Jon Gruden, the former Las Vegas Raiders head coach who resigned in disgrace in October 2021, has been brought in by the New Orleans Saints to help Derek Carr hit the ground running.
Former head coach Jon Gruden has returned to NFL coaching to help Derek Carr get to grips with the New Orleans Saintsoffence.
Gruden resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in October 2021 after a league investigation into the Washington Football Team for workplace misconduct found he had used racist, misogynistic, and homophobic slurs in emails written between 2011 and 2018. However, the 59-year-old has been brought in by the Saints in a specialist role to assist Carr.
Gruden worked with the quarterback for just over three seasons, and his familiarity with the offensive scheme set to be employed by the Saints ensured he could help Carr transition to his new team effectively. New Orleans signed Carr to a four-year deal worth $150 million (£121 million) in March after his release from the Raiders, who selected him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draught.
The Saints ultimately called Gruden to work with Carr and the offensive coaching staff, as head coach Dennis Allen hopes the new-look unit can improve on their 7-10 record in 2022. With the Raiders, Gruden installed a West Coast offence, which is the same scheme utilised by the Saints.
In fact, the NFC South franchise’s version of the West Coast offence is a page out of the book of former coach Sean Payton, who spent 15 years in New Orleans and delivered a Super Bowl title. Payton and Gruden coached alongside each other on the Philadelphia Eagles in 1997, with the former being the quarterbacks coach while the latter was the offensive coordinator.
The Saints signed Carr due to his familiarity with the scheme, and the quarterback is excited to work in a similar setup. Speaking to NOLA.com, Carr said: "It's a new system, new words, [but] a lot of similarities to things that I grew up on and believe in. It's still a learning curve, but not as big of a curve as it could be in a different system or a different offence."
Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael is thrilled to have Carr under centre, adding, "He's a great fit for us. We'll cater to things that he likes as long as they fit with our personnel. The majority of what we've done [in New Orleans], he's had some of that over his career. There are a lot of similarities.