When Jon Gruden’s name first emerged as the potential head coach in Oakland, an immediate concern emerged: Would Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr coexist?
The thinking was that Gruden would morph into Chucky, ranting and raving and cussing and generally wearing out Carr, who may not be able to take it. Gruden tried hard in the offseason to create the impression that he won’t take an over-the-top approach to his relationship with Carr, if Gruden believes that Carr won’t respond well to that approach.
Apparently, Gruden has decided that Carr will respond well to a more passive-aggressive strategy.
“You look at the film we had him open — wide open — deep, we didn’t go there,” Gruden told reporters on Wednesday. “He was open a couple times, and for whatever reason, we didn’t go that route.”
For whatever reason, we didn’t go that route.
The only person within the scope of the “we” in that example is Carr, the he who had the ball in his hands and the decision in his discretion as to whether to throw it to Amari Cooper or to someone else. So when Gruden says “we” didn’t go there, he means Carr didn’t go there. And the phrase “for whatever reason” can be regarded as an expression of bewilderment or exasperation regarding Carr’s decision-making process.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that Gruden has supplemented a public passive-aggressive play with a private aggressive-aggressive posture. Either way, the glass-half-full proclamations have quickly melted into 0-1 frustrations, with the head coach already aware that the quarterback made some bad decisions, and willing to say so.