- Kieran Darcy, ESPN Staff Writer
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When the Giants traded up to draft Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib in the fourth round back in April, many reporters and fans were stunned.
Suddenly there was competition for the backup quarterback job. And you couldn't blame Carr, who had just re-signed with the Giants in March, if he was upset.
But Carr said Wednesday he doesn't regret his decision to return to New York. "If I’m gonna go on the field, I’d rather go on the field with a Super Bowl champion than a team I’m not sure about," said Carr. "In a system I’ve spent a good part of my career in.
"This is a good situation for me."
Carr admitted that if something like this happened early in his career, he would have "freaked out." But entering his 12th season in the NFL, his perspective has changed.
"You just see things differently," Carr said. "It’s not a negative at all. I’m super happy for Ryan. I think he’s a great kid. I think that he’s gonna have a great career. And I’m gonna do everything I can to make him a good football player."
Carr, 33. has had one of the most unique careers in recent NFL history. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft in 2002 out of Fresno State, selected by the Houston Texans, an expansion team at the time.
He spent five years in Houston, but the Texans went just 24-56 during that time. And Carr took a tremendous beating -- sacked an NFL-record 76 times as a rookie, and leading the league in QB sacks in two of the next three seasons as well.
After one year with the Carolina Panthers, staring four games, Carr joined the Giants in 2008. He has served as Manning's backup for four of the past five years (spending 2010 in San Francisco). But Manning has started an NFL-best 135 consecutive games, a streak that dates back to 2004, meaning Carr's opportunities to play have been extremely limited -- he's appeared in just 11 games, and thrown 48 passes, in four years.
Now even his role as the Giants' No. 2 quarterback isn't a given. Still, Carr sounds at peace with where he is, and what he's doing.
"It sounds cliche, but I know that Christ has a plan for my life, and I’m just going out and trying to play as good a football as I can," Carr said. "God wants me to be here, and he allows me to play, and puts me in a situation. I’m gonna do what I can with the skills that he’s given me, and I’m gonna help as many people as I can."
Carr compared Nassib to his younger brother Derek, who also plays QB for Fresno State, and said Nassib has impressed him thus far. "He’s a great kid," said Carr. "Solid mechanics. But just like any guy, you’ve got a lot to learn. And I think he knows that, he understands that, and he’s working his tail off, and he’s studying hard, and he’s asking a lot of questions."
As for Carr, even if he does serve as the Giants' No. 2 QB again this season, his days in New York are clearly numbered. But he still feels he has a lot to offer NFL teams.
"Physically I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything," he said. "When you’re young, you don’t know anything, and you kinda wish you could speed along that process and meet your physical ability. When you get too old, your physical ability is not able to keep up with what you’re seeing on the field.
"Right now I feel like I’m at the peak."
2dDan Graziano and Adam Caplan