Just one week ago, the Ravens stabilized its secondary with the signing of former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr. Today the signing became official, as Carr arrived in Owings Mills and put pen to paper. In addition, Carr, as well as John Harbaugh and Dean Pees, held a introductory press conference for the newest Raven today.
Carr noted that one of the biggest factors for him in choosing Baltimore was the previous moves the Ravens had made this offseason. With the signings of Tony Jefferson and Brandon Williams, the Ravens proved that they were committed to improving on the defensive side of the ball. Carr, like many around Baltimore, view the Ravens as a playoff contender, and the former Cowboy wanted to be in a situation where he would be able to win from day one.
Carr noted that the presence of Eric Weddle was important to him in making his decision as well. According to Carr, Weddle had spoken with him before agreeing to a deal with the Ravens. The communication with Weddle, plus the leadership brought to the defense by the veteran safety were key factors in bringing Carr to Baltimore.
Pees talked about how happy he was to have a veteran corner playing opposite Jimmy Smith. Not only is Carr’s experience in big games going to help improve the Ravens secondary, but Pees also told the reporters in attendance that Carr could bring new ideas to the Ravens defense from prior teams he has played on.
Plus, Pees talked about how important it is to him to finish the year with the number one defense. The Ravens were close last year, and Pees believes adding Carr may get them over the hump.
Harbaugh was thrilled to have a corner that he can rely on week in and week out, knocking on wood, or the closest thing he had to wood, as in the table, when Pees talked about Carr’s durability. Carr has never missed a game in his nine year career, and it is a streak he plans to continue in Baltimore. Carr noted that he has had many close calls with missing a game, and sometimes he had “stupidly” played through injuries that he probably shouldn’t have.
Finally, without ever directly saying his name, Harbaugh and Pees confirmed that Tavon Young will be the starting nickel corner come the 2017 season, and said that Carr barring an unforeseen change of course, will start opposite Jimmy Smith. Harbaugh, Pees and even Carr all said a “young slot corner” without ever actually saying Tavon Young. While this may not come as much of surprise, no one from the Ravens organization has said anything regarding Young’s starting status for the 2017 season until today. Harbaugh and Pees both excitedly talked about how Carr will play opposite Smith, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise either.
The biggest takeaway from this press conference is the excitement around the organization to have added a veteran corner who will immediately make the team better. But, as Harbaugh, Pees, and Carr all said or implied, general manager Ozzie Newsome is still not done just yet.