Raiders mailbag: Did Derek Carr question Jon Gruden’s trust in him?

Some bye week mailbag questions as the euphoria over a road win over the Kansas City Chiefs turns to concern over an incoming visit from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

We’ll start with a question about a sideline exchange between coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr late in the first half after the Raiders had gone up 24-21:

Q: Haven’t seen anyone discuss Derek Carr telling Gruden “can you trust me now” after the Henry Ruggs touchdown. I’m just reading lips but looks pretty clear to me. Has Gruden been holding back Carr from throwing/looking downfield and moving in the pocket to extend plays? — Michael Bidwill (email)

Other lip-reading sleuths described it as Carr saying “Can you trust me?” with Gruden saying “Yes, let me put my mask on.”  (Gruden, by the way, was pretty diligent about the mask). I watched the clip several times and am apparently not an accomplished lip-reader. Something along those lines is possible, however. One of Gruden’s methods of coaching quarterbacks is humor/sarcasm. He loves Peyton Manning and told Rich Gannon as much when he was a Raider. Since Manning was nicknamed “The Sheriff,” Gruden called Gannon “The Deputy” just to get under his skin. Gruden and Carr are in their third year together. In season, they deal with each other more than they deal with their wives. You can bet that Gruden has taken some of the stories written or reported about how he doesn’t like or trust Carr and used it as a motivational tool. As in, “C’mon Derek, that’s why people say I can’t trust you” or “C’mon Derek, you know you can’t throw deep! Everyone says so.” Ideally, Carr shows him up and then throws it back in his face. Everybody wins. That would be my guess, rather than some sort of fracture between coach and quarterback. As for moving in the pocket and extending plays, Gruden has been urging Carr to do that since the day he arrived.

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Q:  Was the way they attacked Kansas City downfield a outlier because they were facing Patrick Mahomes or is it going to be the way they approach things going forward? — @MichRVARaider

Mahomes doesn’t play defense. They’ll gladly accept any deep strikes available if game circumstances and coverage dictate. And with Ruggs healthy, there should be more opportunities. But with a lead in the second half, Gruden will be Gruden.

Q: Was the defensive performance more about the Raiders properly executing their assignments or poor play by the Chiefs in the second half? — @Raiderfan9909

Secondary coach Jim O’Neil talked with reporters via video conference Wednesday and alluded to the defense being “simplified.” Bottom line I think the Raiders were challenged to beat the man in front of them and responded in a positive way. Were the Chiefs overconfident? They had every reason to be. They’d won 13 straight including the postseason and the Raiders had been a fly hitting their windshield at Arrowhead for seven years.

Q: Was defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in the booth …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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