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fordfixer
11-04-2009, 02:14 AM
On the Steelers: Carter capable of filling in for Clark
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09308/1010615-66.stm

Mike Tomlin has listed five possible Steelers to play free safety when they take the Mile High plunge Monday night in Denver, and if one of them is not named Ryan Clark the correct answer will be Tyrone Carter.

Somehow, the Steelers survived to an extent with Carter playing four games at strong safety for Troy Polamalu, so this assignment should not be quite as demanding. While Clark has been an important ingredient to a Steelers defense that dominated the NFL last season, he just is not Troy Polamalu.

Neither is Carter a Ryan Clark, but the fact is the Steelers' defense turns on its All-Pro strong safety, and Polamalu looked better in his second game than he did in his first back from a sprained knee ligament.

This ongoing story is intriguing more for the human interest part of it, the dilemma for Clark and the Steelers because of his health issues in Denver than it is over the effect his absence could have on the Steelers' defense. Clark has sickle-cell trait, and his blood reacted so poorly in the exertion of playing in the thin Denver air with the Steelers in 2007 that he became almost deathly ill after the game. He wound up having his spleen and gall bladder removed and missed the second half of the 2007 season. Clark has received medical clearance to play Monday night, but has not made a decision.

As for the effect on Clark's possible absence, the Broncos are not a team that throws deep very often, as witnessed by quarterback Kyle Orton's yards-per-attempt of 7.00, which ranks 17th in the NFL. That compares with Ben Roethlisberger's 8.85, which ranks first. And for another, Polamalu will be on the field.

The way Dick LeBeau schemes defenses, the Broncos will have trouble even if they wanted to try to exploit the free safety because Polamalu could wind up there after the snap of the ball.

"I don't think they change too much because Troy will be out there," Carter said. "Still, it's predicated where Troy's at for the game plan on offense. That's the only thing I can think of. They still have to account for Troy."

Quarterbacks and their offenses have historically had trouble doing just that because Polamalu can move so quickly from one part of the field to another at the snap of the ball. The Steelers' defense revolves around him.

"Ryan's a great safety who's a quarterback back there," Carter said. "He's usually the fail-safe guy, and they let Troy do his thing. Ryan makes sure they don't get behind us, and if they pop into holes he's there to make the tackle, and we line up and play again."

One thing that could take place is the communication between Clark and linebacker James Farrior.

"Yeah, it changes a little bit for me," Farrior explained. "He's the guy who's always making the calls with me. It seems like I have an extra voice out there. It will definitely affect how I'm going to be calling things. Being out there, I have to be more aware of situations and that he's not going to be back there echoing my call.

"He knows it just like me, so he's calling it at the same time I'm calling it."

Two reasons Carter would start in Clark's place instead of Ryan Mundy, Deshea Townsend or Keiwan Ratliff -- all mentioned as possibilities by Tomlin -- are his experience playing safety and his ability against the run. Townsend has practiced and played safety the past two seasons, but at 5 feet 10 and 190 pounds is not the run-stopper that the 5-9, 195-pound Carter has been.

"If he doesn't play, that will be the challenge for me or Mundy," Carter said, "to make sure when we get an opportunity to bring him down we have to bring him down. I'm more strong safety than free safety, but I've been playing safety for years and I got accustomed to playing both."

Both Farrior and Carter believe the communication between them would be satisfactory.

"Yeah, I've been in this defense for six years and I know it in and out, which helps me a lot," Carter said. "So I don't have to be worried about what I'm doing. I know what they're doing around me.

"And playing with Troy, I know what Troy does and I have to make sure he gets the calls and line him up as well. That's the challenge for me and when the plays come, just make them."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09308/10 ... z0VrvLO3E2 (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09308/1010615-66.stm#ixzz0VrvLO3E2)

steelblood
11-04-2009, 08:57 AM
Yawn. Don't believe it for a second. Carter playing was a killer against Chicago and Cincinnati. He takes bad angles against the run (I was at the Cincinnati game and should have had Benson on his 30 yard TD run -- He took a terrible angle and had zero lateral agility when he got close) and is a target against the pass - he is too small to cover a TE and too slow to take a WR. Carter playing for Clark will likely cost this team precious points and potentially the game. That being said, I believe Clark should not play, and we'll have to live with Carter and Mundy.

Oviedo
11-04-2009, 09:28 AM
Yawn. Don't believe it for a second. Carter in for Clark was a killer against Chicago and Cincinnati. He takes bad angles against the run (I was at the Cincinnati game and should have had Benson on his 30 yard TD run -- He took a terrible angle and had zero lateral agility when he got close) and is a target against the pass - he is too small to cover a TE and too slow to take a WR. Carter playing for Clark will likely cost this team precious points and potentially the game. That being said, I believe Clark should not play, and we'll have to live with Carter and Mundy.

I'm not buying it either. Carter will be a huge target if he plays for Clark. Brandon Marshall will be licking his chops seeing Carter out there.

stlrz d
11-04-2009, 09:34 AM
Yawn. Don't believe it for a second. Carter in for Clark was a killer against Chicago and Cincinnati. He takes bad angles against the run (I was at the Cincinnati game and should have had Benson on his 30 yard TD run -- He took a terrible angle and had zero lateral agility when he got close) and is a target against the pass - he is too small to cover a TE and too slow to take a WR. Carter playing for Clark will likely cost this team precious points and potentially the game. That being said, I believe Clark should not play, and we'll have to live with Carter and Mundy.

Carter played for Troy in those games.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-04-2009, 09:41 AM
It's time for Mundy. He has been seeing the field more and I think he is ready. I think the Steelers are considering this since Tomlin hasn't been so quick to name Carter as the #3 S. Thank God!!! We can move on.

steelblood
11-04-2009, 09:42 AM
Yawn. Don't believe it for a second. Carter in for Clark was a killer against Chicago and Cincinnati. He takes bad angles against the run (I was at the Cincinnati game and should have had Benson on his 30 yard TD run -- He took a terrible angle and had zero lateral agility when he got close) and is a target against the pass - he is too small to cover a TE and too slow to take a WR. Carter playing for Clark will likely cost this team precious points and potentially the game. That being said, I believe Clark should not play, and we'll have to live with Carter and Mundy.

Carter played for Troy in those games.

Yeah, I knew that. I just had temporary brain freeze. It has been edited.

But, it doesn't really matter. The point is that Carter will be a target. Besides, he says he's a better SS than a FS. That isn't too reassuring.

ikestops85
11-04-2009, 12:23 PM
Yawn. Don't believe it for a second. Carter in for Clark was a killer against Chicago and Cincinnati. He takes bad angles against the run (I was at the Cincinnati game and should have had Benson on his 30 yard TD run -- He took a terrible angle and had zero lateral agility when he got close) and is a target against the pass - he is too small to cover a TE and too slow to take a WR. Carter playing for Clark will likely cost this team precious points and potentially the game. That being said, I believe Clark should not play, and we'll have to live with Carter and Mundy.

Carter played for Troy in those games.

Yeah, I knew that. I just had temporary brain freeze. It has been edited.

But, it doesn't really matter. The point is that Carter will be a target. Besides, he says he's a better SS than a FS. That isn't too reassuring.

I'm of a different viewpoint on that. I think Carter is a better fit at FS in our scheme. He is better at playing center field than he is at covering and he is a hard hitter. He's not the sure tackler that Clark is but he isn't bad in that regard.

Carter is a known quantity while Mundy isn't at that position. Playing against Denver I think we need to go with the known instead of taking a chance on the unknown. Mundy will get his time to shine but I don't think it should be against a disciplined team like Denver.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-04-2009, 01:38 PM
Yawn. Don't believe it for a second. Carter in for Clark was a killer against Chicago and Cincinnati. He takes bad angles against the run (I was at the Cincinnati game and should have had Benson on his 30 yard TD run -- He took a terrible angle and had zero lateral agility when he got close) and is a target against the pass - he is too small to cover a TE and too slow to take a WR. Carter playing for Clark will likely cost this team precious points and potentially the game. That being said, I believe Clark should not play, and we'll have to live with Carter and Mundy.

Carter played for Troy in those games.

Yeah, I knew that. I just had temporary brain freeze. It has been edited.

But, it doesn't really matter. The point is that Carter will be a target. Besides, he says he's a better SS than a FS. That isn't too reassuring.

I'm of a different viewpoint on that. I think Carter is a better fit at FS in our scheme. He is better at playing center field than he is at covering and he is a hard hitter. He's not the sure tackler that Clark is but he isn't bad in that regard.

Carter is a known quantity while Mundy isn't at that position. Playing against Denver I think we need to go with the known instead of taking a chance on the unknown. Mundy will get his time to shine but I don't think it should be against a disciplined team like Denver.

See...I'm opposite. I think Mundy is better at coverage (man & zone), tackling, hitting, and is far more athletic than Carter. The only thing keeping Mundy off the field is being in the right place more times than not. Carter's experience is keeping him ahead of the game because "assignment first" defense is what make the 3-4 click.

From the games Carter filled in for Troy, I have seen that Carter's experience isn't always enough to make a contribution. Eventually, athleticism makes up the difference and Mundy has that to fall back on. I'm just saying...Sooner than later for Mundy. I think he would be a better match-up against Denver. I don't like Carter at all in space while covering or tackling. Denver will test our deep 1/3's and I feel better having a bigger, taller, & more athletic Mundy sitting on his island. I'll take Carter "all day" underneath between the hashes because he has seen it. I just don't think the Steelers safeties will be feeding there on Monday night.

Oviedo
11-04-2009, 02:14 PM
[quote=steelblood]Yawn. Don't believe it for a second. Carter in for Clark was a killer against Chicago and Cincinnati. He takes bad angles against the run (I was at the Cincinnati game and should have had Benson on his 30 yard TD run -- He took a terrible angle and had zero lateral agility when he got close) and is a target against the pass - he is too small to cover a TE and too slow to take a WR. Carter playing for Clark will likely cost this team precious points and potentially the game. That being said, I believe Clark should not play, and we'll have to live with Carter and Mundy.

Carter played for Troy in those games.

Yeah, I knew that. I just had temporary brain freeze. It has been edited.

But, it doesn't really matter. The point is that Carter will be a target. Besides, he says he's a better SS than a FS. That isn't too reassuring.

I'm of a different viewpoint on that. I think Carter is a better fit at FS in our scheme. He is better at playing center field than he is at covering and he is a hard hitter. He's not the sure tackler that Clark is but he isn't bad in that regard.

Carter is a known quantity while Mundy isn't at that position. Playing against Denver I think we need to go with the known instead of taking a chance on the unknown. Mundy will get his time to shine but I don't think it should be against a disciplined team like Denver.

See...I'm opposite. I think Mundy is better at coverage (man & zone), tackling, hitting, and is far more athletic than Carter. The only thing keeping Mundy off the field is being in the right place more times than not. Carter's experience is keeping him ahead of the game because "assignment first" defense is what make the 3-4 click.

From the games Carter filled in for Troy, I have seen that Carter's experience isn't always enough to make a contribution. Eventually, athleticism makes up the difference and Mundy has that to fall back on. I'm just saying...Sooner than later for Mundy. I think he would be a better match-up against Denver. I don't like Carter at all in space while covering or tackling. Denver will test our deep 1/3's and I feel better having a bigger, taller, & more athletic Mundy sitting on his island. I'll take Carter "all day" underneath between the hashes because he has seen it. I just don't think the Steelers safeties will be feeding there on Monday night.[/quote:3oht1u2j]

:Agree Carter being forced to play in space could be an ugly thing to watch next Monday.

flippy
11-04-2009, 02:16 PM
Orton only throws short passes. It doesn't really matter imho.

RussBII
11-04-2009, 06:10 PM
Orton only throws short passes. It doesn't really matter imho.

I was kind of thinking that too, but Ryan Clark would light those guys up and take away that crossing pattern.

I say platoon em in the first quarter. Better player gets the majority of the snaps...

Steelerphile
11-05-2009, 06:52 PM
Carter will more than likely play the position capably. I doubt that he will be a huge target or that Ryan Clark will appreciably missed. Mundy is still feeling his way and I don't sense he has a tremendous comfort level. He has athletic ability but he is not confident enough to be aggressive in many situations. I think that his hesitancy could be more costly right now that playing Carter would be.

I don't understand why people attack Carter and say he will be a liability. He has been a solid backup while he has played for the Steelers. If he didn't have anything left, he wouldn't have made this team. He is getting up there in football years, but he is still solid and strong and experience does make you better.

Maybe next year he won't make it. But give him his due today.

frankthetank1
11-05-2009, 06:57 PM
i think carter is a much better tackler than he is in coverage. one good thing about carter playing fs and not ss is that there is a much bigger drop off when he is playing for troy