ENGLEWOOD — I’m going to have to start paying closer attention to Bill Musgrave’s weekly press conferences.
I knew Musgrave has been a real good offensive coordinator for a long time. I did not realize he was the Einstein of NFL offense.
Then came a conference call Wednesday with one of Musgrave’s former star pupils, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, in advance of the game Sunday between the Broncos and Raiders.
“He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever been around when it comes to analytics numbers and percentages and things like that,'' Carr said of Musgrave. "He’s one of the smartest people that I’ve ever been around.''
When Musgrave was Oakland’s offensive coordinator in 2015-16, Carr accumulated 7,924 passing yards, 60 touchdown passes, 19 interceptions and a 93.9 passer rating.
In his three seasons without Musgrave, Carr has 7,069 yards, 43 touchdown passes, 28 interceptions and an 80.2 rating.
Later Wednesday, up stepped Musgrave’s current star pupil, Broncos quarterback Case Keenum, who was asked to describe his offensive coordinator’s attributes.
“Bill is as smart as they come,’’ Keenum said. “He’s brilliant and I really appreciate his knowledge of the game and how he explains, installs and teaches us the game.
“He does a great job of teaching us the game and he sees it through a quarterback’s eyes, which I really like, having a coordinator who played at quarterback and knows what we’re going through.”
Musgrave is a former Gold Helmet winning quarterback from Grand Junction High School who was a four-year starter at Oregon and a six-year backup in the NFL, including two seasons behind Denver’s John Elway.
Musgrave is in his 20th season as an NFL quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator. In his first, full-time game as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator, Denver amassed 27 points and 470 yards in total offense with Keenum throwing for 329 in the season opening win against Seattle last week.
Musgrave’s can’t miss press conference is Thursday.
King of few words
Marquette King became a rare star punter during his first five seasons with the Raiders, but he was released soon after Jon Gruden was hired as their latest head coach.
King is now punting for the Broncos and will get a chance to show his stuff Sunday against Gruden.
“Who’s that?’’ King said. “I don’t know who you’re talking about.’’
Is King looking forward to the game against his former Raiders?
“I’m looking forward to every game,’’ he said.
King is a pleasant, soft-spoken, even shy type.
You’re not going to give me anything, are you Marquette?
He smiled and shook his head, no.
Am I wasting my time?
King again smiled and shook his head, this time, yes. Fair enough.
State of the Raid-uhs
With the Raiders playing through two lame-duck seasons in Oakland before moving their franchise to Las Vegas in 2020, the trade of their best player Khalil Mack to Chicago two weeks ago in exchange for essentially first-round draft picks in 2019 and 2020 created the impression the Raiders merely want to “Just Win for Vegas, baby!”
“I try not to worry about the perception,’’ Gruden said in his conference call with the Denver media. “I was in the media for a long time trying to talk about perceptions. The reality is we’re building our team. We’ve had 10 head coaches since I was traded here (in 2002). That’s unbelievable. We’ve had no continuity. None. And we’re building our team and we’re trying to win at the same time.
"But we’re going to try to build the Oakland Raiders into a great championship football team. It might not happen this week, it might not happen this month, but we have a great attitude, we have some great veteran leadership, we like our draft picks and we’re making progress.’’