
It’s rare to have 3 different coaches who all specialize specifically in developing QB’s to be working together, but Derek Carr is loving the impact it’s having on the QB meetings.
“It’s like we’re all sitting at a circle table and we all just work on it together.” Carr said about the collaborative effort in the QB room. “While all of this is going on, we’re all in there together. We’re all doing it at once. So everyone’s input from drill work to things they ran in the past, people they’ve been around, the way certain quarterbacks saw things and they want to hear how I saw it and how Coach Gruden sees it, Oly, Coach Callahan. Everyone in that room has a voice and everyone’s voice is heard not just a little bit, loud and clear.”
This is quite a change for Carr, going from basically just Todd Downing last season to a crowded room of people who built NFL careers off off teaching QB’s. It must be a pretty cool experience for Carr. There are a lot of ideas to consider being floated around and it should really help him when the action starts.