PDA

View Full Version : Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in



fordfixer
09-15-2009, 02:27 AM
Harris: Carter perfect as Polamalu fill-in

By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 43109.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_643109.html)

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.

Jigawatts
09-15-2009, 03:13 PM
I don't expect Carter to make the phenomenal plays that Troy makes, but I do expect
"Chowder" to make the plays he's supposed to make. He's always been a solid back up
and he always seems to be in the right place, making interceptions or causing fumbles
in his limited playing time.

Shoe
09-15-2009, 05:06 PM
I don't expect Carter to make the phenomenal plays that Troy makes, but I do expect
"Chowder" to make the plays he's supposed to make. He's always been a solid back up
and he always seems to be in the right place, making interceptions or causing fumbles
in his limited playing time.

Except that Garrard play. :oops:

We need Woodley & Silverback to step up--pass rush will mask any deficiency in a secondary.

JTP53609
09-17-2009, 12:34 PM
I don't expect Carter to make the phenomenal plays that Troy makes, but I do expect
"Chowder" to make the plays he's supposed to make. He's always been a solid back up
and he always seems to be in the right place, making interceptions or causing fumbles
in his limited playing time.

Except that Garrard play. :oops:

We need Woodley & Silverback to step up--pass rush will mask any deficiency in a secondary.

oh dont remind me.....he use to be a big time hot dog, but he has cooled down since big mouth smith left, I expect him to play well and keep his composure....

NorthCoast
09-19-2009, 07:33 PM
We are lucky to have this kind of depth. I actually think Carter could start on an NFL team but he seems to not mind his role on this one. The record shows...we can with with Carter in the game. Just don't expect to see any one-handed, leaping interceptions.

skyhawk
09-19-2009, 07:35 PM
I will have to drink extra beer to help me relax in Troy's absence ;)