2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Could David Carr have been a franchise QB?

Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:00pm
By the National Football Post

Looking to draft Andrew Luck, RG III or Ryan Tannehill and throw him into your rebuilding lineup right away?

Perhaps the story of QB David Carr should serve as a cautionary tale.

David CarrICONCarr was the No.1 overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft.

10 years ago Carr seemed like a no-brainer as the first selection of the 2002 NFL Draft.

He started 26 games at Fresno State. During his senior year, Carr completed 64.7 percent of his passes and led the NCAA with 4,299 passing yards and 42 touchdowns.

He not only guided his WAC team to upsets against Colorado, Oregon State and Wisconsin but also had the character to serve as the face of the expansion Texans. The devoted family man wears his wedding ring during games.

Carr, though, would last just five years in Houston and get sacked 249 times, including an NFL-record 76 times during his rookie season.

“The early part of his career affected him,” said Charley Casserly, the CBS NFL analyst and former Texans general manager who drafted Carr.

Carr’s first two games of his NFL career could serve as a microcosm for the rest.

Starting from the opening snap, he showcased his talent and moxie, leading the Texans to a triumphant, 19-10, upset against the in-state rival and blueblood, Dallas Cowboys, in Week One. With the game tied in the fourth quarter, Carr threw a 65-yard TD pass to Corey Bradford to give Houston the lead.

The following week the Chargers defeated the Texans, 24-3, sacking Carr nine times and hitting him a dozen more. Watching him take a beating, some teammates wondered how he could even focus to call the next play.

Carr would get up each time, taking every snap that day, but the cumulative sacks eventually would take their toll on the potential star.

The Texans’ offensive blueprint

Houston had a plan to jumpstart the new franchise while protecting its rookie quarterback.

Casserly did not view Carr as an elite quarterback but a capable one who could lead them to the playoffs.

“I thought he could be a good, solid quarterback in the league,” Casserly said. “I looked at him as a guy who could win 10 games.”

After drafting Carr, the Texans would surround him with playmaking talent. In 2003 they selected Andre Johnson, one of the NFL’s best receivers, and Domanick Davis, the Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Year who later changed his surname to Williams.

Before they began playing in 2002, the Texans solidified the interior of their offensive line. They signed C Steve McKinney as a free agent and selected guards Chester Pitts and Fred Weary during the NFL draft.

Prior to that draft, Houston seemingly had taken care of the all-important tackle positions during the expansion draft.

So that the Jaguars could fit under the salary cap, they agreed to let the Texans have DL Gary Walker and Seth Payne if they also took a formerly elite but aging and expensive pass protector in OT Tony Boselli.

“We knew Boselli was at the second part of his career,” Casserly said, “but didn’t see any reason he couldn’t be an effective, pass blocking left tackle.”

After selecting Boselli, The Texans chose OT Ryan Young, a talented former Jet with their second pick.

Injuries, though, would plague both players.

Although he passed the physicals, Boselli, the first pick of the expansion draft, would never play a down for Texans because of a shoulder injury. A torn groin and a knee injury would limit Young to seven games, and lingering ailments would end his NFL career one year later.

“With the two of them, I think it’s a different story,” Casserly said. “We were never able to get the offensive tackle position right.”

Behind a porous offensive line, Carr never became comfortable. He developed happy feet. He lost confidence.

And he would face further adversity. Houston fans clamored for the team to select local favorite, QB Vince Young, with its first overall pick of the 2006 draft.

The Texans went with Mario Williams instead, and Young’s Titans defeated them twice in 2006. During the Titans’ 26-20, overtime victory in Houston, Young won the game with a 39-yard TD run.

It overshadowed the fact that Carr led the NFL in completion percentage that year.

“He was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Casserly said.

The day after trading for QB Matt Schaub, the Texans released Carr, who completed 60 percent of his passes for 59 touchdowns and 65 interceptions during his 22-53 tenure with the team.

Further adversity and injuri

Other theories emerged as to why Carr did not fulfill his potential.

Though a good-hearted and community-oriented man, Carr may not have possessed the passion toward football needed to be an elite quarterback. The Houston Chronicle reported he was often one of the first to leave the facility.

His three-quarter throwing motion was heavily scrutinized, and coaches tinkered with his delivery.

Regardless, he certainly possessed one positive — toughness.

A hand injury suffered by backup QB Tony Banks forced Carr into action against the Falcons during Week 13 of the 2003 season despite a sprained throwing shoulder. He, though, rumbled for 36 yards on a 3rd-and-5 play, enduring a hit to his shoulder instead of sliding.

Carolina, who signed him to a two-year contract, had planned to sit him behind Jake Delhomme for the 2007 season, but injuries again thrust a hurt Carr into the lineup. Carr started four games and completed 53.7 percent of passes for 635 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions despite playing through a back injury he did not disclose publically.

He spent the next two years with the Giants before playing in one game during the 2010 season for the 49ers, a poor environment for grooming quarterbacks at the time.

Ask Alex Smith.

After the lockout Carr had several opportunities to become a backup for other playoff contenders but chose to return to the Giants where he knew the offensive system and felt comfortable.

A free agent during the 2012 offseason, Carr, 32, again re-signed with the Giants.

In a cruel and ironic twist, he sits behind Eli Manning, another quarterback drafted No. 1 overall, while the Texans have built one of the NFL’s best OL units.

Jeff Fedotin has written for Packers.com, Pro Football Weekly, ESPN The Magazine, the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World and Rivals.com. After graduating from Northwestern University, he interned for the Buffalo Bills.

Follow @footballpost on Twitter for the latest news

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

Marc TrestmanJan 21 03:53p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he wants to learn the specificities of the team's offense instead of changing it. Head coach John Harbaugh said Trestman's familiarity and [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.

Latavius MurrayJan 21 12:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 21 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test [ More ]

Rashad JenningsJan 21 10:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings could have a veteran running back to complement or compete with him next season. The team could possibly add a change-of-pace back and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 21 09:13a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group