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View Full Version : Tyrone Carter's the Logical Choice at Free Safety Against the Redskins


SteelersMongol
10-29-2008, 10:01 PM
I was at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Columbus, Ohio, watching the Steelers lose 21-14 to the Giants Sunday. I was surrounded by a few business travelers like myself, chomping on chicken wings, quietly rooting for our respective teams - Seattle, San Francisco, Buffalo, Houston, Cleveland, to name a few.

After a completion down the middle of the field to previously silenced Plaxico Burress, Dick Stockton said "...And safety Tyrone Carter on the coverage."

I leaned over to the Buffalo fan sitting next to me and said "I grew up mostly in Minnesota, watching Tyrone Carter play. I've seen every snap he's taken as a Steeler. I've never heard a positive play end with the broadcaster saying 'Ty Carter on the coverage.'"

He laughed. I sighed.

So what to do now that starter Ryan Clark has been listed as doubtful for Monday night's showdown with the 6-2 Washington Redskins (Clark's former team)? Go with Carter, who has clear limitations? Or is it time to give Anthony Smith another shot? This particular matchup may be a better fit for Carter than it is for our other replacement candidate, Anthony Smith.

The 5-foot-8 Carter has been a solid back-up free safety in his time in Pittsburgh, and is aggressive in his run support. His pass defense...well, you can't teach height, and giving up nine inches to Burress is a fairly significant disadvantage.

You can teach a defensive back to not bite on a double-move or gadget play, though, and it's a lesson Anthony Smith didn't bother to learn last season.

Washington's main threat through the air is 5-foot-9 Santana Moss. Their No. 2 guy, former Steeler Antwaan Randle-El, isn't any bigger than 5-foot-9. Moss is averaging 15 yards a catch this season with seven touchdowns. Steelers fans know full-well Randle-El's ability on gadget plays.

While Smith has more physical tools than Carter does, and both are generally seen as aggressive players, Carter's veteran savvy makes him a more viable option for the run-heavy-set-up-the-deep-ball Redskins. Smith is bigger, but Carter is less susceptible to the double-move, and Washington doesn't have a significant height advantage outside the numbers.

What they do have, though, is a deadly efficient quarterback. Jason Campbell is the only starter in the NFL not to have thrown an interception at this point, and his numbers are eerily similar to what Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard had going into their Week 14 game last season.

Garrard hit Dennis Northcutt on a 55-yard touchdown pass off a double-move in the second quarter of that game. Anthony Smith on the coverage...

It makes perfect sense for Washington - a team led on the ground by Clinton Portis and his 5.1 yards per carry - to set up the big play like Jacksonville did last year by running the ball, and waiting for their opportunity to use Moss's speed against Smith's tendency to play the run. The Steelers pass rush may not have yielded a sack against New York, but they provided plenty of pressure, and the Redskins' offensive line is not as good as the Giants.

The Steelers will miss Ryan Clark. But if he's not in there, Carter makes the most sense as the deep safety. The run defense can contain Portis without the safety five yards off the ball. What the Steelers can't contain, though, is Moss getting behind him deep.

So maybe my streak will be broken, and I'll hear "Carter on the coverage" and not see a jubilant Moss or Randle-El on the receiving end of a big pass play.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2008/10/29/648997/carter-s-the-logical-choic

The way Tyrone has played I think V'd give a chance 2 Anthony. What U guys think?

tony hipchest
10-29-2008, 10:07 PM
i thought both carter and smith played well in pre-season, but this article makes a pretty good argument of going with carter. hard to disagree with anything it says.

carter has seen more time this season and his head may be more in the game. i say go with carter. ive never been as down on him as alot of people are. i realize he's a back up and not a chris hope, polamalu or ryan clark.

i just hope we give clark a new deal.

MasterOfPuppets
10-29-2008, 10:27 PM
thats a tuff call.....never been a carter fan, smith has the talent, but ain't showed the smarts. if i'm not mistaken, isn't smith's contract up this year? i believe i might take one last look at smith, before i decide to shit can him or not.

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-29-2008, 10:40 PM
Yeah, I would love to see Smith get another chance. He's a player with more upside than Carter, but Carter might be better experienced to play this weekend at FS.

My ideal setup would have been Troy and Clark the starting safeties on the team and Smith the backup SS, with Ryan Mundy backup FS. Maybe next year.

ChronoCross
10-29-2008, 11:36 PM
It sucks not having Ryan clarkd but Redskins are not a big passing team so we should be ok with tyron are smith back there.

Steelman16
10-30-2008, 12:39 AM
It sucks not having Ryan clarkd but Redskins are not a big passing team so we should be ok with tyron are smith back there.

No, we don't need him for that. We need him to take big runningbacks head-on and single-handedly taking them down. Clark is one heck of a player.

Tough choice. I think you have to start Carter, but I wouldn't mind seeing Smith get a few snaps out there. Maybe he can nab an INT, since he is a ballhawk and all...

Aussie_steeler
10-30-2008, 01:53 AM
My vote is for Anthony Smith. I just think he is a better player than Tyrone Carter and offers more athletically and physically.

I would also like to see if he has matured as the result of living in the doghouse so far. Lets see what he now has to offer and what value he is to the team for the future.

I agree with GONZs - regarding his assessment for the future. He looks a natural SS but for now IMO he is the better FS left for this game.

Galax Steeler
10-30-2008, 03:33 AM
I would love to see Smith get another oppertunity he has the speed and as someone stated above he is a ballhawk maybe he has learned something from last year so maybe they will work him in some this week.

Dino 6 Rings
10-30-2008, 11:30 AM
I like Smith so I'll vote for him. He's young and dumb sometimes, but he hits like a freight train and that makes me happy.

The Duke
10-30-2008, 07:10 PM
i want to know our record when tyrone carter plays FS

it feels like we always lose

He had one of his best games last year against the 1-15 dolphins :thumbsup:

Whoever starts has to cover deep. no excuses

Love ryan and his desire to play, but it'd be better if he didn't risk his shoulder for at least a week

Steelthe#1dynasty
10-31-2008, 12:38 AM
Smith should start over Carter. Carter blew it last week. Experience is sometimes overrated. Tomlin should hive the kid another shot.

GBMelBlount
10-31-2008, 08:04 AM
Personally I'd like to see Smith get a shot for several of the reasons mentioned earlier.

Steeldude
10-31-2008, 12:05 PM
i think polamalu at FS and smith at SS. i am not sure how well polamalu knows the FS position though.

Steely McSmash
11-01-2008, 12:40 AM
i think polamalu at FS and smith at SS. i am not sure how well polamalu knows the FS position though.

How about moving Deshea to FS and putting Gay in at CB?

Smith is more of a SS guy in my mind. Fs needs to be more smart and cagey -- like Deshea. I do love the way Smith hits though.

Makaveli
11-01-2008, 01:52 PM
i think polamalu at FS and smith at SS. i am not sure how well polamalu knows the FS position though.

This actually sounds as though it would very well prove to be a worthwhile combo.(in said form) Though i don't see our coaching staff as having the resolve or boldness to make such a decision.

They'll more than likely go with Carter and we'll pay dearly if Campbell remains composed and continues to be as smart with the ball as he has all season. (Doesn't throw picks)

Smith would most certainly be the best option in terms of "talent" on the field. But as mentioned,...his lack of discipline is a liability that rivals even Carter's lack of speed, range, quickness and instincts.

It's a "choose your poison" scenario to me. Hopefully,...other players on the defensive side of the ball can step up and take some pressure off of the secondary. Or perhaps Troy making a few big plays to make them(redskins) "gun shy". ?

bigmaq
11-01-2008, 01:58 PM
Agree with Makaveli, you are money on this one.

When it comes to covering ground Smith has the advantage with his foot speed - he can be a heat seeking missile. Unfortunately, he oftentimes has more ground to cover because of his lack of speed from the neck up. It's almost a flip the coin and take your poison with these two options. That's why Clark is so valuable, he is almost as fast and big as Smith, but, he has the right gray matter to monitor his play.

What is latest word on Clark, he was listed as questionable at end of day Thursday?

steelpride12
11-01-2008, 02:00 PM
This truly shows how much of a loss Ryan Clark is for us at the FS position.
All the different combination's all cool, different ideas, but nothing to make up for the loss of Clark. My opinion is Smith just because he has shown more potential then Carter who i dislike myself, but we will see what turns out.

1stcav02
11-01-2008, 02:13 PM
Yeah no doubt Carter just doesn't have the speed or height to defend against the pass. randle el and santana moss (if he plays) are to speedy. My vote = Smith

steelerstrade
11-01-2008, 02:23 PM
As long as his name isn't Anthony Smith!

steelcity_88
11-01-2008, 03:12 PM
I'm not sure this debate really matters anymore. If Troy can't go, I'm sure we'll see both Carter and Smith. Too bad Ryan Mundy isn't healthy, maybe he could have offered some competition. I liked that guy from what I saw, preseason or not.

Rhee Rhee
11-02-2008, 03:45 AM
if only mundy was drafted a few years ago... he'd be groomed to be the perfect backup to ryan clark...

SteelMember
11-03-2008, 08:36 AM
I might consider starting Smith just to see if he has learned from his mistakes, but with the skins west coast style, he would be on a very short leash.

rbryan
11-03-2008, 09:54 AM
Time to start working Smith back into the rotation IMO. If he still hasn't learned his lesson then get rid of him, but as mentioned earlier, the guy is too much of a physical specimen to leave on the bench.

I wouldn't make his responsibility the last line of defense, but the guy is a monster and can blow up the underneath routes. If nothing else at least bring him in on the nickel. Maybe a safety blitz or two.

steelpride12
11-03-2008, 10:03 AM
Time to start working Smith back into the rotation IMO. If he still hasn't learned his lesson then get rid of him, but as mentioned earlier, the guy is too much of a physical specimen to leave on the bench.

I wouldn't make his responsibility the last line of defense, but the guy is a monster and can blow up the underneath routes. If nothing else at least bring him in on the nickel. Maybe a safety blitz or two.

I think Carter and Smith will both get some playing time and who ever performs better will get the nod for next week if Clark were to be out. Either way we will miss Clark and he is so important for us at FS.

rbryan
11-03-2008, 10:15 AM
I underestimated Clarks worth last year. I hope he makes it back soon, but I wouldn't be surprised if he misses a couple more weeks.