Versatile Carr anchors Dogs defensive front

Published 11:41 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Defensive ends Corbin Carr (Nederland) and Jacob Davis (Port Neches-Groves) are very similar players. They’re both great against the run. They’re both underrated pass rushers. They’re both team leaders.  They’re also good friends, though that ends this week.

    “Jay and I know each other pretty well,” Carr said. “But, we are not friends this week. Not until after this game ends, we’ve got to put the friendship on hold.”

    Mid-County Madness tends to do that to both sides of this rivalry. Carr and the Nederland defense are looking to put up another fine effort Friday night against the Indians, much like they did against Vidor. For many reasons, Carr is a big part of that.

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    “He’s a returning starter for us,” Nederland head coach Larry Neumann said. “He’s a fun kid to be around and does a good job of leading by example. He helps out the younger players on the team and is an important part of our defense.”

    Carr’s biggest asset is as a run-stuffer. At 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, Carr can play both on the edge and move inside to defensive tackle when needed. That kind of versatility is valuable to the coaching staff like defensive line coach Reed Lowrance

    “He’s been in battles before,” Lowrance said. “Working with him on techniques, I just have to mention to him now and he picks up on it. He enjoys playing the game, which helps when we ask him to slide inside and do some things like that.”

    That versatility is why Neumann continues to tinker with his fit. While Carr is a big part of Nederland’s defensive line, when the Bulldogs were working on finding the best five offensive linemen this spring, they moved him over to tackle.

    He started out as a quarterback and has even worked at tight end some in practices this fall, though he hasn’t been pressed into service on that side of the ball yet. If anything, his time working with the offense has only helped him this season.

    “It was so difficult,” Carr said. “I have so much respect for the offensive line now. It’s probably the hardest position to play, to be honest. You can’t grab anything and it’s all technical. On the defensive side of the ball, you can pretty much do what you want and manhandle people. Being over there, it gave me the advantage of seeing what offensive tackles can do and helped me read them (in games).”

    Another advantage of having a player like Carr is his ability to eat up blockers, something linebackers especially appreciate in this defense.

    “The linebackers definitely know when he’s on their side,” Neumann said. “Every offense will try and put a scheme together to block the linebackers. What he does so well is cram his man into other guys in the interior of the line. He’s a great source of protection for the linebackers, because it’s hard to not have at least two blockers engaged by him.”

    Carr may be one of the best pass rushers on the line, but his ability to take on those blocks makes him even more valuable in stopping the run.

    “He reads blocks very well and reacts aggressively,” Neumann said. “His ability to play inside and out just adds depth to the team. He’s very good at the point of attack in taking on blocks and does a great job of counteracting blocks. He’s not the strongest guy on the team or the fastest, but he gives a hard pursuit and makes plays for us.”

    Carr has drawn some interest from schools and said he’d like to get a scholarship and play collegiately next year, but is still letting the process come to him.

    “I’ve heard from a couple of schools,” Carr said. “At this point, I’m just going to keep playing hard and go with the flow.”

    BULLDOG BITES: Nederland continues to get good news on the injury front, as junior Aaron Gautreaux has been cleared to play after he suffered a broken collarbone against West Orange-Stark. Senior safety Korey Hopkins is also practicing this week. He’s been dealing with an injury to the meniscus in his knee and Neumann said he was “questionable” to play Friday, based on how he practices this week. … Nederland will be without two defensive starters for a minimum of five more weeks as junior linebacker Korbin Stampley and senior cornerback Zach Taylor were suspended from all extracurricular activities per Nederland ISD policy for an incident last week. Neumann found out about the suspensions just before the Monday practice before the Vidor game. Junior Seth Barrow took over for Taylor at left cornerback while Brett Brown, who was returning from a concussion he suffered against West Orange-Stark, took Stampley’s place at linebacker. Brown had started at linebacker last season before switching to fullback and had 16 tackles against Vidor. Both players will still see time on offense, as Barrow was in the receiving rotation for the Bulldogs. The exact length of the suspensions depend on each student following a set of steps set up by the school district….Though he admitted he doesn’t know Bum Phillips well, Neumann has a pretty high opinion of the legendary coach, and it has to do as much with the players he’s met that Phillips coached as anything. “I’ve been around a lot of people he coached through the years,” Neumann said. “To hear how they talk about him, years after playing for him, tells you all you need to know about his impact. They all had the utmost respect for him as a man, as a mentor and as a coach. That’s the kind of legacy any coach, heck anyone in any profession, would like to leave.”