Even Andre Carter has trouble ‘putting a finger’ on success of Tony Romo
|10.12.11 at 6:25 pm ET|
FOXBORO — There are two distinct sides of Tony Romo.
There’s the one that lost a 27-3 lead to the Lions, throwing two pick-6s to help the Lions back in the game, with Detroit eventually pulling out a miraculous 34-30 win at Cowboys Stadium two weeks ago.
Then there’s the one that led the Cowboys back from certain defeat in San Francisco, capped off with a 77-yard connection with Jesse Holley that set up the game-winning field goal in San Francisco.
The good Romo has thrown for 28 career 300-yard games, including 345 at San Francisco, when he broke multiple ribs early in the game. He has thrown at least one TD in 19 straight games.
The bad Romo threw three interceptions against the Lions allowing certain victory to turn into defeat.
The Patriots are preparing for the best and hoping for the worst in Romo.
“Just through experience with Tony Romo, he’s an elusive quarterback, he’s wild and he takes chances but for the most part, he’s been successful,” said Andre Carter, who faced Romo twice annually with the Redskins. “So, either way, like any quarterback that likes to scramble, it’s important to keep him in the pocket.
“Even I can’t put my finger on it. He just has that “Comeback Kid” mentality, especially when it comes down to the wire in the fourth quarter. He’s able to move the ball real well, find his offensive weapons and make the big plays. As a defense, you have to prevent those in order to be successful.”
Carter has seen the film, presumably good and bad, on Romo.
“He can be very dangerous,” Carter said. “He is so elusive and one thing about him, especially when he does go out of the pocket, he’s just able to pinpoint. Whether it’s [Jason Witten], Dez Bryant, the corps of receivers, because as you know they’re big, tall and they’ll be able to do some jump-balls. And that can be very dangerous for anybody.”
Albert Haynesworth is another former Redskin who will have it in for Romo on Sunday.
“Regardless of what some people thing, they’re a really good team and Tony Romo is a really good quarterback,” Haynesworth said. “He can be streaky sometimes, but most of the time, he’s on point. We just have to get after him.”
And if the Patriots can get to him, maybe they’ll force him into the decisions that led to him throwing away the games to the Jets on opening night in New Jersey and the home game against the Lions, in which he infamously shrugged off owner Jerry Jones when Jones tried to talk to him at the end of a horrific loss.
“You never want that to happen,” Romo said in a conference call on Wednesday. “We were also fortunate to have all the things go right against Washington and against San Francisco. For every game that’s the other way, there’s another one the other side. Everyone is good in this league. You have to minimize turnovers in key situations. We did that for two of the games and two of the games we didn’t. That’s really what it comes down to.”
Romo’s head coach and lead offensive guru, Jason Garrett believes part of the issue this year with Romo is the young, inexperience offensive line, which is faster but smaller.
“We do have some younger players on our offensive line,” Garrett said Wednesday. “We have Tyron Smith who was drafted in the first round for us and Bill Nagy who was a seventh round pick. Those rookies are starting and Phil Costa is playing center and he’s a second round guy out of Maryland. You put those guys next to [Doug] Free and [Kyle] Kosier who have been playing for us – it’s a little bit of a different group that’s been playing over the last few years. They are a little smaller then the guys that had been playing, but we like what they’ve done. They’re certainly learning a lot about playing football and the challenges that they’re going to face at this level. They’re not quite as big as the guys that have played in the past, but we do like they’re competitiveness and their tenacity. Like I said, they are learning as they go. They’ve done a nice job so far, but a lot of challenges ahead.”
The Patriots would like to be able to step up and make it more than just a challenge on Sunday at Gillette.
“Like any challenge when you’re working with new guys, I think that’s the biggest thing ‘ the comfort level when you have experience and you have experience with somebody else, whether you’re playing next to somebody or with somebody on the offense. I think that’s just ‘ those are the growing pains that you go through,” Garrett added. “We’re four games into it with a younger offense line. We feel like they’re growing every week and getting better every week. It’s a tribute to the approach that they take and the coaching that they get from Hudson Houck and we’re just hopeful they continue to grow.”