ESPN News Services2 minute read
New quarterback Derek Carr got a familiar helping hand last week — former Raiders coach Jon Gruden — as the New Orleans Saints set up their offense during offseason practices.
The Saints brought in Gruden to help Carr and the offensive coaching staff led by coach Dennis Allen, NOLA.com reported Friday.
A second-round pick by the Raiders in 2014, Carr spent his career in silver and black until his release after the 2022 season. He signed a four-year, $150 million contract with the Saints in March .
With the Raiders, Carr led the West Coast offense set up by Gruden during the latter’s tenure as coach from 2018 to the first five games of the 2021 season. The offense is similar to what the Saints employ .
The Saints’ version of the West Coast offense is an offshoot of the one former coach Sean Payton used during his 15 seasons as head coach in New Orleans. And it had its roots with Gruden — Payton and Gruden coached together in 1997 with the Philadelphia Eagles, where Gruden was the offensive coordinator and Payton the quarterbacks coach.
“It’s a new system, new words, (but) a lot of similarities to things I grew up on and believe in,” Carr told NOLA.com. “It’s still a learning curve, but not as great as it could be in a different system or a different offense.”
The Saints signed Carr due to his familiarity with the plan.
“He suits us perfectly,” Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael told NOLA.com of Carr. “We’ll cater to the things he likes as long as it fits our staff. The majority of what we’ve done (in New Orleans), he’s had some of it in his career. There’s a lot of similarities.”
To continue the migration from Las Vegas, the Saints also signed two former Raiders in free agency – wide receiver Bryan Edwards and tight end Foster Moreau.
NOLA.com and Reuters contributed to this report.