David White

March 22, 2014

David White: Carrs get competitive, maybe all the way to an NFL camp

David Carr was enjoying the AARP life, he really was ... going to church on Sundays, not waking up sore and semi-concussed on Mondays. And then, along came Derek and his bag of footballs.

David Carr was enjoying the AARP life, he really was ... going to church on Sundays, not waking up sore and semi-concussed on Mondays, taking in whatever celebrity life the greater Bakersfield area affords.

And then, along came Derek and his bag of footballs, looking for a friendly game of catch. Just like that, there wasn't enough hydrocortisone in the greater Bakersfield area to soothe David's itch to get un-disappeared from the NFL.

"I never fully closed that door, but I was fine with it," David said. "Then Derek came over and wanted to start training. What do you think I'm going to do? I'm not going to sit there and watch. 'OK, let's go.' "

For all seven of you who don't know who David and Derek Carr are around these parts:

A) Seriously? Go outside for a change, see the world, take the paper. Seriously.

B) Derek is the kid brother who just finished setting every Fresno State passing record worth the bother. He's rated as one of the top-five quarterbacks in this year's NFL draft class, and a potential first-round pick -- you know, like David was in 2001 when the Houston Texans selected him with the No. 1 overall pick.

David's job the past three months has been to prepare Derek for the pre-draft process. But, with the Carr brothers, not even a nongame of soft toss can be that simple. We're talking about brothers who can turn folding washcloths into a best-of-five death cage match.

"So, we start training at my place, and it starts getting a little competitive," David said.

"A little?" asked friend Eric Mahanke.

"Then, he needs to start throwing," David said, continuing to confuse "a little" as a synonym for "galactically ginormous."

"He has to throw the ball to somebody, so I'm out there throwing with him. Well, that starts to get a little competitive, too. He throws it, I throw it. Next thing you know, we're in my front yard, firing footballs at each other from 50 yards."

Still, David was sticking to the Mr. Miyagi script, telling Derek what to wax-on and wax-off, hoping his little bro never caught on that washing his car had nothing to do with the NFL interview process.

All of that changed when Mike Sullivan showed up. The Carrs hired the former NFL offensive coordinator to help Derek train. Sullivan asked David to toss him a ball. David did so, with about 278 mph on top.

"What the ...?" Sullivan asked after the hand cast was set. "You need to be playing again."

"Cool," David said, and so much for that big retirement news conference he never scheduled anyway.

Look at him now, talking football with Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner at his brother's Pro Day, fielding phone calls from multiple teams -- Minnesota, Tennessee and the Greatness of the Raiders included -- to see if he'd like to do something about that free-agent status of his.

David knows he won't get signed to be a starter. The Texans and their commitment to not protecting the passer saw to that 10-plus years ago.

That's not what the teams on Line 1 are asking. Some want to know if he'd sign as a backup if they draft Derek. Others want him no matter who they draft.

Every young quarterback needs a big brother in the locker room, there to walk them to their first day of training-camp school. To that end, David is as experienced as anyone on the open market after 12 NFL seasons.

He has two Super Bowl rings. He survived the Mike Singletary reign in San Francisco. He's learned a lot about how not to do things. He won't be some Uncle Rico, complaining that his team would win state if Coach would just put him in, no doubt.

Besides, anything Derek can do, David still wants to do better. They're a little competitive that way.

"A little bit," David said.

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About David White

David White


David White is a former sportswriter for The Fresno Bee and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is pastor of the Porterville Church of God.

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