Nov 18, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates with wide receiver Austin Carr (80) after a touchdown during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

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Drew Brees gives huge endorsement to Saints WR Austin Carr

Is Carr now a lock to make the roster after his quarterback's praise?

Seth Dunlap
August 21, 2019 - 6:45 pm
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Imagine working your way through college and into your professional career.  The first couple of years on the job are a learning process, but you’re employed by a first-class organization.  It’s an invaluable experience.  Every year, however, your company makes another round of personnel cuts, and your job is always on the chopping block. 

Now imagine your boss’ closest confidant, the most valuable employee at your company, takes time to give you a ringing public endorsement just before those job cuts are made.  That would likely make you feel a bit — a lot — ­more comfortable with your job security, right?

That’s what happened today to Saints wide receiver Austin Carr, who received unexpected praise from his future Hall of Fame quarterback.  Drew Brees is ever the politician when in front of a microphone, and he’ll rarely take even subtle shots at his receivers.   Brees also isn’t prone to gushing hyperbole when asked about the play of his teammates.   So, what he said about Carr stood out.

“I think Austin has had a great camp.  He continues to get better each day.  I’m really developing a lot of confidence in him,” Brees gushed after Wednesday’s morning practice. 

He wasn’t done.

“There’s a lot of little subtle things that he does well.  I mean at the end of the day as a receiver, there’s a timing and a feel for everything, right? It’s, you know, ‘Where am I in the progression? When is the quarterback going to be ready to throw it to me?  How can I get separation? How can I get open?  How can I be available for him?’  And Austin has a lot of that feel to him, which is good.  It’s pretty instinctive.”

If Carr were running for president, he’d have just secured an endorsement from his party’s biggest donor.  The pundits would be scrambling to check his latest poll numbers.

Football isn’t an election, of course, so Carr will have to earn his place on the team on the field.  He’s squarely on the bubble of the Saints projected 53-man roster, battling with the likes of Keith Kirkwood, Emmanuel Butler, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Simmie Cobbs, and Cyril Grayson Jr. for what are probably two, possibly three, roster spots for receivers. 

That duality of competition and comradery can make training camp locker rooms a bit surreal; on rare occasions even slightly hostile.  That hasn’t been the case for the Saints receivers this summer, according to Carr, who said it’s an animosity-free group.

“I would say . . . it’s a race to improve.  I’d say it’s a great group though.  We’re help each other,” Carr said after Monday’s practice.  “We’re helping each other on the playbook.  We’re helping each other on the field.  We’re coaching each other up on the sidelines, even in the game.”

The former Northwestern Wildcat has an opportunity to be a part of another Super Bowl contending roster, but Carr realizes there are no guarantees for him this time of year.

“We all want to succeed.  We know the receiver room is going to look different in two or three weeks from now.  Helping each other improve is kind of the ethic inside the room, which is cool.”

Carr had a big moment in Sunday’s game against the Chargers, hauling in a 27 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Taysom Hill.  It was a standout moment for an offense that had few of those. Conversely, that was the only catch for Carr in the game, perhaps not a huge surprise considering the offense’s struggles in the first half.  Plus, catching a wide open pass isn’t exactly highlight-reel stuff in the NFL.  Dropping that pass would have done much more damage to Carr’s chances of making the roster than his catch did to help it.

Still, it’s Carr who was at the receiving end of high praise from Drew Brees today.   That should help him sleep a little better, with cut-downs looming in less than two weeks.

Watch Brees' full comments after pracitce today in the video below, with his praise of Carr coming around the 6:22 mark.

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