Tagged in: jon gruden

Derek Carr channels Jon Gruden advice in Las Vegas Raiders’ OT win over Dallas Cowboys

Derek Carr had not been himself since the Las Vegas Raiders emerged from their bye.

A three-game losing streak, with calls from fans for him to be replaced with Marcus Mariota at quarterback growing louder by the loss, had him feeling off.

So on a short week, and with a prime-time game at the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, Carr remembered a piece of advice his former coach Jon Gruden gave him.

Don’t ever take your arm out of a game.

So Carr channeled Gruden, who resigned Oct. 11 after the publication of offensive emails, in the course of the Raiders’ 36-33 overtime victory and passed for 373 yards, his most since Week 3, when the Raiders were 3-0.

Carr also acknowledged starting faster on offense was key. So finding wide receiver DeSean Jackson on the Raiders’ third play from scrimmage for a 56-yard touchdown was the chef’s kiss. Even if it was early.

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“We get that touchdown, I look at the scoreboard, OK, 7-0,” Carr said. “I’m excited. I’m an emotional, passionate person, but my mindset literally goes, ‘OK, 7-0.’ We’ve got to keep going.

“But I can’t exhale during the game, especially with this one, how close it was. We hit that play, it’s exciting … but I can’t exhale. Win or lose, whether it’s going good or bad, I have to stay in the moment.”

Carr also got his run game going, rushing for a 22-yard pickup.

He celebrated by flashing a “shaka” hand sign at Mariota, a Hawaiian native.

“I always call myself ‘Carriota’ and he gets a kick out of that one,” Carr stated of Mariota. “Anytime I scramble in practice or in a game, I’ll come up to him and be like, ‘Carriota, bro,’ and he’ll laugh at me. Probably just to appease me. It felt good to be able to pick up that. They actually got tripped up, and I felt it. Honestly it was just experience at that point. I knew they were in the man coverage look on the back end, and when that gain happened and they didn’t have contain, I just took off.”

Said interim coach Rich Bisaccia: “Derek is his biggest critic. … He’s been off sync a little bit; we’ve all been off sync.

“Today he looked like Derek Carr. It’s fun to watch him play.”

The Raiders, who play host to Washington in 10 days, have endured the Gruden resignation as well as the trauma and tragedy of former receiver Henry Ruggs III’s high-speed car crash that killed a 23-year-old woman and her dog.

After Ruggs was released, the Raiders’ vertical threat was gone. So they signed Jackson, who turns 35 on Wednesday but is rounding into form for Las Vegas. “One thing I’ve tried to do this year, especially when [Ruggs] was here, I was going to be so aggressive,” Carr said.

“It leads sometimes to not completing as many balls on a percentage chart, but to me, Gruden used to tell me, ‘Don’t ever take your arm out of a game.’ So when we call these things, let’s rip ’em.”

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Broncos are expecting same old Raiders even without Gruden

Denver Broncos star linebacker Von Miller still sees the Las Vegas Raiders as Jon Gruden’s team even after their rival’s iconic coach resigned in disgrace.

While acknowledging “how they call the game will definitely change because they have a new play caller,” Miller insisted, “what they do is what they do.”

“They’re not going to come out here and be an option team. They’re not just going to come out here and change their whole identity because Gruden’s gone,” Miller argued. “They’re still going to do some of the things that they do well. We just don’t know when they will do it.

“To be honest, that’s really every week that we go out there,” Miller added. “We really don’t know what the other team is going to present.”

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Longtime special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia makes his debut as the Raiders’ interim head coach Sunday, with offensive coordinator Greg Olson taking over play-calling duties in a matchup pitting 3-2 teams who are seeking their first victory in October.

“No one wants to be a head coach in this particular situation, no one wants to be put in front of this under these particular circumstances,” said Bisaccia, whose first NFL job was under Gruden in 2002, when he was hired as special teams coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“But it’s an incredible opportunity, not only for me but for all the other coaches to see what we can do with this adversity, see what we can do with this challenge.”

Olson’s voice isn’t an unfamiliar one to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

“My rookie year he called plays,” Carr said. “I’ve heard his voice through the headset. I know how he calls the game and I know how he thinks. We’re in the same room. Every conversation I had with coach Gruden, I had with Oly this whole time.

“It’s not going to be anything crazy new but there are philosophies that some people have. So, I don’t want to give Oly’s secrets away, but could things be different? Yes. Could things be similar? Yes, absolutely.”

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