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Old 10-29-2008, 11:01 PM   #1
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Default Tyrone Carter's the Logical Choice at Free Safety Against the Redskins

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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...-logical-choic
The way Tyrone has played I think V'd give a chance 2 Anthony. What U guys think?
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tyrone Carter's the Logical Choice at Free Safety Against the Redskins

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.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tyrone Carter's the Logical Choice at Free Safety Against the Redskins

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.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tyrone Carter's the Logical Choice at Free Safety Against the Redskins

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.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tyrone Carter's the Logical Choice at Free Safety Against the Redskins

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.
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tyrone Carter's the Logical Choice at Free Safety Against the Redskins

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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...
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tyrone Carter's the Logical Choice at Free Safety Against the Redskins

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.
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tyrone Carter's the Logical Choice at Free Safety Against the Redskins

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.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tyrone Carter's the Logical Choice at Free Safety Against the Redskins

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.
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tyrone Carter's the Logical Choice at Free Safety Against the Redskins

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Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
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

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
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