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One reason Derek Carr may want to avoid coming to NY Jets

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets, Getty Images

Carr wants to be treated like a top quarterback

Derek Carr was officially released by the Las Vegas Raiders, and the New York Jets are certainly a possible destination.

There have been rumors swirling about the Jets’ interest or lack thereof, including Rich Cimini’s impression that the team is not all-in on Carr, Albert Breer’s report that the Jets checked in with the Raiders on a trade, and the notions that Carr is not a good cold-weather QB and is too sensitive to handle the New York media.

However, there may be a hidden reason that Carr would say no to the Jets.

Carr’s older brother David, the former No. 1 overall pick of the Texans who had a 10-year NFL career, spoke about why Derek’s relationship with the Raiders soured.

According to David, Derek wanted more autonomy over play-calling and reading defenses, something that Josh McDaniels was unwilling to give him.

On one hand, this does not seem like the kind of offensive environment that Aaron Rodgers would be enthusiastic about joining, either. Certainly, one of the best passers of the modern era is going to want to be able to read and react at the line. That’s good news for the Jets.

However, there’s a catch: the Jets themselves have not given their quarterbacks—or any player, for that matter—any autonomy during the Robert Saleh regime. The extent of an audible you’ll ever see is a “can” audible, in which case two plays were called in the huddle and the quarterback selects the one that matches the coverage he sees. That’s not true autonomy.

If Carr is leaving Vegas for this exact reason, what incentive does he have to walk into what is seemingly an identical situation?

Yes, the Jets fired Mike LaFleur and replaced him with Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator. Presumably, Hackett and LaFleur’s brother Matt were not telling Rodgers that he could not call his own plays or make changes at the line. However, is Hackett from a similar school of thought as Mike LaFleur, that only a Rodgers-level player is capable of making his own calls?

Carr might not want to find out.

It’s also easy to say that Mike LaFleur did not allow the Jets’ QBs any autonomy because they did not deserve it. However, the truth is that the lack of independence on the field is a core philosophy of Saleh’s. As Jet X’s Andrew Golden explained earlier in the 2022 season, the Jets do not allow any of their players, from the captains down, to make changes on either side of the ball.

Even if the Jets did not trust Zach Wilson to make changes, they certainly cannot say the same about their defensive captain, C.J. Mosley, whose intelligence and instincts the coaching staff praise on a regular basis. The fact that Mosley’s one audible against the Titans in 2021 caused a hullabaloo on the sideline shows just how ingrained this philosophy is.

Can Saleh let go of the reins and allow a quarterback to make his own decisions? Josh McDaniels coached Tom Brady for years and still could not give that control over to Carr. What are the chances that Hackett can, even if he did coach Rodgers for several seasons?

This lack of trust in the players is a fundamental flaw in the Jets’ coaching staff and may well explain a lot of the blown plays along the offensive line, as well as the third- and fourth-down issues on both sides of the ball. More pressing, though, is how it will affect the team’s search for an answer at quarterback.

This is a decision Saleh and Joe Douglas cannot afford to get wrong. They should not allow anything, least of all stubbornness, to stand in the way.

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Robert Papalia
1 year ago

Give me the good old days of football where the quarterbacks called all the plays. An example of that is Namath in Super Bowl 3 where he confused and befuddled the Colts.

Jonathan Richter
1 year ago

Everyone who has played for Hackett has loved him. I don’t foresee any problems.

Matt Galemmo
1 year ago

I have no idea how it works, but I would expect there to be a middle ground. For all but the most extreme, Rodgers, Brady examples, I would expect there is too much for a QB to do to also call plays in 20-ish seconds at the line. I can’t even conceive how that can happen–you have to know who’s on the field, what formation they’re in, and how to get them into place before calling a play. And you have to read the defense before you do that.

I’m guessing that a certain collection of players and formations come with play options depending on the defense you see, so that would be the compromise. If Carr knows the options, and through preparation with his coaching staff during the week, knows what plays the coaching staff prefers against what defensive looks, that it would seem as though the QB is setup for success.

That’s like “can” but with more options. And ideally many of those options would use the same formations, so you’re not tipping off the defense in anyway.

Is that how it works? If so, why not give Carr that control? It seems like that sort of pre-meditated autonomy is better for everyone.

1 year ago

If I were a player I certainly wouldn’t want to come to the Jets if I heard that