Derek Carr “Too Comfortable” With His OC In 2017? No, Probably Not

On Thursday, a Sports Illustrated report pointed to two major factors to explain Derek Carr’s difficult 2017 season.

The reasons were 1. Carr’s back injury and 2. He apparently became too comfortable with his friend and offensive coordinator Todd Downing.

There is no question Carr was affected by his back for most of the season. He admitted as much himself.

But the “too comfortable” idea? That’s a little less believable.

The Raiders started the season by leading the NFL in scoring over the first two weeks of the season and Carr played well. What went wrong from there didn’t look “comfortable” for anyone.

The Athletic’s Vic Tafur wasn’t buying the idea that Carr suffered from being too close to his offensive coordinator.

No doubt, there are some within the Raiders former coaching staff that felt Carr was coddled (like Rod Woodson, they have to blame someone, right?), but the better explanation is probably closer to this idea…

Carr never offered coaching as an explanation for the Raiders poor play on offense, but even owner Mark Davis seemed to understand the Raiders were at a strategic disadvantage for the 2017 season.

The idea that Carr became “comfortable” implies that he had a lax approach to playing under Downing – which is something we’ve never seen from him.

In fact, “comfortable” is the opposite of what anyone in the Raiders locker room looked like for the second half of the season.

And a final thought…

Dropped passes weren’t the biggest problem with the Raiders offense last year, but they are becoming a trend that needs to find a home in another city next year.

Can we finally clean this up, guys?

twitter: @raidersbeat


7 thoughts on “Derek Carr “Too Comfortable” With His OC In 2017? No, Probably Not

  1. He and Delrio were to comfortable. Delrio you could tell by his demeanor that he was way too comfortable after signing that extension. I like him, but he didn’t think he was going to get fired st all. I’m so glad Davie pulled that trigger, I just didn’t know who could replace him. Glad he got Gruden, never a losing record as Raiders coach.

  2. Carr often looked tentative last year, which points to injury. The play-calling was atrocious, to the point that half the time I was screaming at the TV. And the dropped passes were bad. If even a quarter of those passes had been caught, we would have had at least two more wins. Were the passes not on target? I don’t know… hopefully this year Carr is in less pain and more fluid and he communicates better with receivers—and they make a huge effort rather than trot back to the huddle shaking their heads. Even though I was not thrilled with the Jordy Nelson pickup (shall we get every older guy on the planet?), it sounds like he’s a huge addition to the locker room. Attitude changes can be everything.

  3. People keep trying to find one big reason for the down season last year, and there wasn’t just ONE.
    1-Poor Coaching on both sides of the ball – Downing showed too much of his hand in preseason and the first two games. The league had all they needed to adjust to his play calling and coaching style after two weeks, he didn’t have the capacity to adapt as the season went on. Norton was just garbage all around. Del Rio seemed like the kind of boss who is your best friend when things are going right, but would throw you under the bus the first chance he got.

    2-Locker Room dysfunction, lack of discipline. – Again, Del Rio not having the ability to lead. And the lack of Woodson really took a toll from a players stand point. Carr and Mack aren’t yet true team leaders, they’ll get there. But just not yet.

    3-Dropped Passes – Carr does have a super hero complex, don’t let his modesty fool you, when he can’t rely on his team, he will try and win the game on his own and that doesn’t work in the NFL. When your “go to” receivers are dropping balls left and right, it’s hard to stay confident. It’s not nearly at the same level, but the baseball team I play on has two first basemen, one guy can catch anything thrown his way, the other needs a bullseye or he will mess it up. Needless to say, no one on the team throws the bull eye to the poor first baseman because we are always worried about not making a perfect throw.

    4-Broken Back – The article you’re referencing down plays the injury to Carr, but I think it still played a factor. Yes, he had some great performances in spite of it, but anyone with back issues knows that you never know when it’s going to pop up.

    5-Anthem Drama – I know it was kind of brushed aside quickly, but after the game that a Raiders O lineman was quoted saying “If he wants to stand alone during the anthem, he can stand alone on the field.” it’s pretty hard to not noticed a HUGE drop in the performance of the O Line.

    6-Injuries – Keep in mind, there was a game that the Raiders didn’t have enough players on the secondary to actually field a Nickel defense without putting a linebacker at a corner position.

    I don’t think any ONE of these is a good excuse for the down season, but add all of them together. Yeah, it was a perfect store of B.S. to deal with. This year there is experience, REAL experience at every single coaching position of importance. There is more veteran leadership in the locker room. I don’t think the receiver corp was necessarily upgraded, but it was revamped and didn’t get worse. Sometimes a little change of personnel is good. The O Line got a lot more depth. The D Line got some freakish talent. The Secondary is getting healthy again, and got some added depth.

    I’m optimistic about this team, the talent is there, and it was there last year, the coaching is what was missing.

  4. Vic Tafur is a pretentious blowhard that cites unnamed “sources” to push storylines that almost always turn out to be false i.e. made up.

    Other pretentious blowhards:

    These long-winded idiots offering analasys in the comments. If you guys were as knowledgeable about the sport as you pretend to be you would have a job with an NFL team in some capacity. If nothing else one of you could dethrone the King of Hacks Vic Tafur and make a living making up rumors for a lving.

  5. Let’s just be honest. Carr is a good QB. Not great. Meaning you need other players around you to be great; which the Raiders didn’t have. This team was very ,very, fortunate to be 12-4 the prior year. They were really more like an 8-8 team or maybe even a game under 500, So with them keeping KNJ and getting rid of Musgrave for Downing I was not surprised one bit that they struggled this past season. They will play more inspired this year but will see if that translate to enough wins to be a play-off team this year. I don’t see any of the play-off teams sliding this year. Although the jury is out on Rookie QB in KC.

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