Lloyd Carr speaks to Little Rock Touchdown Club

Yesterday I got to hear Lloyd Carr speak to the Little Rock Touchdown Club. Below is how the Arkansas Democrat Gazette covered it.

LITTLE ROCK — Lloyd Carr coached Tom Brady at the beginning of his 13-year tenure as Michigan’s head coach and Ryan Mallett at the end.

Now, Brady and Mallett are New England Patriots quarterbacks — Brady, the NFL superstar who has three Super Bowl rings, and Mallett, the rookie backup.

Carr spoke fondly of both quarterback during Monday’s Little Rock Touchdown Club luncheon at the Embassy Suites hotel.

“If I knew Ryan was going to leave Michigan, I wouldn’t have retired,” Carr, 66, said jokingly as he stepped in front of the audience, which included Mallett’s parents, Jim and Debbie. “I remember working very hard to recruit Ryan. I know our assistant coach Scott Loeffler must have made about 30 trips to Texarkana to see him and he was exactly what we needed to be a championship team at Michigan.”

Mallett played one season at Michigan before transferring to Arkansas after Rich Rodriguez replaced Carr, but Mallett left his mark as a true freshman, throwing for 892 yards with 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions while seeing action in 11 games, including a 3-0 record as a starter in relief of an injured Chad Henne.

Carr talked about how Mallett took over after Michigan opened 2007 with a 34-32 loss to Appalachian State and a 39-7 loss to Oregon, during which Henne was injured.

“So the next week [against Notre Dame], we were starting a freshman in Ryan Mallett and he played well in a 38-0 victory,” Carr said. “A week later vs. Penn State, he made two or three plays to help us win the game.”

Carr said he is glad to see Mallett at New England, because he said he knows Mallett won’t have to be rushed into the lineup. “He’ll be everything that the Patriots need,” Carr said. Brady played behind Brian Griese— who led the Wolverines to the 1997 national championship — and had to split time with Drew Henson his last two years before becoming a sixth-round draft pick in the 2000 NFL draft.

Brady became New England’s starter when Drew Bledsoe was injured in the 2001 season.

“When Tom was a sophomore, he thought about transferring so I told him to talk to his dad and come back and see me tomorrow. When he came back, I thought he was going to leave, but he told me he was going to stay and prove he is a good quarterback,” Carr said. “He proved when you make up your mind, you can do a lot of good things.”

Brady led the Wolverines to a 45-31 victory over Arkansas in the 1999 Citrus Bowl.

This article was published today at 4:44 a.m.Sports, Pages 19 on 09/20/2011

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