It’s been nearly 20 months since Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders, and in that time, he’s kept his distance from the NFL. However, that finally changed this week after Gruden decided to fly to New Orleans to help an old friend.
According to the NOLA.com, Gruden has been spending some time with the Saints this week in an effort to help Derek Carr transition from the offense he ran with the Raiders to the offense he’ll be running with the Saints.
The Saints’ offense should already be somewhat familiar to Carr and that’s because it’s similar to what he ran with the Raiders while Gruden was the coach. Gruden’s offense is similar to the one in New Orleans because the Saints current offense was originally installed by Sean Payton. Although he’s no longer there, not much has changed since his exit, because the man running the Saints offense now (Pete Carmichael) was an assistant under Payton for 16 seasons in New Orleans.
Payton and Gruden share a similar offensive philosophy due to their time together in Philadelphia. During the 1997 season, Gruden was the offensive coordiantor for the Eagles while Payton served as the quarterbacks coach.
“I’m used to that family of offense,” Carr said, via NOLA.com. “It’s all the same drawing, but different words. … It’s just different words mean different things.”
Since the Saints and Raiders have many similar offensive concepts, the Saints figured it would make sense to bring in Gruden to help Carr with the transition and that’s how the quarterback ended up reuniting with his old coach.
“It’s a new system, new words, (but) a lot of similarities to things that I grew up on and believe in,” Carr said. “It’s still a learning curve, but not as big of a curve as it could be in a different system or a different offense.”
Gruden served as Carr’s coach for three-and-a-half years, but eventually resigned as Raiders coach back in October 2021 after multiple emails leaked out where he used misogynistic, homophobic and racist language.