Saints invite Super Bowl-winning coach to town to work with Derek Carr

The New Orleans Saints brought in former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden to help install the team’s offense with quarterback Derek Carr leading.

The New Orleans Saints had tried to find Drew Brees’ successor following the quarterback’s retirement in 2020. After working through Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, Trevor Siemian, and Andy Dalton, the Saints opted to bring in a big-name free agent. That was Derek Carr, who was released from his contract with the Las Vegas Raiders. The team committed to him, signing him to a four-year, $150 million contract.

With the 2023 season a matter of a couple of months away, the Saints have brought in some help to facilitate the transition to Carr being the new starting quarterback in New Orleans.

According to Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune (subscription required), the Saints brought in former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden this past week to help install the offense.

Saints reportedly bring in Jon Gruden to help install the offense

The Saints utilize a West Coast offense that carried over after Sean Payton retired. Gruden ran the West Coast offense during his time as head coach with the Raiders, including from 2018 until early 2021 with Carr as his quarterback.

Here is how Carr performed from 2018-2020 with Gruden as his head coach:

  • 2018: 4,049 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 68.9 completion percentage
  • 2019: 4,054 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 70.4 completion percentage
  • 2020: 4,103 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 67.3 completion percentage

Gruden had not been around in the NFL since he resigned as head coach of the Raiders early on in 2021 after reports found that he had used homophobic, racist, and misogynistic language in emails over the years. Special teams coordinator Rich Bisacchia took over as head coach on an interim basis, and helped lead the Raiders to a Wild Card berth.

Carr didn’t experience as much success this past season with Josh McDaniels as his head coach. Despite the team still being in playoff contention, McDaniels and the Raiders benched Carr for the final two games of the season. While trade discussions were opened up, the Raiders ultimately opted to release Carr from his contract.

The Saints look to win what is a wide-open competition for the NFC South championship. To ensure that this is a realistic goal, they are ensuring that Carr gets a feel for the offense in New Orleans.

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