2015 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

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

Todd GurleyAug 24 06:52p

St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) will still sit out the entire preseason even though he has been cleared to practice, according to head coach Jeff Fisher.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 06:32p

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) has a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but the MRI revealed all of his other knee ligaments are fine.

Montee BallAug 24 05:22p

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball has already lost the backup running back role to RB Ronnie Hillman. RB Juwan Thompson may also surpass Ball in the near future, according to Mike Klis of 9news.com.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 05:22p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) is officially out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Jason McCourtyAug 24 04:42p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) is expected to miss a few games after undergoing groin surgery Monday, Aug. 24, according to sources.

Ronnie HillmanAug 24 04:32p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman has worked his way the second running back position behind RB C.J. Anderson. Hillman said head coach Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme has helped his [ More ]

Joique BellAug 24 04:02p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford said the Lions will still take a committee approach at running back even when Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') returns.

Joique BellAug 24 03:02p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') is expected to return this season as a bellcow running back, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Bell has been nursing injuries [ More ]

Maurkice PounceyAug 24 01:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) will undergo surgery on his fractured ankle Monday, Aug. 24, or Tuesday, Aug. 25. There is no timetable for his return, but it [ More ]

Jeremiah RatliffAug 24 01:42p

Chicago Bears DT Jeremiah Ratliff has been suspended three games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Jason Pierre-PaulAug 24 01:42p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) plans to report to the team before the start of the regular season but his status for Week 1 is uncertain, according [ More ]

Reggie WayneAug 24 01:22p

Free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (Colts) agreed to a one-year deal with the New England Patriots Monday, Aug. 24, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Michael PrestonAug 24 10:22a

Miami Dolphins WR Michael Preston posted on Twitter that he was released Sunday, Aug. 23.

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