Carr On The Ravens' Side

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The Ravens have to be happy that Chris Carr is going to be wearing purple and black instead of another color.

The cornerback and return specialist, who officially signed a two-year contract with Baltimore on Wednesday, has faced the Ravens three times and seen great success.

Carr, 25, set a career high in 2006 when he was an Oakland Raider, returning seven kickoffs for a personal-best 206 yards (29.4-yard average). He also ran back four punts for 39 yards (9.8).

Over those three meetings, two of which came in M&T Bank Stadium, Carr averaged 25.5 yards per kickoff return and 10.8 on punts.

Needless to day, it wasn't too difficult for the former Tennessee Titan to decide where he wanted to play at least eight games next year.

"I always respected Baltimore. The way they played and the fans, I always felt like I had some of my best games here returning the ball," he said in an interview with BaltimoreRavens.com. "The aura behind this team was very drawing for me.

"I had about five or six other teams that wanted me to play for them, but Baltimore was where I wanted to be."

But as dangerous as Carr is on special teams, the Ravens expect him to do more.

Carr's addition will bolster a revamped secondary that has seen many recent changes. Veterans Samari Rolle and Chris McAlister, two former Pro Bowlers, were recently released, and safety Jim Leonhard signed with the New York Jets via free agency.

Now, the Ravens will likely start Fabian Washington and Domonique Foxworth at cornerback, with Carr and Frank Walker battling for the top nickel spot.

"I don't expect anyone to give me anything, I just want to compete," explained Carr. "I do a lot of things well, whether it's corner, nickel, punt return, or kick return. I just want to help the team win. Whatever they want me to do, I'll do.

"The Ravens have had a rich history of corners that can play, so I just want to hold myself to that high standard."

According to Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome, Carr brings a physical style of football that he has demonstrated over his four-year career.

Carr, a former undrafted free agent out of Boise State, has seen action in 64 games, including six starts with the Raiders (2005-07) and Titans (2008). Over that span, he posted 82 tackles, 12 passes defensed, five fumble recoveries and two interceptions (one of which he returned 100 yards for a touchdown).

"Chris is a versatile player who gives us quality depth in the secondary," Newsome stated. "He has coverage skills, and is a sound tackler willing to come up and take on the backs and the linemen blocking for those guys.

"He has shown that he can be a viable kick returner, and we look forward to seeing what he can do there for us."

Carr also made visits to the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns, and even considered remaining with the Titans.

But part of the reason Carr chose Baltimore was his previous relationship with Washington and Ravens secondary coach Chuck Pagano.

Carr and Washington both joined the Raiders in 2005, the year Washington was Oakland's first-round draft selection. And, they both worked with Ravens secondary coach Chuck Pagano from 2005-06.

"I felt comfortable playing with Fabian again, I felt Chuck could teach me a lot, and I felt like this was a team that was up-and-coming," Carr said. "They didn't have to sell me too hard, because whenever you have good friends there, you know they're going to shoot you straight."

In the end, the move made sense for both sides.

The Ravens now possess a weapon that had previously shot holes in their coverage units, and Carr gets the chance to prove himself in the defensive backfield.

"It's a great new beginning," Carr said. "I really felt like this was the place for me. I'm just ready to start preparing for the upcoming season and help the Ravens win football games."

NotableAccording to a report from Tom Curran of NBCSports.com, the Ravens will host former St. Louis Rams left tackle Orlando Pace Wednesday night.  Pace, 33, is a seven-time Pro Bowler, but has been bothered by injuries the past three seasons.  The Ravens have not officially released any information regarding Pace or any other visit.  

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