You won’t find a more symbiotic relationship than that of Jon Gruden and his new quarterback, Derek Carr. They are hand-in-glove just as Gruden and Rich Gannon were back in Gruden’s first stint in Oakland. Both of them simply couldn’t be happier about the arrangement.
“I can’t say enough about him,” Gruden said of Carr. “He’s special, that’s all I’ll say. I’ll let him speak on that. I couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve worked with a lot of really great quarterbacks in the past, but this guy is as in to football as any guy I’ve met. He is talented and smart.”
What Carr’s teammates have noticed this camp is just how in tune Carr is with what Gruden wants from him. Gruden’s demands of his QB have had Carr showing off his football IQ at a level he hadn’t in his first four training camps under defensive minded head coaches.
Gruden isn’t just an offensive mined head coach, either. He’s a quarterback obsessed head coach. He wants, no, NEEDS his quarterback to be an extension of him on the field. And for that, they must be together every possible moment.
“Clearly we spent a lot of time together,” Carr said of he and Gruden. “I started sounding like him. The way I talk and certain comments I make, which is cool. That’s good. That’s how it should be. [He] and I should be on the same page. We should think the same way. There should be no secrets between us. I know where he’s at. He knows where I’m at. Just having that open relationship like that with the head coach. Also, so open that the other players see it, that’s just good for the football team.”
“Whenever we’re not doing something, we’re together,” Carr continued. “If we’re in an offensive meeting. If we’re not in an offensive meeting, I’m sitting right next to him in the quarterback room. If I’m not in on a rep, I’m standing right by him. He’s [saying,] ‘Hey what do you think? What would you get to here? What would you do? What would you do?’ That’s the way it should be.”
Technically speaking, ‘when we’re not doing something’ would include at night when he’s asleep.
“You know, the other night I was dreaming of him calling a play,” Carr said and laughed. “So, I’ll just say 24 hours. We’re always thinking of the next play, of the next call, of the next adjustment. I think he’s brainwashed me a little bit. I guess I kind of feel like his quarterback robot a little bit.”
Hey, whatever works.