CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -If you're wondering who convinced Carolina Panthers quarterback David Carr to wear gloves on both hands, look no further than his golfing buddy, Jim McMahon.
``I don't know if he's the greatest role model, but he's a cool dude and we get along great,'' Carr said Wednesday about the flashy former Chicago Bears QB known for his gloves and headbands.
``He talked to me about it two or three years ago and I threw them on at practice. It worked out pretty good. And I came here and I was just like, 'I'm going to start wearing them.'''
So when starter Jake Delhomme winced and clutched his right elbow after throwing a short pass late in the third quarter Sunday in Atlanta, Carr was ready to become that rare QB who wears a glove on his throwing hand.
And to match the Panthers' white jerseys, Carr ran in resembling a butler with white gloves.
``I tell him he looks like Michael Jackson,'' fullback Brad Hoover said.
That's not the only nickname being thrown around the Panthers' locker room this week after Carr completed three of four passes for 56 yards against the Falcons.
``Michael Jackson. Mickey Mouse. Someone shot me with a Minnie Mouse. I couldn't even get the male version of the mouse,'' Carr said. ``But it's fun. You match them up with the uniform and keep everybody loose.''
And because Delhomme missed practice Wednesday with his strained elbow and the Panthers are scheduled to wear blue tops Sunday against Tampa Bay, Carr could be making his first start with his new team wearing black gloves.
``I don't think people are ready for the blue yet,'' Carr explained.
The relaxed Carr has been a hit with his Panthers teammates since signing a two-year deal shortly after he was released by the Texans. Carr wanted a fresh start after being sacked 249 times in five years in Houston, and the Panthers wanted an upgrade over former backup Chris Weinke.
When Delhomme went down Sunday, teammates said Carr did nothing other than call the play when he came into the huddle for the first time. He then led the Panthers on two run-dominated scoring drives to snap a tie in a 27-20 win.
``He's a California guy. His demeanor is real calm and collected,'' tackle Travelle Wharton said. ``He stepped in the huddle with confidence and you can kind of feel that and feed off of it.''
Carr acknowledged he's taken more notes in meetings this week. He took all the snaps with the first team Wednesday as Delhomme was inside getting treatment. While Carr said before training camp he didn't mind coming to Carolina as a backup because he needed a rest from the pounding in Houston, he admitted it's been tough being a reserve for the first time since his sophomore year in college.
``You can give the high-five, but it's really not your high-five to give,'' Carr said. ``That's been the biggest thing.''
If Carr gives any high-fives Sunday, it'll be while wearing gloves. Carr said after McMahon made his sales pitch while they played golf in Lake Tahoe, he experimented with them in Houston practices, and wore them in one game last year.
``You don't have to grab the laces half the time if you're throwing a quick ball,'' Carr said. ``It's however the ball comes up in a snap, you can throw it. You don't worry about that. It's just a much better grip, to tell you the truth.''
So when he came to Carolina and found out equipment manager Jackie Miles had a large inventory of multicolored gloves, he decided he'd wear them in games.
Carr laughed off the glove jokes Wednesday and insists he's happy to be with the Panthers, knowing that if Delhomme is healthy enough to play Sunday, Carr will be on the sidelines again.
He'll take the snickers about his gloves over the pressure of being the former No. 1 pick on a losing team.
``I feel a lot more confident with these guys for some reason,'' Carr said. ``Not that I don't love those guys in Houston, but just this group around me, because they've been there. I don't feel like I have to kind of drag them along and get them motivated. They motivate themselves and they know how to win and what to do.''

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