Former NFL QB Brady Quinn offers insight into Josh McDaniels’ offense and why Derek Carr has struggled
First-year Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels announced Wednesday that he will bench Derek Carr, the team’s starting quarterback since 2014. In the wake of the shocking decision, CBS Sports HQ’s Brady Quinn provided insight into the complexity of McDaniels’ offense and how that factors into Carr’s struggles this season.
Quinn spent seven seasons in the NFL and experienced being on McDaniels’ roster when he was traded to the Broncos in 2010. Quinn didn’t play a game with them, but he brought up an example of one of his former teammates.
Kyle Orton — who began his NFL career with the Chicago Bears in 2005 — was traded to the Broncos in 2009 and was named the starting quarterback his first season in Denver. Orton led the team to a 6-0 start that season, but things went downhill from there. The Broncos lost eight of their next 10 games after their bye week, and Orton went on to finish the season with 21 passing touchdowns and 12 interceptions with an 86.8 QB rating in 16 games, 15 as a starter.
“When I got there, it was Josh McDaniels’ sophomore year. I remember talking to Kyle Orton about what he went through in 2009 and how big of an adjustment it was for him,” Quinn said on the “Pick Six NFL Podcast.” “He had career-high interceptions that year with Denver.”
Quinn, who described McDaniels as “one of the brightest minds in the NFL,” noted that Orton’s struggles likely also had to do with adjusting to new personnel and a new system. Orton led the team to a 1-4 start the following season, opening the door for Tim Tebow to replace him in Week 5.
“But that being said, it’s a very quarterback-friendly system once you get the hang of it,” Quinn said. “It’s really hard to do it in a year.”
Quinn then said there’s also a lot to learn when it comes to wide receivers, such as route adjustments and “what you’re asked to do, how you can move within that offense.” He brought in Davante Adams, who just joined the Raiders this offseason, to emphasize that point. This year Adams has caught 88 passes for 1,290 yards and a league-high 12 touchdowns. However, he has caught just 9 of 25 targets for 114 yards and zero touchdowns in his last three games. When it comes to the fourth quarter this season, Carr is 16 of 51 targeting Adams.
Adams addressed the situation this week, saying Carr is his good friend, but also that the Raiders need to stay focused and try to finish the season strong.
Quinn said how the Raiders move forward at quarterback will depend on what McDaniels and Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler are looking for at the position. He also added that Carr would likely be one of the most sought-after quarterbacks if the Raiders decide to let him go, “at least from a trade standpoint.”