Bill Musgrave was at Derek Carr’s pro day last year. He came away from that workout in Fresno with a positive impression after seeing the young passer throw and talking with his older brother David.
Musgrave did not speak with Derek Carr then. He’ll have plenty of time to exchange ideas now. The Raiders’ new offensive coordinator was formally hired on Monday by head coach Jack Del Rio and is looking forward to working with the talented young quarterback. He said Carr was a major attraction toward taking this job.
“There were a number of coaches who expressed interest in being Jack’s offensive coordinator, and I know he talked to a number of people,” Musgrave said Tuesday in a conference call. “One of the main reasons would be the presence of Derek Carr.”
Carr had a solid rookie season while the offense as a whole did not, completing 348 of 599 passes for 3,270 yards, 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for a 76.6 passer rating.
Carr was the only rookie quarterback to start all 16 games, a feat accomplished despite some nagging ailments throughout the season. Though he made some rookie mistakes and struggled some on the road, Carr’s play and football smarts were lauded.
His 599 passing attempts ranked seventh in the NFL, and that number should come down considering Musgrave's penchant for running the football. Carr calls a good running game "a quarterback’s best friend" and shouldn’t mind spreading the wealth after pressure was heaped upon him to produce.
At his introductory press conference, Del Rio talked extensively about building up the weapons around Carr to give him as much help as possible. The development of a young quarterback is central to any good offense. Musgrave certainly knows that, after working with a string of average quarterback during stints as offensive coordinator.
That includes work with Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel in Minnesota, Byron Leftwich and David Gerrard in Jacksonville and Steve Beuerlein in Carolina.
Musgrave has high hopes for Carr after what he has seen thus far.
“He had a terrific career at Fresno State and presented himself in a positive way through the pre-draft process last spring,” Musgrave said. “I think the entire league had high hopes for Derek Carr, and he didn’t let anybody down when he got on the field this past fall.”