Carr Dinged Up, Says He's Okay


Q: Did you hurt your thumb hitting it on a helmet?**

Carr: "Yeah, I did. I don't know if it was a helmet or a hand or something, but I hurt it on that last drive."

Q: What about your ankle? Was that at the beginning of the second half?

Carr: "Yeah, I think [Chiefs OLB] Tamba [Hali] rolled up behind me, I think that's what it was. I just folded underneath, just the same direction that I hurt it in London. But, I was able to go today, so it was good."

Q: It seems like every week we are asking you about pass rushers. Buffalo has three guys that are getting after the quarterback. How do they compare to some of the guys you've faced?

Carr: "Like I said, I think we've played like every really good defense this year. *(laughter) *All the top ones, all the top pass rushers, which is great for a first year. That's what you want to see. You want to see all that as soon as you can early in your career. You can't really just say those three, those four because the other guy just gets so much good push up the middle that it allows those guys just to rush hard off the edge. They have a really good rush. They have a really good rush plan. Depending on who they play, you can see it, so we have to be ready to go, and I know we will be."

Q: You have about a 20-point increase, twice as many touchdown passes at home. You run the ball better at home. Do feel more confident at home? Or has it just worked out that way?

Carr: "I don't know. I can only speak for myself. I always feel very confident. There is never a time in any game that I am not confident in myself, our abilities as a team, anything like that. So, I guess to answer that, it would be that it just has worked out that way. Obviously, we play with a lot of passion and energy at home, and that's something that we need to, obviously, learn to do on the road. Bringing that same passion and energy we play at our home field with, bringing into the other stadiums. This is our first time together. We're building this thing, and we're learning these things. So, there's so much that goes into a team, as I'm learning, especially in this league. Learning the things like how do we take what we've been able to do at home and do it on the road. I know we have one more shot at that, but really we're focused on Buffalo and hopefully we have another good week this week."

Q: One thing Coach Sparano was saying that it's your last shot at home before the fans this season.

Carr: "Yeah, absolutely. I play for my faith, my family, the guys in that room in this building and then also for the fans. It's in that order. If I were to play for other people, I'd feel very mixed about myself, so I have a good foundation and know what I can do."

Q: Was there a takeaway from that game tape when you watch your own performance?

Carr: "Yeah, absolutely. One thing I am learning is when we get in a situation that we were in, don't do too much. I always just try and … I'd rather it be that way than them have to pat me on the butt and get me to go. For whatever reason, I always just try and do too much. I want to make every play, put it on me. Those kind of things. So I need to learn how to kind of hone that in. Learning how to just take it is, be smart, take what they're giving you. Really I'm just talking about there was one third down that really irritated me. We had a great look for the underneath route, but I gave K.T. [WR Kenbrell Thompkins] a shot on a route we like. We like the route against man [coverage], but we had other options. So I need to learn in that situation that it's good to have that stinger and want to push the ball down the field, but I need to just learn situationally that it's probably better to just take the underneath throw and move on that way."

Q: For the last few weeks, the team has talked about how they rally around Tony Sparano. With so many unknowns after this season, do you guys want to see him back as your head coach?

Carr: "Yeah, we love him. He's our leader. Absolutely. We love him. Obviously, those decisions are going to happen. We have no control over that. We have no control in that. Those decisions will be made, and whoever is here, that's who we'll play for. Right now, Coach Sparano is my leader. I love him 100 percent. He genuinely cares about me. He's pulled me into his office just to ask how I'm doing. He called me into his office one time, and I was like, 'Oh, man. What did I do?' I was trying to think of plays in the game. He called me in and he said, 'Hey, you're doing a great job, and I just wanted to see how you're doing.' Those kind of things from a head coach mean so much. So much confidence, all of those things. We love the heck out of him. We're playing hard for him, but besides that, I have no say on any of that kind of stuff."

Q: Knowing that you'll be the franchise quarterback, is it hard not knowing who you're going to be playing for next season?

Carr: "Absolutely. They have told me, that I'm a rookie so I'll here a little bit longer. You guys have to get used to me a little bit. That is known. The fact that I don't know what's going to happen, that's hard. But right now, I am focused on playing my heart out for him because I love him. I love him to death. I love playing for him. He pushes the heck out of me, and I love it. That's how I like to be coached. Him, 'Oly' [offensive coordinator Greg Olson] and 'Flip' [quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo], they push me hard. Not knowing is hard, but I am grateful that I do get to play for him now."

Q: Has there been a reprogramming of you this year? The throws you did a lot in college may not work so well on this level.

Carr:"Obviously the windows in this league are ridiculously tighter. I've said it before, you watch a college game and you see someone open. If someone is that open in the NFL, someone is getting fired. That's what I've learned and that's the truth. That's why you see some of the throws. You can put on a game and you'd be like, 'Why did that guy throw that?' He genuinely has to make that throw because that's the only way he can put the ball in there. You can't even see the receiver, but he's going to get an inch above the defender's hand. There are things that I'm learning. The windows are a lot tighter. From arm strength and accuracy standpoint, it's the same. There are a lot of guys that can't really throw the ball that hard, but it's all about timing and really growing in the offense. You see these guys that have been in their offense for awhile. The timing of it is so important. I'm learning that. I'll continue to learn it and I'll work really hard on it this offseason and be ready to go for it next year. Right now, hopefully we'll do it this week."

Q: What does a receiving tight end do for an offense?

Carr:"Having a guy like Mychal [Rivera] is awesome. Some teams depend on their personnel; you know who they're going to have to put on him. It's nice to know going into a game that they're going to have to put so-and-so on him. They're going to have to put this guy on him. They may not have a guy, so maybe they'll zone it up more. It helps. Then we can put him out wide, put our three receivers over here, and you can see what they're going to do. Do they want to play man? Do they want to play zone? In this league, they'll even make it a man look and play zone behind it. You never know for sure, but you can get a good feel for what teams are going to want to do."

Q: On Monday, Coach Sparano talked about you being under a lot of pressure on Sunday, but it was a good learning experience because pockets aren't always going to be clean. It's not always an ideal situation. What do you take away from those experiences?

Carr:"That's a really good point. It's something that I learned big-time in this. I think that's the biggest take away from this week was that right there. When you get hit early, a lot of times in your natural ability, you just got hit in the face and it's like, 'Oh man, is it going to be like this all day?' You learn a lot about yourself, like I've said a lot this year. I learned about myself that I can continue to stand in there and take the hits and make the throws I need to make, make the reads I need to make. That is going to pay off so much. There is so much that goes on when those hits happen and you come to the sideline and know you have to go back out there. There is so much in your head that goes on. It's good to know that I can do this all day. It's really cool, too, when other people notice it. Older, veteran teammates come up to you and say something about how that's going to pay off for you, and how it's good to see. That kind of stuff is encouragement. That was the biggest take away. It was good."

Q: The flip side of that, you showed during the regular season that if you break out, you have enough speed to get a first down and get out of bounds to avoid the hit. It seems like you're so conscious of getting the ball out of your hands, do you ever look back and say, "Man, I should have run that time?"

Carr:"There's a fine line, obviously. When it comes to this topic, there's a fine line. There are times when it's good to run. You'll see a route and say, why didn't he run? Versus man coverage, the windows are like this big, so you're trying to hold on to it until the last second to see if you can do it, and then in this league the last second is too late. Then, you're already hit. There's a fine line. There was a couple times, like I said, that teams have played man. Like the one against San Francisco, they played a little man coverage and I was able to recognize it and know that I can get around the corner and take off. It depends on the situation and what coverage they're playing. I'm going to try my best to push the ball down the field because I don't want to get in the habit of thinking one isn't there, so, run. That's not good habits. A lot of our touchdowns have come off the third and fourth progressions. There is a fine line. You can always go back and say I wish I had done that. I could do that in a great game. It's definitely something that coaches have pushed on me more and more as the season has gone on, so I've been able to do it a little bit. But I'm not going to make that what I do."

Q: Where is the line in that game, when you get hurt in the ankle, and the game is out of reach, was there a time where you might say it isn't worth it? Carr:"Oh man, no. There is going to be a time, I know that there is going to be a time, where it's a playoff game and something is going to happen, a tweak or something, and we have to go finish a drive. These situations go on through my mind constantly. I'm sitting there thinking, this is going to happen someday or maybe it's going to be in this exact stadium again and we're playing for the division title. These things go through my head. That's why I was sitting there saying, 'We have to go put this things in.' In no way, shape or form was I going to come out of that game. They could have wrapped my ankle more, I was going to stay in there."

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