I believe David Carr was a terrible NFL quarterback. You may disagree with that assessment, perhaps asserting that the Texans failed Carr by throwing him into the starting lineup before he was ready and/or by trotting out a poor offensive line that contributed greatly to Carr’s struggles. It’s a chicken-or-egg debate that Texans fans can argue about any day of the week.
What I’d hope Texans fans can all agree on is that the organization gave David Carr plenty of time to show he could be a passable starting quarterback in the NFL. During his five seasons in Houston, Carr started sixteen games in four of those seasons; in the other season (2003), he started eleven of twelve games he suited up for. David Carr had ample opportunity to shine—or at least to not be consistently terrible—in Houston.
Carr has moved into a second career now that his playing days are over, that of an “analyst” for the NFL Network. Naturally, seeing as how Carr once played quarterback for the Texans, he has an opinion to share on Brock Osweiler’s time here, especially after he spoke with Osweiler after Brock was sent to Cleveland. That opinion? The Texans didn’t give Osweiler enough time. From David Barron’s article:
"Gary Kubiak's system in Denver was so different," Carr said. "It was completely different than what Bill (O'Brien) was asking him to do in Houston with the option routes and young receivers. There wasn't enough time.
"I look at the guys they've had in Houston (during O'Brien's tenure) and they haven't been given a lot of time. I don't know how you get much continuity at the position by rotating guys in so much, especially with the offense you're running. There is a comfort level involved, and you can't match that in 10 months."
"It was a short stint, and Brock didn't play his best," Carr said. "And there was not a lot of flexibility for Bill to change or adapt to what Brock was comfortable with. A lot of coaches are like that. They won't change their system. But when you pay somebody that much money, you want to have an open conversation, and that wasn't going to be the case."
Carr makes it clear he’s not bashing Bill O’Brien or blaming OB’s offense for Osweiler’s struggles:
"Bill's system works, and I don't think he's coaching it poorly. But in the times we live, it's going to be difficult for him to have enough patience to stick with one guy. And it's not just the quarterback. It's the combination of quarterback and receiver. Julian Edelman practically lives with (Brady) during the offseason. They go through game situations three times a week. How many times did Brock do that? Probably never."
As tempting as it is to simply dismiss Carr’s opinion outright, I won’t do that. In theory, there’s certainly something to the idea that Osweiler had a steep learning curve coming from Gary Kubiak’s offensive in Denver and that more time in O’Brien’s system would have benefited all parties. The problem is that there really wasn’t any tangible indication of progress from Osweiler throughout the 2016 season. There wasn’t anything an observer could point to as proof that Osweiler was getting better. It actually appeared as though Osweiler got worse from Week One through the end of the season.
To me, that’s the fatal flaw in Carr’s rationale. If David Carr actually watched every snap Brock Osweiler took as a Houston Texan, it’s tough to envision that Osweiler showed enough to justify faith he’d become consistently mediocre, much less good. Carr’s theory is reasonable; it just ignores the application and reality of Osweiler’s play last year.
What say you?