Breer: Two Major Factors Contributed To Derek Carr’s Difficult 2017 Season

One of the great mysteries of the 2017 season was the sudden free fall in the play of Derek Carr and the Raiders offense.

After the second week of the season, the Raiders offense was wildly inconsistent and players clearly became more frustrated and confused as the season trudged along.

As it relates to Carr, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer said on Wednesday that people in Oakland believe there were two major factors that contributed to Carr’s forgettable season:

“The slip in Derek Carr’s play last year was attributed, by those in Oakland, to two things. One, his bad back. And two, there was a feeling that, following the firing of former coordinator Bill Musgrave, he got too comfortable, because he was too close to Musgrave’s replacement, Todd Downing. Let’s just say that Jon Gruden and his staff know that, and it’s already apparent that Carr is going to be coached hard in 2018.

The best news? Where there was some question as to how Carr would respond, the fifth-year quarterback has identified with Gruden’s passion for football and is enthusiastic about the pushing and prodding he’s gotten from his new coaches, including coordinator Greg Olson and position coach Brian Callahan. And that group believes, based on what’s on tape, that they’re working with a special talent.”

Beyond Breer’s report, there is no question that the Raiders 2017 season went sideways for a number of other reasons as well.

Head coach Jack Del Rio and his staff were never able to rebound after the week three embarrassment in Washington and the locker room slowly eroded as the season progressed – in part because players lost confidence in the coaching staff.

Leadership was lacking among the coaching staff, but it was also missing among the players – surely one of the reasons Jon Gruden added a number of veteran leaders in the offseason.

For what it’s worth, Breer believes Gruden will not only benefit Carr as a head coach, but will also serve to take some of the unnecessary spotlight away from his quarterback:

“To me, all this sets up for a pretty fascinating year in Oakland. A year ago, Carr was seen as having a chance to ascend into the league’s upper echelon at his position and was being positioned by the organization as the face of the franchise. Now, he’s working his way back after a difficult 2017, and Gruden has wrested the spotlight from him, all of which could help him rebound.

Remember, Gruden’s really never had a young franchise quarterback like this. In Gruden’s first Oakland go-round, he worked with a 30-something Rich Gannon; and in Tampa, he started with Brad Johnson and worked through a litany of journeyman veterans, in addition to having a young Chris Simms as his starter for a year. So this is different for Gruden, just as this year already feels a lot different for Carr.”

twitter: @raidersbeat


5 thoughts on “Breer: Two Major Factors Contributed To Derek Carr’s Difficult 2017 Season

  1. It’s hard to believe there was no mention of the complete lack of offensive game planning. It only took two weeks for teams to figure out what Tood D was trying to do. It was very easy to predict what play was called just by the formation vs. down and distance. I think the biggest addition this year will be competent play calling.

  2. It wasn’t so much the comfort level as it was poor play design and play call sequences, which hurt the offense, as a whole, more then anything.

    Being predictable will kill any offense, and Raiders had defenses stack the box against them more then any other offense in the NFL. Why? Bc Raiders used the least play action of any team in NFL, by far.

    For perspective, the next team to have the fewest play action attempts was the Steelers, and they had more then twice as many as the Raiders. Being as unpredictable as possible is rule #1 in being an OC. The only way you can get away with being predictable is if you have great skill position players, and Raiders receiving corps finished dead last in ability to create seperation from DB’s and second to last in drops. Suffice it to say, the skill positions were not great last year.

    Lynch started playing better once TD started running more power/trap/duo type running plays last year, which is what Musgrave ran. Unfortunately he didn’t know what to do with an effective ground game. Thankfully Gruden will, and the Raiders offense (and Carr) will be even better then they were in ’16 (after a few games of gelling that is).

  3. Good article, i happen to agree, carr was very complacent last yr. The choice to promote downing was a classic case of fixing something that wasnt broken. Downing was his buddy not his coach

  4. What I saw us exactly what Jessie Gardner said . I would sit and watch the offense and call the plays when they were at the line of scrimmage and **** if I didn’t get it right at least 80 % of the time . Now if I could do that …
    Downing didn’t have any experience calling plays or designing them when he was promoted . I expected some adjustment time but I never expected what actually materialized . More than being too comfortable with TD I saw Carr take a beating and saw his confidence go in the tank . I don’t think Gruden’s coaching style will effect him in a negative way . He’s a supremely talented kid with a high football IQ and a competitive fire in his belly . From what I’ve heard about his time at Fresno State , he had some pretty rough coaches there and it didn’t seem to be bothered by it . I think the stability in the coaching staff ( all Jon’s assistants got 4 year contracts ) will do him some good . He’s had , I believe 4 OC’s in 4 years now or something close . He’s also working on his 3rd head coach . Veteran quarterbacks usually deal with that sort of thing fairly well but young ones need stability early in their carrer . Now that he has that , we’ll find out soon rather or not Derek Carr is really a franchise QB . In my opinion he is . At least he has all the tools to be .

  5. Really? How is it everyone forgets about the protests and the toll it took on teams, especially the Raiders? Gruden remembers. THANK GOD!

Comments are closed.