ESPN News Services2 minutes to read
Freshman quarterback Derek Carr had a familiar helping hand last week — former Raiders coach John Gruden — as the New Orleans Saints anchored their offense during informal practices.
The Saints brought in Groden to help Carr and the offensive coaching staff under head coach Dennis Allen, NOLA.com reported Friday.
A second round draft pick by the Raiders in 2014, Carr spent his career in the 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 managed the West Coast offense that Gruden pitched during the latter’s tenure as head coach from 2018 through the first five games of the 2021 season. The offense is similar to that used by the Saints.
The Saints’ version of the West Coast offense is an offshoot of the former head 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’s quarterbacks coach.
The Saints signed Carr due to his knowledge of the scheme.
“He’s a great fit for us,” Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael told NOLA.com of Carr. “We’ll do the things he likes as long as it suits our people. The majority of what we’ve done (in New Orleans), he’s had some of that through his career. There are a lot of similarities.”
To continue the migration from Las Vegas, the Saints also signed two former Raiders in free agency wide receiver Brian Edwards and tight end Foster Morrow.
NOLA.com and Reuters contributed to this report.