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Raiders' Jon Gruden, Derek Carr are developing chemistry in Las Vegas

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Yahoo Sports' Matt Harmon and Dalton Del Don discuss the 2-0 Las Vegas Raiders, including the resurgence of Jon Gruden and Las Vegas' passing attack.

Video Transcript

DALTON DEL DON: What about the Raiders leading the NFL in air yards? Like, what is happening? What's-- and he's like-- he's just going all out. I love it, man. Derek Carr, I didn't see this coming.

I criticized Gruden over and over about his draft picks, the free agency. But, man, maybe this even actually, in a weird way, proves he's so good on the field if he wasn't hurting himself with all the personnel decisions. I don't know, man. Maybe his X's and O's are getting it done. It's pretty wild that they lead the league in air yards through two weeks.

MATT HARMON: I tweeted this out last year during that Raiders-Chargers game, the Marcus Mariota one. And of course, like, 'cause Gruden lost the game, then this totally got misinterpreted. Like, this is when I thought-- I was like, I should be like Dalton and just never tweet. 'Cause, like, during the early portion of that game, I was like, John Gruden is really underrated as an offensive play designer and an offensive play-caller overall. I mean, Gruden, the head-- that's when people were like, then, of course, they lose that game.

They kind of blow it. And then it was like, oh, you see, these idiots, they were sticking up for John Gruden. It's like, listen, you can absolutely take umbrage with John Gruden as a head coach and as a personnel guy and just the way he relates to people in general, but, like-- I heard Mitchell Schwartz, you know, the former Chiefs offensive tackle on the "Athletic Football Show" talking about-- he's like, he was basically Sean McVay before he was Sean McVay. Like, the way that they lined Darren Waller up as the ISO receiver or, like, the X receiver on 3 by 1 sets stuff like that, he's got some creative stuff.

The first time it popped up to me was when he had Amari Cooper his first year. He was the first one to take Amari Cooper. The Dallas Cowboys have obviously perfected it, but he was the first one to take Amari Cooper and move him off that X receiver position and actually, like, use a lot of motion at the line of scrimmage. So I think Gruden is absolutely underrated as a play-caller. I think him and Carr had just kind of connected at this point.

And the thing with Derek Carr that's always been frustrating about the down-the-field perspective is he can whip it, man. He's got a pretty good arm. Like, he was known as a guy that had a gun coming out of college.

DALTON DEL DON: He could absolutely throw the ball downfield, yeah. Then they turn to Peyton Barber. Then he gives Peyton Barber all these carries. So it's just maddening, man. I don't know what's going on.

MATT HARMON: That's what I'm saying. From, like, a player, like, a depth chart perspective, and a, like, you know, personnel perspective, Gruden makes some questionable choices. But I think it's a credit, too, because this was-- Gruden's thing in Tampa was just always cycling through goofball quarterback to goofball quarterback like old guys or whatever. But he has seemed, like, to be patient with Derek Carr, and I think the patience has paid off overall there.

So, yeah, I think that we're gonna get a really-- I don't know if the numbers are sustainable where they are right now, but I could talk myself into a situation where, as Mitchell Schwartz was talking about it on his podcast, like, him potentially having, like, a 2017 Alex Smith season. Where, like, he takes that late career step, you know? Where he did with the Chiefs that year, and they finally got the personnel around him. And I mean, Henry Ruggs, Brian Edwards, these guys can play, and they can win downfield.

They haven't really had a lot of downfield ball winners there. Brian Edwards is a downfield ball winner, and Henry Ruggs obviously has speed. So I think this is sustainable with the Raiders.

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