The Ravens and cornerback Brandon Carr made it official on Monday afternoon as the nine-year NFL veteran spoke to the media from the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills.
Leadership, experience and a knack for proper preparation are all keys in which Carr brings to the Baltimore Ravens.
“We can line up with two excellent corners on the edges, with an excellent young corner at nickel and two veteran safeties that know how to play the game,” said John Harbaugh about the newest member of his defense.
“That is great news for the Ravens. We could not be getting a better person, a better family man, a better guy in the community. We have heard that from very many sources. [Senior VP of public and community relations] Kevin [Byrne] was just talking about that with me walking down here.
“But, I like the football player, too,” added Harbs. “I feel like we are getting a heck of a football player – one of the best corners in football, one of the most solid, dependable corners in football.
“[He is] a corner that will challenge receivers in critical situations and is able to make plays on the ball. That is the kind of guy we were looking for, and I believe that is the kind of guy we got.”
Carr, who turns 31 in May, not only brings experience to the position, but loves the style of the Ravens defense, something that was key in the free agent choosing Baltimore.
“The Baltimore Ravens quickly became a team that, as a defender, you took note of and you would wish someday, you would get closer to the organization,” said a smiling Carr. “I could not really sleep last night. I was just trying to get ready for this day. I didn’t know what to expect.
“I just wanted to get in the building just to finally feel like I am a Raven. I felt like making the decision last week.”
Carr pointed out that previous moves made by the Ravens on the defensive side of the ball throughout free agency also gave him the best chance to win and be a part of something special.
“The secondary and the moves they made before me committing was really another deciding factor in coming,” Carr added. “Just seeing the thought process and just seeing what was coming into fruition around here with the guys they are bringing in the back end – just the emphasis they put on the skill play in the back end.
“I just hope I can come in and still be consistent, durable, make a lot plays and we can have some incredible chemistry,” he continued. “We can do some great things this year.
“It is a great day, but it is just the start of many great things to come. I am fortunate to be in this building and be with these guys, and I look forward to the future.”
Durability is certainly something that is drastically needed in the Ravens secondary after injuries have taken their toll on the unit over the past several seasons. Carr, who is entering his tenth NFL season, has never missed a career start in his stints with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys.
“A big part of it,” stated Harbaugh referring to Carr’s ability to stay healthy as an important reason he was coveted as a free agent. “We looked at a lot of guys. There were different guys that had different histories.
“You know, you cannot do any better than Brandon has done,” added John. “There is a reason for that. Sure, luck comes into it and you do knock on wood and laugh about those kind of things. But what Brandon is talking about in terms of taking care of himself and taking a holistic approach in what he does – that has made a difference of him.
“I think the biggest indicator of future behavior and success is past behavior and success. He has proven that already.”
While it remains to be seen just how much Carr will improve the Ravens secondary in the long run, one thing is for sure — he will show up day in and day out.
If only the same could be said about his counterpart, Jimmy Smith…
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