What Helmet Does Derek Carr Wear? -Uncover the Game-Changing Headgear

John Rizzo

Updated on:


Derek Carr, the dynamic quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, has not only dazzled NFL fans with his exceptional on-field skills but has also become known for his distinctive choice of headgear. 

In this exploration of the helmet worn by Carr, we delve into the intricate details of his protective gear and the reasoning behind his unique modifications. 

From the advanced VICIS ZERO2 helmet to his ingenious ear hole taping technique, Carr’s helmet is a vital component of his success on the football field. 

This journey through the evolution of his headgear provides insights into a player’s quest for the perfect balance of safety, comfort, and performance in the ever-evolving landscape of the NFL.

Derek Carr: A Star Quarterback

Derek Carr, a star quarterback in the NFL, has etched his name in the league’s annals with his exceptional passing prowess and leadership skills. 

Known for his precision and poise under pressure, Carr has consistently delivered remarkable performances on the field. 

With an illustrious career that began in 2014, he’s demonstrated remarkable adaptability by refining his game and evolving his helmet choices to ensure both safety and performance. 

Carr’s journey from rookie sensation to seasoned pro is a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence, making him a respected figure and a vital force for his team, the New Orleans Saints.

What Helmet Does Derek Carr Wear?

Helmet Does Derek Carr Wear

Over the years, Carr has carefully chosen his helmets to ensure the perfect blend of safety and performance. 

Today, we will explore the details of the helmet that Derek Carr currently uses, delve into his ear hole-taping technique, and trace the evolution of his helmet choices.

The Helmet of Choice

Derek Carr’s helmet of choice is the VICIS ZERO2, equipped with a SO-212 facemask and secured with a SportStar Victory chinstrap. The VICIS ZERO2, introduced in 2020, boasts claims of superior protection and comfort for players. 

The SO-212 facemask is a standard open cage design that optimizes visibility and ventilation. The SportStar Victory chinstrap is a popular choice among NFL players for its robustness and comfortable fit.

The Unique Ear Hole Taping

Derek Carr’s distinctive helmet hack involves taping over his helmet’s ear holes. This modification serves a specific purpose: to block out stadium noise. 

Carr’s ingenious technique aims to enhance his ability to hear play calls relayed through his helmet radio, particularly in the midst of the deafening atmosphere of raucous stadiums like Kansas City.

In a video captured by NFL reporter Arye Pulli, Carr explained this helmet hack to his teammate Taysom Hill, who was clearly amazed by it. 

Carr shared that this practice has been a constant in his career and attested to its efficacy in helping him maintain clear communication during games.

Why Does Derek Carr Tape Over His Ear Holes?

Derek Carr Tape Over His Ear Holes

Derek Carr tapes over his helmet’s ear holes for a specific and practical reason: to block out external noise from the stadium during games. 

This unconventional practice is not about style but rather about enhancing his ability to hear and communicate effectively on the field.

Derek Carr’s practice of taping over the ear holes on his helmet serves several practical purposes such as:

Noise Reduction

One of the primary reasons Carr employs this unique helmet modification is to block out the deafening stadium noise. 

NFL games can be incredibly loud, especially in stadiums with passionate fan bases. By taping over the ear holes, Carr minimizes the external auditory distractions, enabling him to focus better on the game and maintain clear communication with his coaches and teammates.

Improved Communication

In football, communication is paramount. Quarterbacks like Carr rely on radio communication systems built into their helmets to receive play calls from coaches. 

By blocking out external noise, Carr can hear the play calls more clearly, reducing the risk of miscommunication or misunderstanding the instructions relayed to him.

Enhanced Concentration

Taping over the ear holes not only blocks noise but also helps Carr enter a state of heightened concentration. 

It allows him to immerse himself in the game, minimizing external distractions and enabling him to make quick decisions and execute plays with precision.

Comfort and Routine

Over the years, players develop routines and practices that enhance their comfort and performance. 

Carr has stated that he has been using this ear hole-taping technique for an extended period, and it has become a part of his pre-game ritual. Familiarity and consistency in his equipment contribute to his overall confidence on the field.

How Has Derrick Carr’s Helmet Changed Over the Years?

Derrick Carr's Helmet Changed Over the Years

Derek Carr’s choice of helmet has evolved significantly over the years, driven by a combination of safety regulations, technological advancements, and personal preferences.

Here’s a chronological overview of how Carr’s helmet has changed since his rookie season in 2014:

Rookie Season (2014)

Carr began his NFL career wearing a Schutt Air XP Pro VTD helmet with an EGOP-II facemask and a Riddell Hardcup chinstrap. This was a conventional and widely used helmet at the time.

Derek Carr Helmet 2015

Carr transitioned to a Riddell SpeedFlex helmet, which featured an SF-2BD-SW facemask and a Riddell Softcup chinstrap.

The SpeedFlex was known for its flexible shell and advanced chinstrap system designed to enhance player safety.

Derek Carr Helmet 2016

Carr continued with the SpeedFlex helmet but switched his facemask to an SF-2EG-II, which provided enhanced facial protection.

Derek Carr Helmet 2017

During training camp, Carr experimented with various helmets, including the Schutt F7 and the Xenith Shadow. However, he ultimately retained the SpeedFlex helmet for the regular season.

Derek Carr Helmet 2018

Carr adopted a Schutt Air XP Q10 helmet with a ROPO-DW facemask and a Schutt Hardcup chinstrap. The Air XP Q10 was a lightweight helmet known for its inflatable liner system.

Derek Carr Helmet 2019

Carr maintained the same helmet but changed his facemask to a ROPO-SW, which offered smaller eye openings while retaining a similar design to the ROPO-DW.

Derek Carr Helmet 2020

Carr switched to the VICIS ZERO1 helmet with a SO-212-LP facemask and a SportStar Victory chinstrap. 

The VICIS ZERO1 was revolutionary for its multi-layered material design, intended to absorb and redirect impact forces effectively.

Derek Carr Helmet 2021

Carr continued with the VICIS ZERO1 helmet but altered his facemask to a SO-212, maintaining an open-cage style for visibility and ventilation.

Derek Carr Helmet 2022

Carr introduced the unique practice of taping over his helmet’s ear holes for noise reduction, while still using the VICIS ZERO1 helmet with the SO-212 facemask.

Derek Carr Helmet 2023

After being traded to the New Orleans Saints, Carr switched to a VICIS ZERO2 helmet, now featuring a SO-212 facemask and the SportStar Victory chinstrap. 

The VICIS ZERO2 represented an improved iteration of the previous model, characterized by a lower-profile shell and a more streamlined design.


What type of helmet do NFL players like Derek Carr typically wear?

NFL players typically wear modern football helmets designed to provide maximum protection against head injuries.

Are NFL players required to wear a specific brand or model of helmet?

No, NFL players are not required to wear a specific brand or model of helmet.

Can NFL players customize their helmets with specific designs or features?

NFL players can often customize the appearance of their helmets with team-specific decals, colors, and designs.

How often do NFL players replace their helmets?

NFL players typically receive new helmets at the beginning of each season, and the equipment staff ensures that the helmets are in good condition throughout the year.

What role does the helmet play in an NFL player’s safety?

Helmets are a crucial component of an NFL player’s safety gear. They are designed to protect the head and brain from impact during tackles and collisions.

To Recap

Derek Carr’s choice of helmet is specific to his personal preferences and safety requirements, and it may vary over time. Helmets worn by NFL players are subject to stringent safety regulations to minimize the risk of head injuries.

The brand and model of the helmet he uses may change as new technologies and designs emerge, emphasizing player safety. 

While I cannot provide real-time information on the exact helmet he currently wears, it is crucial to understand that NFL players, including Carr, prioritize their well-being by using state-of-the-art helmets that conform to the league’s safety standards, ensuring they are well-protected on the field.

Photo of author

John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn

Leave a Comment