Watch this progression:
1) 3/12/2008: David Carr signs with the Giants, gives them high reward and low risk
2) 5/24/2008: Palmer rebuilds with Carr
3)12/28/2008: Minn 20 NYG 19 and Carr throws for 2 TDs
4) 8/15/2009: Michael Eisen updates us on Carr
Carr is really getting comfortable with the offense. He has accepted his role and relishes the balance he has achieved with his mind and body. To all of us on the outside looking in, we naturally think in terms of always competing for the starter’s job, but as Carr notes, it goes far deeper than that. He needed time for his body. He needed time to learn an offense. When he came in and made some mistakes for the Panthers after Delhomme got hurt in 2007, it was easy to take shots at him. But since when does a QB learning a new system come in and execute it all perfectly in his first time out? By consensus estimates, it takes QBs SIX YEARS to fully mature. And it takes MORE THAN ONE YEAR in a new system to get comfortable. The Giants add value to their players and their franchise by understanding these elements and injecting deliberate patience into all of their processes. It started with a manageable contract. Carr has benefitted.
Players like Woodson, Bomar and Beatty are getting the benefit of this same patience RIGHT NOW. They are not being asked to start. They are being asked to learn.
When players talk about how classy the Giants organization is, they are (in some large part) referring to the loyalty to their employees. Sometimes I for one get frustrated that the loyalty means wasted time when the conclusion is obvious- guys like Tim Carter and Ron MunDayne should have been shown the door a little (okay, a lot) sooner than what took place. I also felt Coughlin should have been shown the door too. But he miraculously changed and the players really responded to the show of respect. John Mara’s approach worked. The Giants always give their coach one more year than is necessary before firing them. Think about that in terms of Handley lasting all of two years. Fassel’s 49er (second worst ever) playoff debacle in 2002 was the end. 2003 was just the extra year for confirmation.
The organization trusts its players/coaches and the players/coaches trust the organization. Football is a business and the Giants have to be efficient too, but it means they are going to err on the side of the player and be as human as they can be. (Fwiw, it is very puzzling how the organization treated Amani Toomer.)
Maybe it is just a coincidence, but tonight the Giants play the Panthers, Carr’s last team. Carr is helping the Giants in ways that the Panthers only wished for just a year prior. The Giants have a credible backup QB because they leveraged a cheap contract and bought enough time to make it work.