Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 6/15/12
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Intentional or not, the Minnesota Vikings had a recurring theme during free agency this offseason, taking chances on reclamation projects by signing players coming off significant, sometimes season-ending, injuries. The approach brought Minnesota around to Chris Carr in early April to help the beleaguered secondary. Carr was coming off an injury-riddled 2011 season when he was limited to nine games, mostly because of a back injury. But Carr is an eight-year veteran, who has six career interceptions, had started 16 games in 2010 for a highly-regarded Baltimore Ravens' defense, and brought return ability with him. Carr's one-year, 825,000 contract didn't receive much fanfare, but the Vikings are hoping Carr is the type of value addition and veteran influence that can help turn the team's fortunes. Despite coming to a new team, which runs a different style than he is used, Carr knows he can help the Vikings, especially the young defensive backs on the roster. "It's not only knowing the plays and how to run them, it's how do offenses try to attack you," Carr said. "When you're younger, you really don't know that. You really don't understand how to watch film. So, I think when it comes to that, and I'm already talking to a lot of the young guys, I feel like as we get going, and they've been here for a little while now, I just think it's going to be a tremendous improvement going out to this year than last season. "Because last season, watching the tape, it wasn't so much talent. You could just tell sometimes they didn't exactly know how they were trying to attack us. They didn't have that experience." Early on, Carr, 29, has been working with the second team corners behind starters Antoine Winfield and Chris Cook, and likely has the inside track on winning the nickel cornerback spot for the beginning of the season. But his impact now has been more about his work with his teammates than interceptions, coverage or tackling. Winfield has been the longtime veteran leader among the Vikings' cornerbacks. Carr adds another voice and another opinion to help shape a secondary that doesn't have much experience with Cook, who has played only 12 games in his two seasons, second-year corners Brandon Burton and Marcus Sherels, rookie third-round pick Josh Robinson, and several other younger players fighting for roster spots. Carr's quick grasp and understanding of Minnesota's Cover-2 defense has caught coach Leslie Frazier's attention. "His smarts, that's the thing that jumps out at you," Frazier said. "You know getting a veteran he's going to be a guy that has a really good feel of the NFL game. But the way he's picked up some of the things that we're trying to incorporate with our defense and his leadership as well has been a big plus in the meeting rooms. He's provided something for us that we didn't know we would quite get; his leadership along with his smarts." Carr believed he would be helping any young players in Baltimore's secondary after signing a four-year, 14 million contract last year. But after his season was marred by back and hamstring injuries, the Ravens decided to cut ties with Carr. Carr played nine games last year, starting once, and had 19 tackles and three pass deflections. Injuries to starters gave Carr a chance to start all 16 games in 2010 and he had 61 tackles, two interceptions, eight pass deflections and four forced fumbles. He had started 10 games the previous four seasons while playing for Baltimore, the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders, who signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Boise State in 2005. Carr saw an opportunity for playing time in Minnesota. Despite his experience, coming to the Vikings has been a transition for Carr in a new system. "It's a lot different; in Baltimore, it's pretty much man-to-man a lot of the time," Carr said. "And here, you have man-to-man and other stuff, but you have a lot of true zone coverages. I have to really get accustomed to doing that because I wasn't used to just playing true zone. But when you come from a system where you play a lot of man-to-man, I think when you come from a system like that, it really helps you out because you're used to having to play really good technique and being on your keys to play that type of defense. So, I feel comfortable in this type of defense because it gives the corners a little bit more help here. And I think just me being used to playing man-to-man so much is going to play well here." Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bruce Boudreau on coaching again: “I’ve had a couple of conversations”

Report: Don Shula hospitalized for breathing difficulties

Jerry Sandusky seeking new trial four years after being convicted

Bismack Biyombo retroactively assessed Flagrant 2, won’t be suspended

Sandoval expected to miss rest of season after shoulder surgery

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Falcons GM: ‘I don’t think we’ve hired anyone from Scouts Inc.'

Report: Bryce Harper signs historic Under Armour deal

Bellator MMA fighter loses leg after gruesome accident

FSU SGA bans Native American headdresses at athletic events

Yadier Molina does pushups after pitch nearly hits him

Report: Zika virus concerns could doom series in Puerto Rico

Lamarr Houston on Aaron Rodgers: ‘He’s a little too arrogant’

Florida State bans fans from wearing headdresses at all athletic events

Tom Brady’s request for 14-day extension granted in Deflategate case

NFL warns players that meat in Mexico, China may contain banned substances

Most exciting games of the 2016 NBA playoffs so far

Dale Earnhardt Jr. lays favorite car ‘Amelia’ to rest following bang-ups at Talladega

Former Rockets star Robert Reid: ‘Harden looks after Harden’

New Drake songs that explain why Raptors can beat Heat

Will Letang face suspension for hit on Johansson?

Philly-area BBQ joint creates sandwich to rip Sam Bradford

Ten players who could go No. 1 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft

How Leicester City won the Premier League

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Most exciting games of the 2016 NBA playoffs so far

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

Eight players to watch in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

A Round-By-Round Look At the NFL Draft

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA playoffs thus far

QUIZ: Name every No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1985

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Sharks vs. Predators

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Blues vs. Stars

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker