Derek Carr isn’t going to be too fond on Jon Gruden’s comments about Marcus Mariota
For the Las Vegas Raiders, quarterback Derek Carr creates mixed emotions amongst the fan base. While he’s a good quarterback, his play hasn’t led the team important wins in recent years. This offseason, the Raiders brought in some expected competition, but not through the NFL Draft. Instead, the team brought in former 2015 second overall pick and Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Weeks into Raiders training camp and head coach Jon Gruden is already gushing and raving over the play of Mariota similar to how he hyped up Nathan Peterman last year. But this is different because Mariota is leaps and bounds better than Peterman.
It’s no secret that Gruden has love for Mariota after bringing in the former Titans quarterback and No. 2 pick in the offseason
The Raiders signed Mariota to a two-year, $17.6 million contract back in March. It has been perhaps the worst kept secret that Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock love Mariota as a signal-caller.
During his time as an NFL Draft analyst for ESPN, Gruden praised the former Oregon Duck in the pre-draft process for his dual-threat abilities. In fact, Gruden said Mariota’s “like Russell Wilson, only he is 6-foot-4-inches.” Mayock, then the NFL Network’s draft expert, actually ranked Mariota ahead of Jameis Winston as the 2015 class’ top quarterback prospect.
Gruden and Mayock made Mariota the highest-paid backup quarterback in the NFL because they were obviously confident enough that his abilities can translate perfectly into the Raiders’ offense. Plus, they made this move to push Carr to step it up. While Carr did complete 70.1 percent of his passes for 4,054 yards, but only threw 21 touchdowns.
Mariota knows this situation all too well. Last season, the Titans brought in Ryan Tannehill as competition. After Mariota failed to lead the team to wins, head coach Mike Vrabel made the switch to Tannehill, which helped increase their offense’s production, and led them to the AFC Championship Game.
Since Carr has made it known that he’s tired of being “disrespected,” the gauntlet has been laid out for him by Gruden. Play well, or you’ll be benched for Mariota, who has already won over the Raiders sideline boss.