Chris Carr Conference Call

Cornerback Chris Carr

On his prospects of helping the Ravens as a cornerback:"I think I can make a big impact. I think if you talk to Fabian Washington and [secondary coach] Chuck Pagano, I think they know what I can do. I feel like I have a lot of abilities in the defensive backfield and that I just haven't gotten the opportunity that I wanted in my career. I've had a lot of great players in front of me. I think I've played well every single time I've gotten the chance, whether it be a nickel, corner or safety. I take pride in everything I do. I always want to be better. I don't want to be known as just a special teams player, because I know I can help the team out when on defense. So definitely, I'm going to take defense just as serious as special teams, and hopefully I can help the team out on both."

On what it means to have this opportunity by taking the hard path in the NFL after starting as a rookie free agent:"It feels gratifying. I'm a type of guy that I like earning stuff. Just like how I told the Ravens, what I told every team on my visits, I don't want anyone to hand me anything. I expect to be able to compete, and if I'm the best guy for the job, then I want to be able to play. So, it's just humble beginnings. When I went out to Oakland, and I had a $5,000 signing bonus, and there were two corners drafted in front of me, I had to prove to them that this kid could play. When you're undrafted, you can't just play well at corner, play well at practice. You have to play exceptional to get noticed. It's always kept me hungry, it's always kept me on my fundamentals, and it's taught me how to be a pro. I'm very thankful of the road that I took."

On how the visit to Pittsburgh went and what sold him on Baltimore:"Pittsburgh visit went well. The special teams coach [Bob Ligashesky], he's a real nice guy. [Mike] Tomlin seems like a straight-up type of coach, and I respected him. I don't know. Baltimore, just seeing those black jerseys all those years and just seeing Ray Lewis and that defense play, I mean, watching Pittsburgh play is fun, too, but I just always had a feeling about Baltimore like, 'Man, it'd be cool to play for them.' Playing in Baltimore, the few times that I've played there in my career, I've been like, 'Man, these are the best fans. There's no better place to play.' Talking to Fabian, when he signed last year, and talking to him throughout the year, just how much he loved it and how much he knew that I would like it there and fit in [helped reassure me of my decision]. Those two factors, really. Baltimore was always really intriguing. It was always one of those situations where I wished that would work out for me to play there, because I thought that was the best fit for me."

On how much the Jacksonville game in 2008 was a key for him to prove his ability to play corner:"I think it was big, because it shows that I'm a consummate pro. Whatever a team wants me to do, if it's nickel back and doing the returns, or just punt return or just kick return, or just whatever, I'm going to be a pro, and I'm going to make sure that I'm going to study. I'm going to make sure that my footwork, my technique is on point, because if I do get called upon in a game, then I'm going to be able to excel. That shows me that… I mean, most people a lot of times, they're not prepared like that. If you're not prepared to play, they'll probably just throw somebody else in there to make a lot of plays. And I think, having four pass breakups and an interception playing pretty much man-to-man coverage every single snap, not too many people can do that. I think that opened up some eyes that, 'Hey, this guy has played; this guy is good at corner.' I think if you look back at my film at Oakland when I played nickel, I think I played fairly well. And so, I think that was the big game for everybody to see that, 'Hey, this kid just isn't talked about, he's pretty good on defense as well.'"

On his approach to the return game:"I think I've gotten progressively better each year. I think my rookie year I kind of, I was kind of naïve. College was just so easy, and preseason was just so easy for me. I didn't realize how intense the regular season is and what it comes down to, and people's jobs now. People were flying down, hitting me in the mouth, and I wasn't getting as much space. My rookie year was a learning experience. My second year I faired a lot better. I just think every year that I've learned different things. In Tennessee I was really comfortable and learned some different things, and I tried to get better. I knew some stuff that I was doing wrong, and I think I corrected some of them. So last year, I think that was the big difference where I had the best season returning in my career."

On how much his relationship with Pagano affected his decision to come to Baltimore:"Definitely. When you're a player, more so than anything about liking a coach, you want to be able to really respect your coach. Chuck Pagano is the best defensive backs coach that I've ever had. I know I'm going to go there and he's going to have me prepared for the game. I know he's going to be able to teach me a lot of new things. He's going to keep me on my toes. As a professional, if you want to get better, and you're a competitor, you want a coach that is going to challenge you, that is going to come to you and get you better and that's going to get you prepared mentally to play in the game on Sunday. There's no DB coach I would rather play for. Plus, I like the guy. He's a cool guy, and he gets along with everybody. All the DBs always like him. I just knew it'd be a good fit, and I just know that he'll have the secondary prepared. You can tell by how well Baltimore played last year. I mean, number one, because they had great players like Ed Reed. But when you have a great secondary coach that gets you prepared, that always helps as well."

On his disappointment when Baltimore beat the Titans in the Divisional Playoff game last season and what his meetings with John Harbaugh have been like:"That was by far the worst loss in my career. I felt that Tennessee, last year, our team was the best team in the NFL when we were playing well. It was like the role reversal from the first game we played Baltimore. The first game, Baltimore outplayed us and Tennessee won. And the second game I thought Tennessee outplayed Baltimore, and Baltimore won. So that was a devastating loss, but when I play, I don't… Every team is the same. So it doesn't really matter that I lost. I'm not envious of the other team that beat me. I'm just upset that we lost. It wasn't weird going to the team that beat us, nothing like that, because I've always had much respect for Baltimore and how they played the game. Coach Harbaugh is just, he's everything I was expecting from him. I always heard great things about him when he was in Philly. My good friend Quintin Mikell played for the Eagles, and he always told me great things about him. Just in our meetings, he seems like a genuine coach, gets down to business, pays attention to all three aspects of the game, because he used to be a special teams coach. And so it seems like he's a good coach who's going to teach you things, and that you're going to want to compete for him and that he's going to be a fun coach. I had great interaction when I met with him."

On any worries about locker room chemistry or preconceived notions about what it means to be a Raven:"No. I mean, I've talked to Fabian, I've talked to Chuck Pagano, so I'm not going to know exactly what it's like until I get in the locker room with the guys, but all I know is that me as a professional, I've always gotten along with everybody. I was in Oakland – this will be my fifth different head coach in five years – and I've been around a lot of different personalities, a lot of great talent, and I've showed that I've been around and done all this stuff because I am a professional. So I'm going to go in there and hopefully earn the respect to my teammates first. That's what you want to do first and foremost, and come in and own my stuff, be diligent in my work ethic, learn the defense and just try to help this team win because there are high standards here. I have a pretty easy-going personality, so I usually get along with everybody. If you're tough and you're a hard worker, then you pretty much fit in anywhere. I don't really have any reservations about how I'm going to fit in with my teammates."

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