Unfamiliar Raiders’ Coaching Staff Provides Growth Opportunity for Derek Carr

No player is more important to the Oakland Raiders' success in 2015 than quarterback Derek Carr. Nearly everything the Raiders do this offseason revolves around the second-year quarterback out of Fresno State—from coaching staff changes to the draft.

Owner Mark Davis said he originally wanted to hire an offensive-minded head coach before Jack Del Rio proved he also knew offense. The Raiders hired Bill Musgrave as offensive coordinator with Carr in mind, even if doing so lacked much ingenuity or inspiration on their part.

Now that former Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo has accepted a job with the Cleveland Browns as their offensive coordinator, Carr is looking at an entirely new offensive coaching staff to work with in 2015. The unfamiliar staff provides Carr with a tremendous growth opportunity.

While consistency for a young quarterback can be a good thing, change is underappreciated. Think about how often a team changes its head coach only to improve significantly the following year with virtually the same core players. There are usually a couple of examples every year.

The coaches—including Del Rio, Musgrave, offensive line coach Mike Tice and a yet-to-be-hired quarterbacks coach—all have something to offer Carr and the rest of the team. It’s up to Carr to absorb what he can from his new coaches and become the long-term option at quarterback for the Raiders.

Developing players is a complicated process, but no one has more control over it than the player does. The coaches come second in the equation, but their job is primarily to put the player in a position to have success and then get out of the way.

The new coaches will come with new ideas on how to help Carr. Although he demonstrated significant improvement in 2014 in key areas, such as reading coverage and protections, Carr still has plenty of work to do.


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