I do not see that we will have another QB Competition with split snaps like the years before and I would not interpret Carrs words like that.
The way I see it, in New York the thing is, whatever Carr would do, Eli is and will be
the QB of the Giants. He was their draft pick (kinda), he won a Super Bowl for them and he has the big contract now, so he is their QB, for better or worse. Because of that, even if Eli would struggle for a while, Carr would only play if Eli got hurt.
But now, in San Francisco, Carr has a chance to play either this year, if Alex Smith really struggles, or next year, if he does not get a new contract. So I can see that Carr believes he has a much better chance now with the Niners to be the guy.
That said, I believe Carr will clearly be the backup QB and we will not have split snaps in training camp
like we had in the last years because Alex now has some distinct advantages over Carr:
Smith knows the system
: For the first time in his pro career, Alex will have the same O-Coordinator and the same offensive system in consecutive years. In the QB competitions before, Alex and the other QBs all essentially started from square one in regards to the offensive system, sometimes (like JTO) the other QBs even had an advantage in that regard. Now with Carr, he will have to learn the system and the terminology first, while Alex can build on last year.
Smith has some rapport with Jimmy Raye
: I am not sure, this could also be part of "he knows the system", but what the heck: Alex also has the advantage that he already worked with his O-Coordinator and Jimmy Raye already has some feel for Alex and what he likes and can do best. I think this is something that can influence playcalling a lot and is another factor where Carr will have to start from scratch while Alex can build on last year. Besides, Alex already knows when Raye takes a nap during gametime and can react quicker when he gets snoring noises instead of playcalls again
Smith has chemistry with the receivers
: Alex already had the chance to play and build rapport with this offensive weapons. He knows guys like Gore and Vernon Davis well and already started some chemistry with Crabtree. Hill also had some of that advantage because he was in San Francisco as long as Alex, but Carr will have to start from scratch in that regard and especially with receivers, chemistry is huge.
Smith already has locker room support
: Strangely, this could be one area where Alex actually profits from the fact that his good buddy Shaun Hill got traded. Until now, you always heard reports that Alex was a hard worker and well liked in the locker room and you also heard the same thing from Hill. You even got the impression that the players liked Shaun maybe a little bit more. But now Shaun is gone and Carr is a locker room unknown and if we believe Patrick Willis´ first reaction, at least some guys will be skeptic. Meanwhile, Alex remains as one the guy who is well liked and where the team knows he works hard and does everything he needs to do. You even heard some public declarations where teammates stand behind Alex and however serious those are, the other players do not know Carr yet and any form of similar backing for Carr he will have to earn first.
Now take those reasons and add the fact that right now Alex actually is our starter and I think there will be no QB competition
like we had in the years before. But I can also see why David Carr thinks he has a much better chance in San Francisco and said so, because quite frankly, he has, compared to his situation in New York.