Q4) Derek Carr is on pace to throw more interceptions than TD passes for the first time in his career. What is different in 2018?
Simply put, it’s the system. Gruden’s system is so much more complex and nuanced than Bill Musgrave’s was. Carr is expected to have a strong ownership role in calling the plays at the line when he sees how the defense is lining up. It’s his job to be flexible and to be able to read the defense well enough to adjust to what they’re throwing at him.
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To this point, he hasn’t done a good job of it at all. He’s hurrying throws, making poor decisions — like not throwing the ball away on first down at the one-yard line — and is being a little too aggressive in certain situations. He’s not managing the game, or game situations well at all. He’s on pace to put up some of the best statistical numbers of his career, but he’s also leading an offense that can’t score points and is a train wreck inside the 20.
As the losses mount, he presses more and gets more desperate in tight situations. And I think part of it, is because he has to be so fine, and so accurate to execute in Gruden’s offense. he’s not able to stand back and just sling it as he did under Musgrave. He has to know exactly what he’s doing — and what everybody else in front of him is doing — and to this point, he hasn’t looked up to the task.
Now, that being said, Rich Gannon‘s first year in Gruden’s offense didn’t exactly go swimmingly well either, and that all seemed to turn out okay in the end. It’s a period of success this team hasn’t had since then, and if Carr can settle in — just as former league MVP Gannon did — they’ll be fine eventually, simply because Carr has more positive physical attributes than Gannon. The only question is, does he have the mental make up Gannon did. we’ll find out.
Thanks again to Kevin for his help this week