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Bigger Carr ready to take punishment - ESPN - 6/3/2003


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Bigger Carr ready to take punishment

NFL Insider

Tuesday, June 3

Updated: June 3

10:48 AM ET

After a season in which he was sacked a NFL-record 76 times, Houston Texans quarterback and No. 1 overall pick David Carr approached strength coach Dan Riley with a three-word request -- make me stronger.

Looking at Carr at the team's recent minicamp, Riley followed his instruction to a tee, or more specifically, a sleeveless tee. When a reporter kidded him about showing off his newly chiseled triceps and biceps with the sleeveless look, he responded that he was just working on his tan. But it's the work on his body that drew the biggest raves.

Since Carr hooked up with Riley, he has reduced his body fat by almost half (19 percent to 10 percent), lost 10 pounds of college fat, added 15 pounds of muscle, and has increased the maximum weight he can lift by 40-45 percent.

"And my legs," Carr told the Houston Chronicle, "feel better than they have in my entire life."

Ironically, the Texans have done their best to try and ensure that Carr doesn't need the extra bulk to survive another season under center. While Carr held the ball too long on occasion, the lions' share of the blame falls at the feet of the offensive line. Injuries cost the team three starters on the offensive line for all or most of the season, the team was forced to start rookies Chester Pitts and Fred Weary.

The line, though, looks to be better this season. The Texans added Zach Wiegert and Greg Randall, and everyone in the organization has their fingers crossed hoping five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tony Boselli will be healthy enough to keep Carr upright and no longer fearing for his life. If Boselli comes back, Pitts will line up next to him on the left side, and the right side will be manned by Wiegert and Randall.

Another thing that could help the line is familiarity. Last offseason the spat of injuries along the offensive line was legendary. With Boselli already out, the Texans lost Ryan Young for half the season. Center Steve McKinney missed practice time as did Ryan Schau and Cameron Spikes. Plus, Young's replacement, Jimmy Herndon, had to scale back his practice time because of injuries. To further complicate matters along the line, Chris Lorenti was on injured reserve and another Mike Newell was on the physically unable to perform list.

But with the line free from freakish injuries, they'll be able to develop better chemistry and cohesion. Also, the running game figures to be slightly better because of an increase in talent with Stacey Mack and because the line should open more holes. The receiving corps should also be slightly better with the addition of top pick Andre Johnson and the maturity of Corey Bradford and Jabar Gaffney.

The key is Carr, but he's already shown that he's willing to put in the necessary work to help lift the offense from its doldrums. It remains to be seen if he can do that, but things are shaping up nicely in Houston, and they could take a step closer to vying for a playoff spot if their health holds.

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Originally posted by tenaciousd

I don't exactly grill a lot of Texans games, but it seems to me that the guy should be improving his sprinting speed to GET AWAY from a lot of those sacks.

Exactly.

He can be as strong or as big as he wants to be, but as long as there line plays the way it did last year; he will still take a major pounding. :hammer:

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