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Jon Gruden thinks Derek Carr 'presses' at key moments

NFL.com | Updated: 2018-10-10 00:00:28

With eight interceptions through five games, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is on pace to toss a career-high 25 picks on the season.

Carr accounted for an interception in Sunday's 26-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, and it came on a first-and-goal at the Chargers' 1-yard line. Instead of calling for a handoff to running back Marshawn Lynch, the Raiders put the ball in Carr's hands, resulting in disaster and erasing an opportunity to put points on the board.

After the game, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden admitted that perhaps his signal-caller attempted to do too much in a critical situation.

"I think he'll tell you -- he's just trying -- he's just trying so hard," Gruden told reporters, via the Raiders' official website. "The call, certainly, the call is to hand the ball to Lynch there because of what happened, but first-and-goal at the 1[-yard line], play-pass faking to Lynch has been a great call for a lot of years.

"I think he just presses at some moments and he knows we have to do a lot with the ball when we have it, and I think that's what happened today."

Carr agreed emphatically with Gruden's assessment.

"Absolutely, there is no doubt," Carr told reporters, via the Raiders' official website. "You'll have to tell me to calm down before you have to get me going, right?

"That's always been a problem of mine. Not a problem -- it's not a problem or a weakness -- I've always just tried to just do too much. It's not out of a bad heart. I just want to win so bad, and sometimes it gets me caught up like on that one today, on a bad play, and then I'll have a whole bunch of other reps where I'm doing the right thing."

Despite the interception, Carr completed 24 of 33 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown, posting an impressive 72.7 completion percentage.

Sunday, however, marked the second time in a three-game span he has tossed an interception in the end zone, the first coming in Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins.

The Raiders sit on a 1-4 record, but Gruden's faith in his quarterback hasn't wavered even with the costly turnovers in Carr's first season with the head coach's offense.

"Derek's doing very well," Gruden told reporters. "We need to play better around him not just on offense. We got to play better on special teams; we got to play better on defense."

The Raiders' issues go beyond Carr's turnovers, of course, but Oakland needs to find a way to immediately address the problems across the board before Week 6's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

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