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Old 09-15-2009, 12:08 AM   #1
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Default Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in

Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_643109.html#
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Two years ago, Steelers safety Tyrone Carter was supposed to be too slow.

Who can forget Carter's failed attempt to overtake burly Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard on his late-game run toward the end of the Steelers' AFC wild-card loss?

If Carter was too slow then, what is he now, at 33, and in his 10th NFL season?

A perfect fit.

The Steelers retained Carter for times just like this.

Pro Bowl strong safety Troy Polamalu is sidelined with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, so it's Carter's responsibility to hold things together in the secondary.

With Polamalu out for Sunday's game at Chicago and his return date unknown, Carter's 40-time doesn't seem as important as his understanding of Dick LeBeau's complicated 3-4 defense, along with his violent tendencies on the field.

"I've definitely got confidence in T.C," outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. "The things that he's been doing, he's been doing for years. He's on the team for a reason. He makes big hits; he makes big plays.

"Everybody's different in their own way. Troy plays the way he plays; T.C. plays the way he plays. T.C. can play."

To be sure, Carter will drop down and play in the box like Polamalu does when the Steelers attempt to stuff the Bears' running game because it's what Carter does best. Just because Carter isn't Polamalu doesn't mean he can't try to play like him.

"I would be foolish to say it won't be different without (Troy), and ya'll would be even more foolish to print it," free safety Ryan Clark told reporters Monday. "He's the best safety in football. He's going to be missed.

"But we're going to hold the fort down until he gets back. I think coach LeBeau's pretty much going to call the game as he calls it every week. For us, I think the biggest thing is going to be not stepping out of what it is that we do as individuals."

For Carter, who doesn't have Polamalu's speed in the open field, it means keeping everything in front of him, blowing up an occasional running play and allowing the Steelers' defensive machinery to continue running smoothly.

It's not like Carter has a choice. These are the Steelers, after all.

According to coach Mike Tomlin, the proverbial standard of expectation remains the same no matter who lines up and plays.

That applies to Polamalu, a five-time Pro Bowler, as well as to Carter, who will be making his 11th career start with the Steelers on Sunday.

"Ever since I came here (in 2004), I'm always thinking that at any given time, I'll play," said Carter, who replaced Polamalu in the second quarter of the season opener against Tennessee. "I don't ever look at it as I'm just a backup just chillin'. I practice like I'm going to play.

"I want to make sure when he's out, we don't skip a beat. I try to let my teammates know when he's not out there, they can still count on me."

So far, Carter has been as good as his word.

Since 2006, Polamalu has missed eight starts because of injury. The Steelers are 6-2 in those games, and they're 5-2 when Carter has started.

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in

I think I'm more worried about Carter playing safety than I am about our O-Line...lol

The guy has never impressed me.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in

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I think I'm more worried about Carter playing safety than I am about our O-Line...lol

The guy has never impressed me.
Well, he's a backup. If he was any better, he'd be starting somewhere. You can't have pro-bowlers backing up pro-bowlers, but yet, that's what some people expect.

Carter is what he is. Not great, not terrible, but does just enough to get the job done. I think he'll be fine, and that the D as a whole will be fine.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in

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I think I'm more worried about Carter playing safety than I am about our O-Line...lol

The guy has never impressed me.
no kidding. I immediately laughed when i read the thread title

I think they'll rotate in Carter, Mundy and Ratliff to replace Troy. Remember that Ryan Clark can also play SS.

I'd like to see Ratliff at FS and Clark at SS for the most part
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in

I like Tyrone, I think he a good player that fills a need. Each year a lot of fan can't wait to get rid of him, and each year he just keeps coming back.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in

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I like Tyrone, I think he a good player that fills a need. Each year a lot of fan can't wait to get rid of him, and each year he just keeps coming back.
We should have kept Roy Lewis instead he was snatched up quickly

Go watch the 2007 wildcard playoff game against the Jags and then tell me if you still like Carter. He cost us big time in that game
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in

I know alot of people dont like Ty Carter but I really think he wil be fine back there.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in

I predict Tyrone Carter will pick off a Cutler pass on Sunday.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in

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We should have kept Roy Lewis instead he was snatched up quickly

Go watch the 2007 wildcard playoff game against the Jags and then tell me if you still like Carter. He cost us big time in that game
OK - he had one bad game - so?

I'm confident with Tyrone out there and obviously so are Lebeau and Tomlin. He's NOT Troy - no one plays like him - but he's a decent backup imho.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in

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Go watch the 2007 wildcard playoff game against the Jags and then tell me if you still like Carter. He cost us big time in that game
Thanks for posting that. I'm sure now that you have, the oppositions scouts will do exactly that.
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