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Patriots are keeping it simple with Andre Carter

08.08.11 at 6:09 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” When it comes to newly acquired defensive end/linebacker Andre Carter, it appears that the Patriots aren’t going to get too complicated. Asked Monday about what sort of conversations he’€™s had with the team about what his role will be going forward, Carter smiled.

‘€œIt was just simple ‘€” just put your hand in the dirt and go,’€ he said with a grin.

Simple enough. The 32-year-old Carter, who was picked up as a free agent officially Monday by the Patriots, was at his first practice on Monday afternoon. While he didn’€™t get into a serious rotation along New England’€™s defensive front, he certainly sounded excited to be with the Patriots.

‘€œFirst and foremost, they do things the right way,’€ he said when asked about his thoughts on the Patriots before he signed in Foxboro. ‘€œIt’€™s about accountability. Taking accountability for yourself and accountability as a team. It’€™s about playing as one. It’€™s about not having any ego’€™s ‘€” they say leave your ego’€™s at the door. And that’€™s one thing they all do well ‘€” they play together hard.’€

Carter did not see much action on Monday, but was in pads with the rest of his teammates as he works to get up to speed as fast as possible.

‘€œIt’€™s like the new guy the first day of school. Granted, school has already started, but you try and get in where you fit in,’€ he said. ‘€œThere’€™s constant communication with the coaches and players and just taking mental reps, and when you’€™re in, just try and make a good impression and see where you are mentally and physically.’€

Carter does have some interesting ties to the Patriots. Selected seventh overall in 2001 ‘€” one pick after New England drafted Richard Seymour ‘€” his relationship with the Patriots goes back to a pre-draft workout with coach Bill Belichick.

‘€œAndre is a player who I spent a lot of time with prior to him coming out in the draft,’€ said Belichick, who coached Carter’€™s father Rubin for a season when Belichick was an assistant in Denver. ‘€œI think he’€™s another high quality individual who’€™s very professional, who works hard, very well conditioned athlete. He’€™s had a lot of production throughout his career.’€

A 6-foot-4, 255-pounder, Carter originally entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick (7th overall) of the 49ers in 2001 out of California. he’€™s played with San Francisco (2001-05) and Washington (2006-09). Overall, he’€™s played in 149 career games with 133 starts and has accumulated 517 total tackles, 66 sacks, 30 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He has registered double-digit sack totals three times in his career with a career-high 12.5 in 2002 with the 49ers and 10.5 in 2007 and 11.0 in 2009 with the Redskins.

However, those numbers plummeted last year when Washington went to a 3-4 ‘€” Carter’€™s strength appears to be as a pass-rushing defensive end in the 4-3 ‘€” and he ended with just 44 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

‘€œLast year, when Washington went to the 3-4 defense, it wasn’€™t a good fit for him evidently in that system,’€ Belichick said. ‘€œBut we feel like with what we’€™ll be asking him to do this year ‘€“ relative to what he was asked to do last year, what we’€™ve seen him do in the first nine years of his career ‘€” that we can use his ability on the edge and he can be effective.’€

‘€œIt was a great scheme, but just being the person I am, I’€™ve just been a defensive end,’€ Carter shrugged when asked about getting derailed by the 3-4 last season. ‘€œThe 3-4 did create versatility in me, and I did my due diligence, [but] it’€™s a thing of the past, and I just have to move on.’€

Read More: Andre Carter, Bill Belichick, Richard Seymour, Rubin Carter
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