SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Aspiring quarterbacks shouldn't go to Carolina Panthers training camp to learn how to throw a football.
First, Jake Delhomme will lob the ball down the sideline with his unorthodox delivery. Then it is David Carr's turn to show off his sidearm style.
Kids, cover your eyes.
"We look like two guys who are just out of the freaking boat, just swinging out there," Carr conceded Wednesday.
While Carr is a major upgrade over Delhomme's former backup, Chris Weinke, his awkward delivery is the complete opposite of Weinke's textbook throwing motion.
"He does throw a little sidearm but he's very accurate and he throws a good ball," Delhomme said. "Then you have some of the other ones who can drop back and boy, they look good, but they can't play dead. Can you get it done? That's the biggest thing. And he gets it done."
Carr has had a smile on his face for much of camp, despite being a backup after five years as Houston's starting quarterback. Carr, who signed a free-agent deal with Carolina in April, said one thing he enjoys about being with the Panthers is that quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy hasn't tried to mess with his throwing motion, as the Texans' coaches did.
"We go through footwork drills and work on putting arc and pace on the ball, but the actual mechanics of me throwing the football, he hasn't touched," Carr said. "That makes a world of difference for me."
Coach John Fox also doesn't seem concerned about the way the balls look, as long as they get to the intended receiver.
"I've been in this league a long time now, and there have been some guys that have been pretty good who have had funny throwing motions," Fox said. "Bernie Kosar comes to mind. That's a hard position to evaluate, and it's not always the biggest and strongest arm that makes a good quarterback."
That doesn't mean Carr hasn't drawn some funny looks for his throws to his new teammates. In a practice earlier this week it almost looked like he threw underhanded to a running back in the flat.
"I can't say too much," Delhomme said. "I try to throw some of those, too.
But it takes some getting used to. Receivers that have adapted to Delhomme's off-to-the-side delivery have also had to adjust to Carr's style.
"It's a weird ball coming at you because you are used to it coming over the top and it's coming out like a slingshot,"
fullback Brad Hoover said. "But you get used to it. It's a very catchable ball when you understand it."
Carr said he never caught too much grief about his motion until just before the NFL draft, when his delivery was picked apart and concerns grew that he would get too many passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage.
But every time Carr has tried to throw with a traditional over-the-top motion, it feels uncomfortable and he struggles with his accuracy.
"It's really just been the last couple of years people have tried to work with it. I can't tell you how relieving it is that Mike (McCoy) just lets me go out and play ball."
And while it may look ugly to fans, Carr doesn't cringe when he watches himself throw on film.
"It looks natural to me," Carr said. "Other people are looking at it and closing one eye maybe, but it comes out pretty good I think. I've never had a problem with it, honestly."
--- Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved