I know it’s nearly a dead issue since Michael Vick backed away from his criticism of the officials this week and it appears he’s going to play on Sunday, but there was one guy who I wanted to talk to about the topic of protecting a mobile quarterback: David Carr.
Carr, of course, has been sacked 266 times in his career including seasons with the Texans when he was abused and taken down 68 and 76 times. So what did Dave -- amobile quarterback but not on the same level as Vick -- think about the complaints?
“That’s a tough one,” Carr said. “Obviously Michael is a different quarterback. He’s so explosive, he can do whatever he wants. He runs around. He’s just not in the pocket as much as some other guys, I think that’s the deal. In that way he turns himself into a runner a lot of times and it’s hard to see him as a quarterback. I’ve talked to many referees and you’re standing back there, you’re getting hit, you’re looking for a call or something and they say ‘Dave, you’re out of the pocket and running like a runner, they have to tackle you like a runner.’ That’s always the reasoning I got from the official. It’s always what I was told. They’re probably saying the same things (to him). It’s just one of those deals. Until he turns into a pocket passer, he’s not going to get a lot of those calls.
“Right now when he’s moving around like that he looks like he’s putting a lot of pressure on the defense so the official is not really looking out for him as much,” he continued. “He’s making guys miss, they don’t see him as a quarterback. It’s just one of those deals, it’s going to be that way. That’s how it was always explained to me. They would tell me when I was outside the pocket I was a running back. ‘I’ll try to protect you as much as I can but …’
“They’re going to protect you as much as they can, but if it’s one of those deals where he has the ball down and he’s making moves and he gets hit on the side of the head or whatever, he’s running. How do you tell a defensive guy that you can only hit him in these areas? It’s a gray area for those guys.”
I asked if Carr ever thought about changing his game to run less, move around the pocket less.
“I never really thought about it,” he said. “He’s thinking about it I guess and they’re talking a lot about it but he’s going to still play the way he plays. He’s been doing this for 10 years now so he’s not going to change his style. He’s just got to deal with it. He’s going to put a lot of pressure on defenses, but at the same time he’s got to deal with what it is.”