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ricardisimo
07-31-2012, 04:01 AM
Steelers linebacker Chris Carter making, leaving marks
July 31, 2012 12:00 am
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
It seemed as if it were a simple enough running play, just another run to the left in an 11-on-11 scrimmage drill that allows hitting but no tackling.

And Chris Carter, an outside linebacker who is known more for his speed, took advantage of the hitting.

From his right outside position, Carter came charging through the line of scrimmage and took on the lineman headed toward him, 335-pound tackle Chris Scott.

Carter -- who came to camp weighing 246 pounds, 8 pounds heavier than he was as a rookie in 2011 -- gives away nearly 90 pounds to Scott. But that didn't stop him from taking on Scott with a thunderous hit and blowing up the running play, all but stopping Scott in his tracks.

His defensive teammates celebrated as if Carter just stopped Ray Rice on fourth-and-inches at the goal line. Even Coach Mike Tomlin let out a whoop.

That's what the coaches have been eager to see from Carter, a fifth-round draft choice in 2011 who was a pass-rushing defensive end at Fresno State. And they have been seeing it with increasing and pleasant regularity at training camp.

"I came in a little heavier because I wanted to, and I came in a lot stronger, too," Carter said. "And I knew I was going do all the reps with the first team, so you have to be prepared. You have to have your body ready if you want to make improvements with the position I play. I couldn't stay where I was. I had to go up a couple pounds."

Carter is getting a big-time chance to make a mark at training camp. With Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison on the physically unable-to-perform list and backup Jason Worilds expected to be out two to four weeks recovering from wrist surgery, Carter is working with the first-team defense at right outside linebacker.

His specialty is rushing the passer, something he did superbly in college when he registered 11 sacks and 16 1/2 tackles for losses, and was named the Western Athletic Conference defensive player of the year as a senior. Carter is so quick he is probably the fastest player off the edge among the Steelers linebackers.

Now, though, he is trying to learn more of the other nuances of being an outside linebacker in the NFL.

"He doesn't know much about a lot of pass coverage and formations," said linebackers coach Keith Butler. "He's always been right on the tight end or the tackle. He has to play the true linebacker position and he's never had to do that.

"But he's still learning. He's a never-say-die guy. He's Clark Haggans. I feel like he's going to be quicker and maybe a little stronger when he does learn it.

Butler said he also would like to see Carter use more than just his speed in pass-rush situations.

"He needs to learn to use his speed in terms of turning and bull-rushing people, to get strong enough in his legs to do what we call walk the dog -- take the tackle back to the quarterback," Butler said. "I think he will be, but I think he has to learn to do that."

And Carter said he is ready to do so. With the offseason training activities and minicamp -- something he didn't have last season during the lockout -- he is way ahead of where he was in 2011 and a lot more comfortable with his defensive assignments.

"I know how to approach this training camp; I'm not so much stressed about it now," Carter said. "All you can do is play. Your play determines your future. I understand that. When you come in as a rookie, you're just praying and hoping they keep you on the team.

"Sometimes you don't think about those small variables. It's those types of things -- the fact I can grasp and understand the playbook-- that help me play faster and be more confident, too.

"I think the best thing of all is I'm out there with the 1s, with Brett [Keisel], with Troy [Polamalu], Ryan [Clark], Ike [Taylor], LaMarr [Woodley]. It forces you to get all the concepts, the playbook, get everything down correct.
You don't want to mess those dudes up. They take it seriously. I have to get it together quick. In the long run, it helps me out, too."

Ask Chris Scott.

Galax Steeler
07-31-2012, 04:04 AM
Thanks for sharing nice read. It will be a interesting battle for that position. I am so hyped up this year with the veterans we have and the rookie class. Should be a great year for some Steeler football.

pete74
07-31-2012, 04:42 AM
hopefully Carter can step up and take over Harrison's position next season because Worilds seems to always be hurt

Rick5895
07-31-2012, 06:08 AM
hopefully Carter can step up and take over Harrison's position next season because Worilds seems to always be hurt
Absolutely. I think Worilds needs to be very concerned about his tenure with the Steelers.

67 calsteel
07-31-2012, 09:36 AM
just keep it up and stay healthy.

teegre
07-31-2012, 10:27 AM
When he was drafted, Trent Dilfer averred: "THAT is why the Steelers win EVERY year."  

He went in to laud how great of a steal Carter was (for a R5 pick).  Merril Hoge (I believe) and he discussed how he was a project (simply a pass-rusher; not "complete" yet), but could turn out to be "the next in a long line of GREAT Pittsburgh OLBs."  

LVSteelersfan
07-31-2012, 10:39 AM
All right. Worilds will be a forever backup or off the team at this rate. I have defended Worilds pick but I am not so sure why at this point. It sounds like Carter has what it takes to fill that position if Harrison can't go all year.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-31-2012, 11:29 AM
All right. Worilds will be a forever backup or off the team at this rate. I have defended Worilds pick but I am not so sure why at this point. It sounds like Carter has what it takes to fill that position if Harrison can't go all year.

When Worlids was drafted I was puzzled and still am. Sean Lee, Pat Angerer and Brandon Spikes were still on the board and we could have uses any of them by last season to replace Farrior.

austinfrench76
07-31-2012, 11:40 AM
Let's hope 1 of the many OLB's we have drafted in the past few years pans out. Looks like Harrison is going to struggle to stay healthy and if Carter is the man, so be it. We just need someone, Woirlds isn't working out, to work out!

xbroughneck
07-31-2012, 01:05 PM
When he was drafted, Trent Dilfer averred: "THAT is why the Steelers win EVERY year."  

He went in to laud how great of a steal Carter was (for a R5 pick).  Merril Hoge (I believe) and he discussed how he was a project (simply a pass-rusher; not "complete" yet), but could turn out to be "the next in a long line of GREAT Pittsburgh OLBs."  

Dilfer and Carter are both Bulldogs. Of course he was happy. My main concern with Chris will be him going up against tackles that are much bigger than him. There were times when Fresno State went up against tougher competition and Chris was a non factor.

He was the best player on a front seven defense that was one of the worst in college ball.

I wish the Bulldog the best.

teegre
07-31-2012, 01:43 PM
Dilfer and Carter are both Bulldogs. Of course he was happy. My main concern with Chris will be him going up against tackles that are much bigger than him. There were times when Fresno State went up against tougher competition and Chris was a non factor.

He was the best player on a front seven defense that was one of the worst in college ball.

I wish the Bulldog the best.

True. Dilfer loves his Bulldgos.
[But, Hoge was also excited by the pick.]

True. Carter needed to learn how to do more than pass-rush.
[The kid has a motor that never quits... and a desire to be great... and a frame to add muscle (which he has done). He is definitely a project, but by year three, I could see him starting.]

True. He disappeared.
[It was because teams could focus their O-line (double team Carter) to take him out of the game. There was no one else on that defense worth even being a rookie free agent.]

Also, he was the WAC defensive player of the year... and while the WAC is not a powerhouse, it has produced some pretty good players (Kirk Morrison, Orlando Scandrick, Tramon Williams, & Isaac Sopoaga come to mind).

Steelersfan87
07-31-2012, 01:57 PM
I have full confidence in Worilds. He's recovering from surgery due to an injury that the team has known since before the regular season ended and he played through, and he put up quality numbers down the stretch in Woodley's place. Guy is good, and going to get better.

FrancoLambert
07-31-2012, 08:23 PM
When Worlids was drafted I was puzzled and still am. Sean Lee, Pat Angerer and Brandon Spikes were still on the board and we could have uses any of them by last season to replace Farrior.


It was a puzzling pick at the time.
Sean Lee's play this year (and for years to come) will eventually have people recalling another former Penn State linebacker who had a pretty good career for us.

pete74
08-01-2012, 03:53 AM
When Worlids was drafted I was puzzled and still am. Sean Lee, Pat Angerer and Brandon Spikes were still on the board and we could have uses any of them by last season to replace Farrior.

i agree. i wanted Lee very bad. he had 104 tackels and 4 picks last season for a crappy cowboys defense so just think what he could of done for us. he had double the interceptions that our team leader had. if Worilds can stay healthy i think he can be a very good player for us but i think i will always regret steelers not taking Lee.

pete74
08-12-2012, 06:54 PM
i think there is a good chance Worilds gets cut unless he gets healthy very soon and shows something

Steelersfan87
08-12-2012, 07:46 PM
I think Sylvester is more likely to be cut than Worilds, but I don't see either of them going. They're more likely to carry 9 than cut one.

Hawaii 5-0
08-12-2012, 08:47 PM
i think there is a good chance Worilds gets cut unless he gets healthy very soon and shows something

Worilds is currently on the PUP list, there's a distinct possibility that he remains there and thus misses the first six games of the season.

this would open the door for either Brandon Johnson or Adrian Robinson to make the opening day 53-man roster...

Kingmagyar
08-12-2012, 10:25 PM
It's only after one game but,

I'm sorry but there is no one on this roster right now that is anywhere close to the level of our starting outside linebackers. It's nice to see them getting pressure but you need to make the play. You need to make the tackle. We must be really desperate if we are getting excited about pressure. I remember seeing Porter, Harrison and Lloyd before them all doing something to take over a pre-season game, and you knew, you knew they had something.

Chris Carter had no stats in the game. Not one tackle and he started.

Adrien Robinson is the guy that looks like he could make the leap the best. He would be dead tired between plays but would still get pressure. Even Brandon Johnson playing outside LB for the first time looked better then Chris Carter. Johnson is 6'5" 245. I like that size. He tipped a pass in coverage, made a big hit on a tackle, and caused the pressure on the interception. He finished with 6 tackles.

Hawaii 5-0
08-12-2012, 10:48 PM
Even Brandon Johnson playing outside LB for the first time looked better then Chris Carter. Johnson is 6'5" 245. I like that size. He tipped a pass in coverage, made a big hit on a tackle, and caused the pressure on the interception. He finished with 6 tackles.

and Brandon Johnson can also play ILB, the kind of position flexibility that Tomlin likes so much...

Steelersfan87
08-13-2012, 02:37 AM
Kingmagyar, there are a lot of things that you said that I disagree with, but more importantly...you're comparing Carter playing against starters to Robinson playing against people who will be on couches watching games alongside us not too far from now. In addition, if you ask Dick LeBeau, pressure is more important than sacks. Want to hear him say it? Here you go! (click here (http://www.nfl.com/videos/pittsburgh-steelers/09000d5d81af5dbc/Playbook-Ravens-vs-Steelers))

Rick5895
08-13-2012, 03:54 AM
Kingmagyar, there are a lot of things that you said that I disagree with, but more importantly...you're comparing Carter playing against starters to Robinson playing against people who will be on couches watching games alongside us not too far from now. In addition, if you ask Dick LeBeau, pressure is more important than sacks. Want to hear him say it? Here you go! (click here (http://www.nfl.com/videos/pittsburgh-steelers/09000d5d81af5dbc/Playbook-Ravens-vs-Steelers))

I agree, I thought Carter was very disruptive, forcing Vick to step up rather than run away from pressure. He forced some bad throws by the philly QB's. I thought he played a good game.
Sacks are a nice stat line and are great, but pressure often forces bad throws which can lead to interceptions.

Kingmagyar
08-13-2012, 05:14 AM
"Pressure is more important then sacks." Tell that to the Hall of Fame Committee.

No one ever got into the hall of fame for the pressure he created on a QB. Carter still had zero tackles folks. I'm just saying he is no where near the player yet we need to succeed James Harrison and I saw more promise out of two other guys.. I'm hoping though Carter can be better. Pressure is a good first step.

Good point made about Robinson playing against scrubs. I want to see Adrian Robinson against some better competition to see how he does. His motor just wasn't giving up in that game.

But it is only a one game observation by myself. All should get better with time. I just don't think Chris Carter is leaving any marks yet with a zero stat line.

Steelersfan87
08-13-2012, 06:18 AM
Well, a lot of people disagree with you.

By the way, being a hall of fame player doesn't help you win a football game. Forcing quarterbacks to make bad decisions does.

pete74
08-13-2012, 10:04 AM
Regardless which is better one leads to the other. If your bringing pressure your going to get sacks and if you sack the QB then your obviously your bringing pressure

LVSteelersfan
08-13-2012, 11:39 AM
"Pressure is more important then sacks." Tell that to the Hall of Fame Committee.

No one ever got into the hall of fame for the pressure he created on a QB. Carter still had zero tackles folks. I'm just saying he is no where near the player yet we need to succeed James Harrison and I saw more promise out of two other guys.. I'm hoping though Carter can be better. Pressure is a good first step.

Good point made about Robinson playing against scrubs. I want to see Adrian Robinson against some better competition to see how he does. His motor just wasn't giving up in that game.

But it is only a one game observation by myself. All should get better with time. I just don't think Chris Carter is leaving any marks yet with a zero stat line.

And how long exactly did the first string defense play? It is very difficult to judge how well a player did in limited reps. I honestly don't know how long they kept him in but I am guessing it was a quarter at most as is normal for preseason games.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-13-2012, 11:44 AM
Carter looked stronger and quick like last year. I know he didnt get any sacks, but did seem to get some pressure and make the QB slide. I did see him get caugh up with the LT a couple times, which showed he still needs to get stronger and cant get into handfighting with the OT in pass protection.

IMO, a good outing for a 2nd year player with more room to improve. Looking better than Worilds did in his 2nd year IMO. Hope they all can stay healthy.

Steelersfan87
08-13-2012, 02:42 PM
And how long exactly did the first string defense play? It is very difficult to judge how well a player did in limited reps. I honestly don't know how long they kept him in but I am guessing it was a quarter at most as is normal for preseason games.

I believe he was in for all of the first half.

I did see him get caugh up with the LT a couple times, which showed he still needs to get stronger and cant get into handfighting with the OT in pass protection.

Yeah, he does still get clogged up a bit at times if the tackle gets his hands on him, but he definitely showed more power than last year. He also has a good motor, at least on the pass rush, continually buzzing around even if he's initially stalemated.