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Logan Hanson Logan Hanson
David Carr goes from most sacked QB to top-end NFL analyst

David Carr goes from most sacked QB to top-end NFL analyst

HOUSTON (BVM) – David Carr may not have gotten a fair shake in the NFL, leading the quarterback’s career to be given a bad rap. While Carr’s career may not have gone the way many Houston Texans fans expected, to say that it was all a loss would be incorrect. In fact, without the trials and tribulations of his playing career, Carr may not be in the position he is today as a studio analyst for the league’s cable TV station NFL Network.

Early days and college recruitment

Unlike some of his counterparts who were also taken with the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL Draft, Carr was not a slam dunk high school prospect. As a junior, Carr took over the role as signal caller for the Stockdale High School Mustangs in Bakersfield, California. During that first season, Carr impressed as he threw for over 2,000 yards and helped lead the team to the California Interscholastic Federation Central Section playoffs.

Unfortunately, the next season wouldn’t go as smoothly. As a senior, Carr and the team overall regressed, winning just three games as the quarterback threw for only 1,400 yards and six touchdowns. This, coupled with his somewhat undersized 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame, had many teams shy away from recruiting Carr. One team that did give him the opportunity was nearby Fresno State and that decision would be paid off in droves. 

College career

During his first couple of seasons at Fresno State, Carr would see little action. In an untraditional move, Carr would take a redshirt season just prior to his junior year, giving him a year to work behind the scenes on the intricacies of the Bulldogs’ offense.

This move would turn out to be a wise one. During his redshirt junior year, Carr was named the starter and would record a 61.4% completion percentage, 2,338 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions, setting the foundation to take the next step. As a senior, Carr burst onto the scene, breaking program season records for passing yards (4,839), touchdown passes (46) and 300-yard passing games (11) while breaking career marks in pass completion percentage (.628) and touchdown passes (70).

This helped the Bulldogs go 11-3, beating Colorado, Oregon State and Wisconsin, en route to a bowl game appearance against Michigan State. Carr would get some individual recognition as well, winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and finishing fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

NFL career

Prior to the draft, it was projected the top pick would be a QB, either Oregon’s Joey Harrington or Carr. On April 20, the Texans made Carr their first pick in franchise history, selecting him first overall in the 2002 NFL Draft.

In the team’s first-ever regular season contest, they shocked the football world, beating the Dallas Cowboys 19-10 at home to become the first NFL team in 41 years to win their expansion debut. Carr threw two touchdown passes, including a 19-yarder to tight end Billy Miller for the club’s first-ever touchdown.

Though the future looked bright, the reality of the first season was anything but. Carr and the Texans would have a disastrous start to the franchise, mostly due to Carr running for his life in the backfield. The Texans offensive line would set the standard in futility, giving up an NFL-record 76 sacks, a mark that still stands today.

While the first season was a disappointment, it was expected, the Texans were a new franchise after all. Unfortunately for the Texans, Carr would never take that next step. In five seasons as Houston’s starter, Carr would start all 80 games he played in for the team, an incredible stat considering he was sacked 249 times. Carr finished his Texans career with a 24-56 record with 59 touchdowns and 65 interceptions.

David Carr Houston Texans quarterback action
Carr would play five seasons for the Texans finishing his tenure with a 24-56 record, 59 touchdowns and 65 interceptions. (Credit: Jim O’Connor/USA TODAY Sports)

After being released by Houston in March 2007 after the team traded for quarterback Matt Schaub, Carr would sign a deal with the Carolina Panthers. Coming off of a season where he led the league with a career-best 68.3% completion percentage, it seemed Carr would get a chance to reinvigorate his career. This was not meant to be as Carr, replacing an injured Jake Delhomme, would play in six games with four starts throwing for 635 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions. The Panthers would release him in the offseason.

Carr would sign with the New York Giants in 2008 to serve as Eli Manning’s backup. He would play with the Giants in 2008-2009 and one year with the San Francisco 49ers in 2010 before rejoining the Giants in 2011, winning Super Bowl XLVI in the process. He would retire following the 2013 season after 12 seasons in the NFL, playing in 94 games while throwing for 14,452 yards, 65 touchdowns, 71 interceptions and being sacked 267 times.

Despite being considered a draft bust, Carr did win a Super Bowl with the Giants in 2011. (Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Post-playing career and family

In April 2015, Carr would return to football, not as a player but as a coach. David’s little brother, Darren, was hired as the head coach at Bakersfield Christian High School that month and announced his older brother would serve as the team’s offensive coordinator. The family patriarch, Rodger, also served as the team’s quarterback coach.

Later that same year, David would take on the role he is best known for today, being hired as an analyst by NFL Media. During his time with NFL Media and NFL Network David has appeared on numerous television programs including “Around The NFL,” “NFL HQ” and “NFL Total Access,” as well as NFL Now.

Of course, David is out of the spotlight compared to his youngest brother, Derek, who is a Pro Bowl quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders. After also going to Fresno State and breaking all of his brother’s records, Derek has slowly established himself as one of the more consistent quarterbacks in the league since being drafted in 2014. Derek thanks his older brother for helping him be prepared for his time in the league.

“It was hard but at the same time there was such an age gap that he kind of took me under his wing,” Derek told the Raiders’ team website. “It wasn’t like a sibling rivalry, there was never any of that. He just wanted me to be the very best that I could be and he wanted to teach me everything so I kind of had a smooth ride. I was in the NFL 12 years before I played a game myself. I was in his shadow in practice, throwing to his receivers, going through his quarterback drills.”

David Carr Derek Carr Fresno State
David, left, would help mentor his younger brother Derek, right, through his career from Fresno State to the NFL where he still plays today. (Credit: Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports)

Today, David still works with NFL Media and lives a relatively quiet life with his wife Melody and their five children. While he is no longer on the gridiron, he’s still around the game he loves and the league where he made his start. While nobody can say what David’s future holds, expect him to stay around football and continue to protect his family as best he can.

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