Carolina Panthers

Beleaguered Carr gets fans' impatience

Panthers quarterback David Carr tries to scramble away from Saints defensive tackle Antwan Lake during the first quarter. Carr was unsuccessful and was sacked on the play.
Panthers quarterback David Carr tries to scramble away from Saints defensive tackle Antwan Lake during the first quarter. Carr was unsuccessful and was sacked on the play.

CHARLOTTE -- Carolina Panthers quarterback David Carr tried to be glib, tried to be honorable.

What he might have been doing, however, was writing his own epitaph here.

Carr was booed lustily by the home crowd at Bank of America Stadium -- who got their wish for rookie backup Matt Moore in the fourth quarter -- but said afterward he tried not to let it affect him.

"I don't think it ever rolls off your back," Carr said. "I think it's always frustrating, but you try to find a reason for why it's happening, and it was a lack of making plays -- we didn't make enough.

"If I paid that much money to come see a football game, I'd want our team to win at least one home game. So yeah, no worries."

There's a part of Carr's laid-back personality that you admire as a human being. His perspective's refreshing -- for a normal adult -- but sometimes sounds a bit off when coming from an NFL quarterback. He was asked about the persistent chants of "We want Moore" which began in the second quarter, with his first of two interceptions.

"You know what, I mean, you just try to make a play," Carr said. "It's not like we want to go out and do what we were doing. I wasn't out there purposely not scoring points.

"They were chanting 'Moore,'" he added with a grin. "I thought they wanted more points, so we tried to give it to them."

While he was making jokes, there are serious and legitimate questions as to whether the Panthers will put him out there again. After signing him to a two-year, $6.3 million contract to backup Jake Delhomme, he's been nothing short of a disaster here.

He hit 10-of-22 passes for 95 yards and two picks for a passer rating of 20.2. (You get a 39.6 for throwing one incomplete pass).

He hasn't thrown a touchdown pass since garbage time of the Tennessee loss a month ago, and has accounted for 46 points in 18 quarters of play with the Panthers.

That's why there's a natural concern about his leadership.

Fullback Brad Hoover was asked if the team still had any amount of confidence in Carr, and he answered as forthrightly as anyone could.

"I don't know. You know, that's a question that needs to be asked," Hoover said. "Right now, I'm so frustrated, I don't know how to answer you.

"I just know as a team, we've got to come out of this funk and get out of this fog and become a better football team."

Carr said he wasn't worried about losing the locker room.

"Not really. No," he said. "Guys know what goes on. They understand the situation, the situations that go on on the field. We see the tape. I don't feel that way at all from those guys. Fan-wise, yeah, obviously, everyone's feeling that right now, but the guys in the locker room I have no problem with them."

Most of them, however, tried to circle the wagons around Carr, in case he has to go back out there again.

"That was tough for me. I'm not going to lie," defensive end Mike Rucker said. "That was tough for me. Because we're out there together, and he's pouring his heart into this thing. And to single out that one guy like that, I was hurt by that. We've got to stick together; this is not a happy time for anybody. Definitely the fans deserve better, they deserve wins, they deserve to leave the game happy and have enjoyment. I was hurt about that with Dave, regardless the facts of the matter.

"He's a teammate, he's fighting. Whether things go his way or our way or not, that's tough. We're human beings. But I don't know. It was tough. Some people might say 'Hey, you get paid big money to have big shoulders.' That's true. But at the end of the day, we're humans and people have feelings too."

Vinny Testaverde, whose back problems opened the door for Carr to resume the job that was supposed to be his all along, likewise counseled his young teammate not to let the catcalls stay inside his head.

"I told David that I have been through it," Testaverde said. "Some of the great quarterbacks go through it -- (Joe) Montana, (Dan) Marino -- they've all been through it. The guys who survive it are the guys that are mentally tough enough.

"There's a number of reasons why. You can't put it all on David. I don't want to talk much because I didn't play and I hate reading about guys in the paper when they didn't play, so I'm not going to say much. But I will say you can't put it all on David."

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