Mark Anderson on the loss of Andre Carter: ‘A lot of people have to step up and try and fill his shoes’
|12.20.11 at 6:16 pm ET|
FOXBORO — With Andre Carter going down, expect more responsibility to fall on the shoulders of defensive end Mark Anderson.
After Carter went down with a leg injury on Sunday against the Broncos, Anderson asserted himself nicely in his place, coming away with a pair of sacks in New England’s win over Denver. His biggest contribution was a strip-sack of Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and a fumble recovery on the play, one of three turnovers the Patriots forced in the second quarter in the win over Denver.
And now, with Carter done for the season — he was officially placed on season-ending injured reserve on Tuesday — the Patriots hope that Carter will continue to head in the right direction.
“Andre is one of the leaders on the team, and we’re going to miss him. As a team, it’ll be a big (loss). A lot of people have to step up and try and fill his shoes,” Anderson said after a Tuesday walkthrough. “I’m going to do my best and try and do whatever I can do to help the team out. But like I said, he’s a big part of the team, and we’re going to miss him.”
Anderson was the second-best pass rusher on the team, trailing only Carter when it came to sacks (Carter had 10, while Anderson has nine) and quarterback hits (Carter had 22, Anderson has 11). Patriots coach Bill Belichick was noncommittal when asked Tuesday about replacing Carter.
“Whatever 11 guys we put out there will have to get the job done,” Belichick said. “Whatever (offensive packages) they put out there we have to be ready to defend them.”
In his first season in New England, the 6-foot-4, 255-pounder out of Alabama, said he’s “not sure” if he’ll get more snaps this season with Carter on the sidelines.
“Most likely, but we do different schemes and have different plans,” he said. “We just have to be ready. Whenever your number’s called and you have to be ready to go out there and make a play when it’s your time.”
“He’s had a pretty good year,” Belichick said of Anderson. “He’s been a pretty consistent player for us all year. He’s a good athlete. He works hard.”
Anderson, who played four-plus seasons in Chicago and part of a year in Houston before joining the Patriots this past offseason, does have some positional versatility that will allow him to play both in a 3-4 and a 4-3. He says that he’s ready for both if needed.
“(There’s) really not a big difference,” he said of the difference in his responsibilities in the 3-4 or the 4-3. “We still have to set the edge and we still have to have the ability to go out there and make plays. You still have to rush the quarterback. You still have to drop (into coverage). There are some different drops and some things like that, but overall, you just have to set the edge and make plays.
“I feel comfortable. I’m enjoying myself every time I’m on the field,” the 28-year-old added. “I have fun when I play. This is my sixth year in the league, and there’s nothing new. I’ve seen just about everything there is to see. Now, it’s just going out there and executing plays.”
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