QB Derek Carr eager for Raiders coach Jon Gruden to push him

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Thursday, January 25, 2018

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Derek Carr is looking forward to not only being reunited with new Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden, but also being pushed by the notoriously hard-to-please quarterback guru.

"I want him to be really hard on me because I want to win," Carr told ESPN at a Pro Bowl practice on Wednesday. "He can pat me on the back and tell me he loves me, which he does, and he will. But at the same time, I want him to be hard on me and let's talk about, 'Hey, if we grade out at 90 percent, let's talk about the 10 percent I didn't do well.'"

Carr went through Gruden's QB Camp show on ESPN in 2014 before the Raiders drafted him out of Fresno State in the second round. Carr has played for Dennis Allen, Tony Sparano and Jack Del Rio in Oakland and he has been the Raiders' starter since his rookie season.

He has only missed two games, both to injury, and regressed last season; his Total QBR dropped from 54.6 in 2016 to 47.2 in 2017.

"Three broken bones in your back," Gruden said in his introductory media conference on Jan. 9. "I think that is a reasonable reason why you might not have the same season you had a year ago."

Carr, meanwhile, said he found out about Gruden officially replacing Del Rio on the Internet.

"Obviously it's hard to lose a coach; that's not fun for anybody because you care about him and you have a relationship with him," Carr said. "But as players, we just have to keep moving on. And now that we have coach Gruden, we're fired up, we're excited. Especially as a quarterback, to have a guy like that, his mindset. I spent time around him, I've known him for years now. We have a pre-existing relationship, so that's nice to have. I'm just really looking forward to growing under him.

"It's a good thing that me and Coach Gruden think the same way. Him and I are more similar than people even know. We just are ... him and I think the same way, we watch, we study the same way and all those kind of things."

Gruden, though, is famous for waking up at 3:17 a.m.


"No, I get a little more sleep than he does," he said. "I get a little bit. Not much more, but I get a little bit more. I'm up early. I like to be the first one in there to have some quiet time and to study and do things a certain way, and he's kind of the same way."

ESPN's Jenna Laine contributed to this report.

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