Derek Carr is entering a make-or-break season with the Oakland Raiders. Based on what some coaches told Mike Sando of The Athletic, there is a perception that Carr may not have the mental makeup to make it under head coach Jon Gruden.
Sando spoke with 55 anonymous coaches and executives around the NFL putting together his quarterback tiers ranking list. Carr, who checks in at No. 20 overall (Tier 3) on this list, didn’t get much love from those coaches.
They pointed to three plays in which Carr seemed to shrink under the pressure of a big moment — throwing the ball away on fourth down (which he was ripped for on social media), his deer-in-the-headlights act at the end of the Colts game in Week 8, and a pick-six thrown toward Jared Cook.
“The Chiefs game, he throws a pick-six and the guy (Jared Cook) isn’t even running the route. It was, ‘What the f–?'” a voter said, per Sando.
Another coach criticized Carr for being too sensitive.
“He is sensitive and needs encouragement, and that is not the style he is going to get,” an offensive coach said to Sando. “When someone shows disappointment in him, he shrinks. The head coach not coming out and completely endorsing him has to be eating him alive.”
To that final point, Carr did in fact indicate that Oakland’s flirtation with top college quarterbacks before the draft did bother him quite a bit.
This summer, HBO has to be licking its chops over the potential of Gruden and Carr clashing on “Hard Knocks.” They do have two completely opposite personalities, and Carr does seem to have a bit of a sensitive side to him.
Perhaps they will find a way to work through that and make sweet music together. Or, perhaps, the Raiders will be looking for another quarterback next year.