It’s obvious, isn’t it? While Bill Musgrave was a good offensive coordinator for the Raiders, the decision to promote from within to elevate Downing was all about getting the most out of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Carr has the potential to be the greatest quarterback in Raiders franchise history. If this tandem clicks, it could very well happen.
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Downing had been Carr’s quarterbacks coach from 2015 to 2016. They are very close and seem to be in lock-step in terms of offensive philosophies.
Carr is one of those special quarterbacks that can thrive both in a system and when it all breaks down on a play. It’s that jazz musician sort of flair that makes Carr very much in the vein of the Aaron Rodgers prototype.
What might make this pairing of Carr and Downing so exciting is that Downing almost welcomes Carr’s creativity in moving the sticks.
He’s not going to be as proficient at it as Rodgers is because, well, nobody is. However, it’s not like Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is overly thrilled to see Rodgers bail on a lot of plays he doesn’t like.
As long as Carr’s mechanics remain solid, he and Downing should be able to come up with fascinating new wrinkles in this offense to help get the Raiders back to the Super Bowl in the coming years. Getting more out of play-action and the tight ends would be a great start for this new offensive partnership with the Raiders.