David Carr has made the transition from number one overall draft pick, to back-up, to mentor and leader very smoothly. In 2002 the Houston Texans drafted him number one overall, and then declined to protect their asset with an adequate offensive line and allowed him to be sacked a record 76 times that season. To put that in perspective Eli Manning has never been sacked more than 30 times (2009) and in 9 years has a total of 213 sacks or 23.6 per season.
David has progressed into a mentor of younger QB’s, first helping Eli and now tutoring young Ryan Nassib out of Syracuse who will see plenty of playing time this weekend when the Giants face the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first pre-season game. A game in which Eli might play two series at most depending on the progress of the offense. Read this interview of David Carr and you can see how well he understands his role with this team and organization overall:
Q: Do you remember your first preseason game as a rookie and what it was like for you and what you think this game will be for Ryan Nassib?
A: Yeah, my first preseason and the first couple of games. It’s exciting. It’s hard, too, because you don’t really know a lot. I remember I called a couple of college plays in the huddle and the guys were like “what’s that?” He’ll kind of revert back to what he’s used to doing and what he’s had success doing. Hopefully he can calm his mind down enough to just treat it as…and we’ll all be fine.
Q: Do you think it’s different at all for him because he doesn’t have the pressure of having to be ready for the regular season in four weeks, like you did?
A: Yeah. It’s a little bit different, because you knew you still had 20 or so games ahead of you. But yeah, I think you kind of treat it the same though. A football game is a football game. He’s going to go out there and make his calls and go to his reads and he’ll learn. And whether it’s good or bad, he’s going to learn. I think that’s the key. If you stop learning, that’s where you stop getting better. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s got the right attitude.
Q: Do you know how much you’re playing on Saturday?
A: They haven’t told us yet. Usually they’ll tell us the night before the game.
Q: Is there one thing about Ryan that kind of stands out in your mind?
A: Good or bad, he throws the ball well. I think he’s got good mechanics, and he wants to learn. I think that’s the most important, honestly. You get young guys in here sometimes, not necessarily at the QB position, but they don’t care to learn. They’re going to rest on their athletic ability. It’s not like they don’t want to do it, it’s just in their nature. Ryan’s not that way. He’s taking good notes, writing stuff down; he doesn’t necessarily make the same mistake twice. I think that’s the key.
Q: When you approach the preseason with four QBs, and obviously everyone knows it’s Eli’s job, do you worry about how the reps shake out?
A: No. I’m way past that. I’ll be happy with whatever playing time I get. I’ll try and help whoever’s in there. I think that’s the key for me, and what I’ve always done in the preseason, just in the last few years since I’ve not been starting. Those guys that are in there, those guys are trying to make the team. They’re trying to get a job. They’re trying to do something that I’ve been blessed to do for the last 12 years. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that they know what they’re doing, and that there’s no confusion. That’s the worst thing that can happen in a preseason game. You see a lot of bad football in preseason games. That’s one thing I don’t want to happen with my groups. If we’re going to get beat, we’re going to get beat knowing who to block, what route to run, and making good decisions. That’s kind of my main goal. I feel pretty good after a game, whether it’s a win or loss, that hopefully I’ve helped some guys out there.
Q: What do you remember specifically about your very first preseason game?
A: The game was really fast, and what I thought I knew, I had no idea. You try and recall things and recall plays that you’ve just learned in the last couple months. You try to regurgitate things that you’ve learned in the meeting room. Maybe you wrote them down 400 times, you’ve written them on the board, you’ve been able to show the coach you know it, but then on the field you realize it’s not ingrained yet. That’s the biggest thing that’s going to happen with all young players; just realizing that you don’t really have it yet.
Q: How’d you do?
A: Fortunately, I did alright. The first couple preseason games, we played decent, so it was kind of a shock when we came out there and got waxed (in the regular season). As a young guy, you think you’re going to be great every game.
Q: Can you remember how many times you were sacked?
A: In the preseason, not that many. In the regular season, a lot.
Q: Do you think in this preseason that Ryan’s going to get out there?
A: Yeah, I think Ryan’s going to get his reps. He’s gotten a lot of reps out there in the preseason so far, just in the practice. So you kind of get a feel of how it’s going to shake down. I’ll get my share here and we’ll see how it works. And then he’ll be in there. They want to see what he can do. I’m fine with that. I’ve been around long enough, and I’ve known Coach Coughlin for a long time. They know what I can do. I’m just going to try to help some young guys. Help Ryan, especially, when he’s in, try to coach him up and give him some advice. He’ll play a lot.
Q: How do you think he’s going to do in this first game?
A: It’s hard to tell because so much of it is based on who’s in there with him and who he’s going against. He could mess around and get in there with some guys that have experience on the other side of the ball. He could also be in there and have some young guys make some plays for him. It’s really touchy in the preseason because you just don’t know. I could roll out there and be playing against the starters. It can kind of go both ways. You can also be hanging around long enough, you’re in there in the third quarter and you’re playing against some guys that really don’t know what they’re doing. And that’s not a shot on them, it’s just the truth. It can go either way. You really have to watch who he’s working against and who he has working with him. I think that’s what the coaches do. They can evaluate the stuff pretty good.
Q: You talked about your job is to help other guys. I would imagine at some point, you’re going to be thinking about your job.
A: It kind of ties in. When you’re out there coaching and you help, you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re going to do the right thing, for the most part. But how plays shake out, how guys run their routes, how the defense plays, it’s out of your hands. All you can do is just go through what you know and just use your experience to your advantage. Whatever happens is in God’s hands. It really is.
It seems like David is in a good place in his life and his experience and knowledge of the NFL can only help the Giants as an organization. Future coach? Could be!