LAS VEGAS -- Derek Carr's voice cracked at times, and his eyes became watery. This was less than 48 hours after Jon Gruden resigned.
Carr spoke for almost 15 minutes about the torrent of offensive emails Gruden wrote. He said he was still reeling from Gruden's messages and that he had a job. Carr also talked about the mood in the locker room, and offered some suggestions to the NFL regarding private messages and texts.
This is the complete transcript from Carrs' presser with reporters. Questions have been edited to improve clarity.
What was your message to your colleagues? Do you have a sense for where your teammates are mentally?
Carr: I'm sorry, but I cannot speak for everyone. I am not in everyone's shoes. There are many emotions. I didn't see it all coming. I doubt any of us saw it coming. We were all taken by surprise but we will have a day to talk about those feelings. We will have a day and time to discuss all of that. I'll be glad to answer any questions.
From an emotional perspective, I have a job and it's not changing no matter who my coach is or who's on the same team. This is my job, and it's to lead them. They are in desperate need of a leader and I have to guide them by my actions and voice. I am trying to be a strong voice to bring people together and push them in the right direction. We are now at number 3. Everything we wanted is right in front of our eyes. Although it won't be with the same people, which can be hard, at the same moment nobody cares. For me, the message was that I tried to push all of it aside.
It's like I'm mad about it. There are many emotions that I experience -- anger, sadness, anger, upset, madness, frustration, and so on. All of those emotions. Empathy. Although I don’t believe there is any book that can help with all of this, I do not think there is one. But I don’t think there is any way for a quarterback here to answer these kinds of questions. My message was that we all have a job. It's Wednesday. If we remain in our emotions, it's too late. We have to move on.
Sunday, you stated that you were ready to move forward with Jon Gruden being the head coach. What happened to that statement after all the emails were published?
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Carr: It was difficult to manage, so I'll just say it. You all know me well, man. This kind of talk is not acceptable. This is not how I talk. It's impossible to talk like that with my kids. I love him so much. As my family has done certain things, so have I. I've done many things and I'm thankful that I'm still loved. Coach needs coaches to be loved and supported in all areas.
However, it is important to remember that what is right is right and wrong is wrong. This is the first time I have ever seen it happen, so I don't know what the precedent is. I don't know if he will be suspended or if it will result in a fine. I don't know. These kinds of things are difficult for me to figure out. I was shocked to find out that it had been sent by my wife. As I was getting ready to study and other things, my wife sent it to me. I finished reading it about an hour later and it was time for him to resign. As you can see, there was a lot happening in my head. I will probably write more about it one day, but you all know that I have a job.
It wasn't his fault we didn't perform well on the field. As players, we haven’t been as good as we could over the past two weeks. He's not responsible for that. It's on us. We had to perform better and win this week, especially against a strong defense.
How can it be different without Gruden on the field?
Carr: Yes, I believe we're going Wing T, triple-option Football, ball control. Try to run the quarterback as many times as possible in the middle. (laughter). I believe there are certain things in place for our offense. I have been with Oly [offensive coach Greg Olson]. He called plays in my rookie year. Through the headset, I have heard his voice. I understand how he calls the game, and how he thinks. We are in the same room.
Every conversation with Coach Gruden was also a conversation with Oly, so we three, and Johnny Mo (senior offensive assistance John Morton), were always together. It's not something new, but some people have different philosophies. Oly's secrets are not my concern, but it is possible that things could be different. Yes. Could it be? Yes, absolutely. Denver may be listening. We are likely to just run the ball all the time.
Play 1:30 Keyshawn John: Gruden "has always been fraud to me" Keyshawn Johnson reflects on his two years under Jon Gruden.
Carl Nassib, defensive end, asked for a private day. You guys, how are you handling this knowing that he is going through something?
Carr: You know what I meant. That's why I just discovered it. We are not in the same room. I will notice if [tight end] Darren Waller doesn't appear in the room. He is right next to me. I usually find out on Thursday or Friday if a defensive man isn't there or is injured. I throw routes with my receivers, especially when the defense is up. I don't do that.
Carl: I have always told Carl that I loved him from the beginning. He knows I got his back. If anyone doesn't want to talk to him or if anyone is going to mess with him, Carl knows I have his back. With that kind of stuff, I'll let Carl deal with all the team members and all that stuff. He's really a population of one, as Mike Mayock stated. He has every right and freedom to feel how he likes, as do all our teammates. This was the message today for all, but with the understanding that we all have a game and must continue to work hard.
Your relationship with Gruden has been a subject of much discussion. You must feel very emotional now that the relationship is over. Could you please talk about this?
Carr: That's what I find most difficult. There will be times when those feelings can come out. There is sadness, as I mentioned. There is also anger. I'm human. I have done my best to help you every year with whatever it is that you face. But, I promise that we will talk about it some day.
I do my best to keep my mind on football. To be honest, I need to keep my mind focused. Otherwise I will drift and feel some kind of way.
Jon Gruden and Derek Carr were close friends after Gruden was hired as Raiders' coach in 2018. However, Gruden resigned abruptly after offensive emails surfaced. Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports
Your team is strong despite the unprecedented amount of adversity. These two things rarely go together. How can you understand that?
Carr: I have been in this position before. It's the fifth time I've been the head coach of a football team. The feelings of when it's not are the same. You get a lot more guys who just come to work and count the days. This team is the opposite. Everything is still there for us, despite how we got here. We are a great football team. That is what we believe. Although we need to improve, we believe we can still compete with anyone.
It's just a strange time. It's hard to describe, but it's not difficult. I do know some tricks about how to compartmentalize things. My senior year was when my son had surgery and doctors said he wouldn't make it. But, I had to continue playing football. Although I wouldn't want that for anyone, it was something I had to do. This is one of those situations where you have to be able separate the two. It's strange and hard, and I thank God that I can do it. I want to feel some kind of way.
We are a great football team, we still have all the pieces in front of us. I think I'm trying to concentrate on the good and what is best for our football team. It was great to practice. Being on the field makes it easier to be honest. Because you are focused on the meeting, it is easier to do so. It's hard to focus when you aren't there.
Are you seeing the same things you would like to see in your team to let you know they are going to be able deal with it?
Carr: Yes. We're certainly focused on football. Are there still conversations? Yes. As a leader, I also have to ensure that everyone is well. I can check on men if they show a particular look. How do you feel about everything? You alright? You're alright? Call me at 3 a.m. I'll be there. My children are likely up, or at most one of them (laughter).
I am here for you. There are many conversations but the main focus is on winning. We had great meetings and a great practice. It was full of energy and great competition. It was great, but it's difficult to not eat when you are walking around the area and seeing people sitting in the dining room. This is the most talked about story in sports right at this moment.
Turn on the TV and it will show you what's playing. You try your best to remain focused on what's important and to not lose sight of the time. Again, it's just me. I feel sorry for those who were hurt. Coach is my coach. It's a sad day for our company. I feel sorry for our fans. While there are many of these feelings, I also feel that we are really good when it is football time. When it's football time, I hear and see the things you want.
Is there ever a time when Coach Gruden isn’t on the field?
Carr: Today was a good day. Today, there were no mistakes. There are always mistakes. I don't want it to be so. It was like I was waiting for the guy to turn on the headset and talk to me. Tell me a joke. Get me going, fire me up. It was Oly's voice today, and once again that's something I am used to. It's something that I have heard before.
Play 1:27 Spears: Jon Gruden is "paying the price" for being who he really is. Marcus Spears reacts after hearing that Gruden sent emails that contained offensive language.
You can love the man and I will not deny it. No one is perfect, just like everyone else. People will sweat if we open up everyone's private messages and emails. Although it's unlikely that too many will, this is what coaches, GMs, and owners should do. It's up to you to let everything out and see what happens. You hate the action. It's not your job to love it. But you should. I love him. He has become a part of my life.
We shared so much time together. We have been through many struggles together. Together, we've seen so many things. He has always been there for me. He has always been there for my needs, and I love his family. I love his wife. I love his children. It's because he isn't there that it's so hard. It's over. It's over. This is what makes me a human being the most difficult. Like I said, as a football player, I had a job regardless of the circumstances. He wasn't there.
The bottom line is that you hate, and you feel for everyone involved. But I will always love you, no matter what you do. If that's not right, I'm fine with it. I will always try to build people up, no matter what. This doesn't mean they did wrong, but I will always be there for them on the other side to help them get back on track and to love them again.