Derek Carr had the perfect response to Mardi Gras float call-out

Shouts out to Derek Carr for taking it on the chin: the New Orleans Saints quarterback was the subject of satire at the Knights of Chaos Mardi Gras parade during Carnival season, which featured a float depicting a reanimated Carr as a “Red Zone Zombie” to big reactions from the crowd.

“Can’t lie,” Carr wrote in response on social media, “this depicts exactly what I felt like the first half of the season so I understand.”

That’s exactly how Carr needed to approach this situation — joining the laughter, sharing with some self-deprecation, and pointing to the work he put in to improve. His arrival to New Orleans last year was a tough sell. With a big contract restructure in the works keeping him in town for at least the next two years, it’s vital that he win over the fanbase and build those connections with the community.

And Carr is right to point out that his struggles in the red zone were an early-season problem. The Saints doubled their practice reps in that phase and he ended the year as one of the league’s best quarterbacks in scoring position. Through their first 11 games, Carr went 21-of-47 (44.7%) inside the 20-yard line and scored 8 touchdown passes with an interception, posting a quarterback rating of 84. The Saints offense ended just 15 of their 40 drives with touchdowns (37.5%).

In their final six games Carr went 14-of-21 (66.7%) and threw 9 touchdown passes without turning the ball over, posting a passer rating at 114.1. The Saints scored 15 touchdowns on just 20 drives inside the red zone (75.0%). How’s that for a “Red Zone Zombie?” After seeing that reversal of fortune, Carr’s teammate Demario Davis called him the hottest red zone quarterback in the league.

It’s critical that Carr and the Saints carry that success over into 2024. With a new play caller and new coaching staff on the way, they can’t afford to start slow and make big changes at midseason again in the fall. If Carr can do that and continue doing a better job connecting with fans and teammates, maybe the city will warm up to him after all.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire