Giants' Veteran Backup Returns

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — David Carr is perfectly content being Eli Manning’s backup and knows his chances of playing aren’t the best in the world.

As for the other team that plays in MetLife Stadium and its developing situation at quarterback? Different story.

But as for the New York Giants, Carr — who officially re-signed Thursday despite not throwing a pass in either the regular season or the playoffs of their championship season — is just fine with everything, thank you.

“I’ve said it before, these guys, you play ball in high school, you play ball in college and there’s really not a better locker room that I’ve been in, and that’s including those times,” Carr said. “It’s a great environment. Guys keep you humble. They keep it loose. No one takes themselves too seriously, and with all the egos and all the good football players, you’d think that would be a problem. But there’s really not that issue in this locker room.

“That’s why I like to be a part of it. It makes it very easy to come back.”

Carr and the Giants tentatively reached their agreement last week but needed time before announcing it. It is for one year, and $925,000.

Carr was Manning’s backup quarterback in 2008 and ’09. He played in three games the first season and in six games in 2009 and in those two seasons, he completed 33 of 42 passes (78.6 percent) for 340 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

He played in San Francisco in 2010 before rejoining the Giants last summer. He and incumbent Sage Rosenfels competed for the backup job until Rosenfels went on the injured reserve list because of back problems.

“It’s just natural for me,” Carr said of the Giants’ offense. “I feel really comfortable in it. I’ve run this for the majority of my career, partly with Chris Palmer who was here before, and now with (Kevin Gilbride and Manning) for my fourth year. So it’s very familiar to me. I feel really comfortable here. I know that if given the opportunity and put in the position to play on this team, I would do well.

“That’s also a comforting feeling knowing that if you get into the game, you’re in there, first of all, with the world champions, so how can you go wrong? And secondly, to know that you’re going to go out there and succeed is also a positive.”

Carr was selected by the expansion Houston Texans with the first choice in the 2002 NFL Draft. He played five seasons in Houston and one with the Carolina Panthers before joining the Giants. In his 10-year career, Carr has completed 1,351 of 2,264 passes (59.7 percent) for 14,433 yards, 65 touchdowns and 71 interceptions. He has been sacked 266 times, including a record 76 as a rookie in 2002.

Carr said last season was special, especially with the Giants posting wins over the Jets and Dallas in the final two weeks of the regular season to win the NFC East with a 9-7 record.

“Honestly, when we got in the playoffs, I didn’t think we were going to lose just because of the talent level that we have in this locker room,” Carr said. “If we could get on the same page ever at some point during the season, I knew we’d be all right because honestly, I haven’t been around a team like this before — physically, mentally. It’s a mentally tough football team.”

The Giants’ charge, indeed, started with the 29-14 win over the Jets on Christmas Eve. It helped propel the Giants into the postseason, and helped push the Jets out. On Tuesday, the latter acquired quarterback Tim Tebow from Denver, though incumbent Mark Sanchez just also received a new deal.

So, while confusion reigns for the Jets under center, it’s status quo with the Giants.

“There are so many times we came from behind in the fourth quarter and pulled them out. It’s just a pleasure to be around,” Carr said. “I think it’s one of the reasons I came back.”

While he didn’t play last season, Carr contributed by helping prepare the Giants’ defense each week as the scout team quarterback. Carr is well suited for that role, because he can impersonate both dropback and running quarterbacks with equal efficiency.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)