ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -David Carr knows more than a few of his new teammates on the New York Giants are wondering about him.
Every time the top pick in the 2002 NFL draft takes a snap with the Super Bowl champions, there are questions.
``I would be wondering, too,'' Carr said Wednesday between practices at the University of Albany. ``What is his thing? Is it him or is it the team?''
Carr is a major question mark as the Giants prepare to defend their NFL title.
Signed in March as a potential backup to Eli Manning, Carr is trying to put his once-promising career back together.
The Houston Texans gave up on him after five seasons in which he was physically pounded, and last year wasn't much better when the now 29-year-old Carr struggled while playing six games with the Carolina Panthers.
After considering a number of offers, Carr signed with the Giants because they were a winning team that might offer him the chance to regain his confidence.
``First and foremost, when I came here I told coach (Tom) Coughlin I wanted to help the team any way I can,'' Carr said. ``I am looking for them to help me. If we can both do that, it will be positive for everybody.''
Things have not come easy for Carr. He hurt a foot working out a week before camp opened and missed the first practices. In his first two-plus days back, he has thrown a couple of interceptions, fumbled two snaps and tossed a few questionable passes.
Carr put rookie receiver Mario Manningham in jeopardy Wednesday with a shaky pass over the middle that hard-hitting safety Kenny Phillips broke up, and probably should have intercepted. A couple of plays later, Carr was flushed out of the pocket and badly overthrew tight end Darcy Johnson.
``I have to go out there and make the plays that I know I can make,'' Carr said. ``It's been rough, there have been some ups and some downs - mostly downs - but I still know I can play and still have confidence in what I can do. Throwing a football is still throwing a football, and I've been doing that my whole life. I just got to get out there and make some plays and I'll feel better.''
Making any plays, though, is hard.
Manning gets the majority of the snaps and Carr shares the rest with veteran Anthony Wright and rookie Andre Woodson, a sixth-round draft pick.
On most sets, Carr may get two or three snaps. Hence the pressure to produce.
Coughlin and Carr discussed that after a pass on Wednesday morning.
``That's the hardest thing,'' Carr said. ``I tried to throw a ball down the middle and my receiver had his hand on it, but it was borderline. You make the play, and it is a big play. If you don't, it's incomplete and you look bad.''
Carr knows he can't afford that. For the first time since grammar school, he is fighting for a spot on a roster.
``You have try to do what you can do, don't change what you are doing,'' he said. ``I am the player I am and I am going to try to get better and do the things I know I can do. If that happens, I am confident that everything will take care of itself.''
If the Giants and quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer, Carr's offensive coordinator in Houston, can get him on track, Carr gives New York a backup with experience. He has started 79 games and thrown 62 touchdowns.
However, he also has been hit more than most quarterbacks. He has been sacked 262 times in his career, including an NFL-record 76 in his rookie season.
During that season, Carr said he had a clock in his head, telling him how long he had to throw. It usually went off before the ball was snapped, he quipped.
``Even when I was getting pounded I probably laughed a little too much, but I did enjoy the game and I always will,'' he said. ``I think that when it comes down to it, it's football. It's a game that I've played my whole life and enjoy it, so it's kind of hard to get too down. I've always been excited to play, always enjoy going out there every day, and the second I do stop enjoying it you won't have to worry about seeing me, because I will just go home.''
Carr hopes that won't happen this year.

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