By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - The skinny on Andre Carter is that he's a pass-rushing maven. And the numbers so far in his career bear that out. He's got three seasons with double-digit sacks since coming into the league in 2001, including an 11-sack season for Washington in 2009. But Bill Belichick cautioned against pigeon-holing Carter as a specialist. Asked Wednesday morning if Carter could also play the run, Belichick said "Yeah, I would say so. I think handling the run is a strength of his."Belichick continued in a clear attempt to make people understand Carter is not "Just Another Guy" in this league. "He's a pretty talented player," Belichick pointed out. "He was the seventh pick in the draft. I dont think you stumble into that spot."Lapsing into scouting-report speak, Belichick ticked off the attributes. "He's got good size, he's long, he's got power, he plays hard, he's got a real good motor. Well-conditioned athlete. Strong, runs well...good athlete. He's obviously been well-coached with his family (his father Rubin played nose-tackle for the Broncos' Orange Crush defense from 1975 to 1986), He's got a lot going for him. Smart guy, understands football concepts. Makes adjustments quickly, works hard. Quite a few positives there."So far, Carter's been impressive. He didn't play in the preseason opener last week against Jacksonville but in 1-on-1s and in team play, his explosionis hard tomiss. He'sseems very difficult to handle in space. For his part, Carterfeels he couldn't have landed in a better spot after dealing with the uncertainty of being a free agent and then not having his phone ring right away.
"For me personally, it was a humbling experience, not being picked up in the free agency market especially when time was of the essence," he explained last Friday. Belichick scouted Carter extensively in 2001 when the Patriots held the sixth pick in the draft. Ultimately, New England took Richard Seymour. Carter went to the 49ers. "This is a great organization," Carter pointed out. "Almost 11 years later, I'm here now and everything's kind of come full circle. Now it's on me to justgo out and represent myselfin a class manner and be a professional."Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
By Tom E. Curran