The Tennessee Titans got themselves a real asset when they signed Chris Carr, formerly of the Oakland Raiders. Carr is a little guy with the heart of a lion. He plays fearlessly, almost to the point of recklessly on special teams, and leaves it all on the field on defense. He is not the type of player who is going to be a Pro Bowl starter at any position in the secondary, but he can fill in anywhere in the secondary in a pinch.
Carr was acquired by the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2005, making the team as the return specialist and extra defensive back. Much of his first season, he did not fair catch on punts as he had a reckless style. This began to change about midway through his first season, but he had developed a reckless reputation that would follow him for all his years in Oakland. In fact, I remember listening to a game on the radio, and on a punt Greg Papa’s call was, “Carr is back waiting for the ball. The coverage team is coming in. Is he going to fair catch? He never fair catches…”
As a kickoff returner, he was much more successful than he was on punts. He is the all time leader of the Raiders in kick return average. He was a threat on every return, but never was able to break one for six. I remember a game against Kansas City in his rookie year where he took one deep into Chief’s territory late in the half, but for some reason Norv Turner never called a deep throw from Kerry Collins to the newly acquired receiver who was supposed to be great at such catches, and it ended up being Sebastian Janikowski putting it through for three.
As a defender, Carr’s strength is being a jack of all trades. His weakness is that he is a master of none. The best use of his skills is as a zone defender in nickel and dime situations. His height is a liability as a cover corner. His small size inhibits him as a hitter from the safety position. His biggest highlight as a Raider came against the defending champion Steelers in 2006 when Chris Carr took a Rothlisberger pass back 102 yards for six.
The most valuable asset that Carr will bring to Tennessee is his heart. He plays his ass off every time he is on the field, and holds absolutely nothing back. He is a great spare part player where you can plug him in at multiple positions and get some results. He is also one of the players who does not shy away from the fans. He has been popular in the Nation for being one of the guys that would do signings and show up at fan events, and spend time interacting with the fans. The Raider Nation wishes Chris Carr well, except for when he is playing against Oakland.
Thanks again to Patrick for sharing his insight with us. Looks like the Titans fans have got themselves a keeper.