New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen says a visit with former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden doesn’t portend a major overhaul to his team’s offense.
Gruden attended several practices last week, visiting offensive coaches and quarterbacks for the Saints as they went through their first full week of offseason practices. Allen said the main purpose of the visit was to sound out Gruden about new Saints quarterback Derek Carr, who played under Gruden from 2018 until Gruden resigned as coach- leader of the Raiders in 2021.
“Obviously Jon is a guy who has a lot of experience with Derek and Derek had the most success under Jon Gruden,” Allen said at the end of the Saints’ practice on Tuesday.
“We wanted to bring him here, to have the chance to talk and meet the offensive personnel, with the quarterbacks and to have new ideas on things that we could implement. I would say that since I’ve been here, we’ve been quite effective offensively. So I don’t see us setting up a whole new attack or making a dramatic change. But if there are some insights that we could take from this visit, that would be beneficial. »
Saints rookie quarterback Jake Haener said the biggest takeaway from the meeting was talking about what worked between Carr and Gruden when they worked together.
Gruden has been sidelined from the league since resigning in 2021 following a report that emails he wrote over a decade span included racist, misogynistic and anti-gay language.
Carr spoke to the media shortly after Gruden’s resignation and said it was a day of emotion, anger and frustration.
“It was a lot to deal with, I’ll put it that way,” Carr said at the time. You all know me. I do not tolerate this kind of talk. I don’t talk that way. My kids will definitely never talk that way and it’s hard because I love this man so much. »
Allen maintained that he was not worried about the backlash surrounding Gruden’s visit and said it was something they had done with several coaches over the years. He added that everyone involved in the meeting left after having had a positive experience.
“Ask everyone who was involved and they thought it was really good for our football team,” Allen said. And look, we’re going to look at all the leads that we can try to improve. We thought that just having him come here and having the opportunity to talk to him would help us. »
Saints quarterback Jameis Winston said, “I just think every time one of the greatest thinkers in NFL history comes in and hangs out with you, you soak up everything that you can possibly absorb. I just think his presence and his approach to the game is something that I really understood. »
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