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Can Jon Gruden and QB Derek Carr Mesh? There’s ‘Real Concern’ They Cannot

Now that it’s official that Jon Gruden is coming back to the Raiders, Pro Football Talk reports there’s “real concern” about his ability to mesh with current Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr.

Despite Gruden’s cheerful albeit intense demeanor on television, he does not have the reputation of being a supportive-kind of “players’ coach”. “Jon Gruden is not easy to deal with,” PFT Live co-host Chris Simms told Florio by phone on Thursday. “He’s in your face, he’s blunt, he’s extremely honest. At the same time, he’ll be extra hard on a quarterback if he knows the kid has talent. The quarterback has to remember it’s only because he wants him to be better and knows he can be better. . . . If he wasn’t yelling at you, that’s the bigger concern. It’s all for the greater good. It’s only going to make you a better quarterback.” Simms said that, in the end, the haranguing is “all to make you better,” and that Carr will “learn more football under Gruden than he’s learned in his entire career.”

The question is whether Carr is the type of personality that can take Gruden’s style. After a stellar 2016 season in which Carr was considered one of the top young quarterbacks in the league, his play took a major step back (along with the rest of the team) in 2017 and he may need his confidence rebuilt. Does Gruden have the patience and inclination to do that? And is Carr mentally tough enough to deal with the needling?

Despite legitimate questions about how ready Gruden will be to return after so long in the booth, we would assume he will be careful not to immediately poison his relationship with one of his most important players. If not, this coaching hire may create more problems than it solves.

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