Leftovers – Weeks 5 and 6

Archive: Andre Carter Special Washington Commanders

Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize for the delay with the Leftovers from Week 5’s edition of THN Weekly with Andre Carter. They are posted below along with Week 6’s Leftovers.

Here are the article’s that the Leftovers did not make them into:

THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 5

THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 6

Leftovers – Week 5:

THN: What was said at halftime that changed the mode and momentum of the team heading into the second half and who said it? Or was it more than one person saying it?

AC: Nothing was said. We all knew what had to be done. It’s not how you start but how you finish. We played hard and won the game.

THN: What was the mood of the team heading into halftime with the boos coming down from the fans and what was the mood heading into the locker room after coming back and heading in with the win when the game was over? How differently did the team feel?

AC: We didn’t focus on the boos. We can’t control the reactions of the crowd. Of course a person from the outside looking in would say “score more points”, etc. However, when we came in at halftime, our focus was to make adjustments on offense, defense and special teams. When we heard the cheers, it was a good feeling because we won.

THN: What did you do to change your approach for a successful second half? Did you even change anything at all?

AC: A few plays but I think the main thing was looking at the man next to you and having faith we were going to win.

THN: It seemed that watching the game, at least in the first half, that Josh Johnson was performing a lot better than expected but once the game was all said and done, he only passed for 106 yards, which is great for a defense and the secondary. What was the key for the defense holding him to such a small amount of yards?

AC: Watching film we knew he was going to scramble. The important part of our gameplan was to contain him in the pocket and not allow him to gain yardage. During passing situations we put pressure on him so he couldn’t complete many passes. Everyone was in sync on Sunday.

THN: The defense didn’t allow a 100-yard rusher on Sunday. Is that always something for the team to build off of heading into the next game or does the defense look for something else to stay positive about? In the grand scheme of things, how important is it for a defense to hold a rusher to under 100-yards?

AC: It was a blessing to stop the run under 100 yards. For any defense, that’s the main goal week end and week out. As for next week, in order to stop the run within those parameters, the defense needs to be on the same page. Know the call, who your opponent is man-on-man and 11 men swarming to the ball.

THN: Despite the occasional boos, the fans were loud on defense throughout the whole game, especially in crucial situations. How much of a factor did that have on the defense’s success and do you think if this was a road game, that the crowd factor would have made a difference in the outcome?

AC: If it was a road game, I think we would play hard regardless. Playing home is great because it confuses the calls of our opponents on offense.

THN: Do you feel the boos were necessary for the fans to get a point across to the team and did that inspire the team to play harder to get them to stop? Do you think that the team felt vindicated when the cheering from the fans increased as well as the performance from the team in the second half?

AC: ‘Til this day I don’t know why the fans booed. The fans are being fans. The only thing we can control is to be victorious. When we won, the sound of cheers was amazing.

THN: Jeremy Jarmon and Brian Orakpo got in on some plays yesterday and did well. Orakpo even lined up at end on at least one play that I saw. After one quarter of the season, how do the young guys on the line look? Will fans see Orakpo lining up in a three-point stance at end more often as the season progresses?

AC: The young guys on the line look great. They have a lot to learn but we are fortunate to have Jarmon and Orakpo contributing. I think the futre of Orakpo being in a three-point stance more often will be determined by Coach Blache.

THN: How do you feel Shaun Suisham did in place of Hunter Smith after Smith got hurt? Apparently Suisham hadn’t punted since high school.

AC: I was impressed with Suisham. Hey, somebody has to do it. I don’t know anyone on the team who can punt. Oh yeah, Cooley can but we will see what happens in the future.

THN: Who impressed you the most Sunday and why?

AC: I felt that Reed (Doughty) did a great job. He has had his ups and downs on and off the field and for him to contribute the way he did was remarkable.

THN: What does it say about the team (players, coaches, etc.) that considering all of the negative publicity as of late, that the guys can stay together and focused and work successfully as a team?

AC: In life everyone is a critic. Family, friends, associates, etc. The important thing is how you handle adversity. We have 16 games to do something amazing. Time in this business is short, so let’s take advantage of it before it runs out.

THN: The next two opponents (Carolina and Kansas City) have a combined record of 0-7. The following week it’s Philadelphia at home. Do you think these next two games are a great opportunity for the team to get back on track and get rolling before the real big games start?

AC: Every week is an opportunity to win but it doesn’t mean teams are going to hand a win over to us. We have to earn each play and each game.

Leftovers – Week 6:

THN: Run me through the sacks and forced fumble. How were you able to make those plays?

AC: The sack came off of having good timing of the QB’s cadence and knocking my opponents hands down before he could hold me. I turned the corner and stripped the ball as I tackled Carolina’s QB.

THN: What will it take for you to repeat your personal performance against the Panthers this Sunday at FedEx Field?

AC: I leave it in the hands of God in regards to playing against Kansas City. I will watch plenty of film and study my opponent. Feet for an offensive lineman are important as well as hands. When analyzing games you get an idea of how he plays. He might be aggressive, strong hands, is he passive, etc. Rushing the passer is similar to a game of chess. You have to set up your opponent then when the time comes attack him when he leasts expects it.

THN: How tough is it to stay focused on your goals when there is so much talk about the team and so many rumors, such as the head coaching job being available at the end of the year for guys such as Jon Gruden or Mike Shanahan? I know you guys try to block it out and focus but you all have to know and hear what’s going on on the outside.

AC: It’s not hard to stay focus on our objective. All rumors do is develop negativity towards the team. It’s important we prepare for our opponent and continue to stay driven.

THN: Albert Haynesworth continues to get hurt and take a little bit of time to get off the field. How serious are his injuries when he does that? Has anyone talked to him about his conditioning at all? It appears he’s proving Rams center Jason Brown’s assessment of him is correct and that he gets winded and seems to takes plays off.

AC: From what I know he has a few ailments that he has been treating and staying on top of during the season. He has been putting pressure in the middle and has helped us stop the run. As far as his conditioning is concerned, he runs hard to the ball and is physical. I feel that the center is wrong with that statement. I have had more tackles because of Albert.

THN: Jason Campbell was interviewed on the radio Monday and was asked about the Portis/Sellers situation and whether “Portis’ act was wearing thin with the rest of the team” and without saying yes or calling him out or throwing him under the bus, Jason essentially said that there are things with the team that shouldn’t have been let out in the media. If you listen to the interview, he basically says yes without saying it. Has Portis’ reputation with the team changed or morphed over the years?

AC: All I can say is that Portis is Portis. He is funny, passionate and says what’s on his mind. You have to know him to understand him. I feel like his behavior isn’t affecting the team moral. He says what’s on his mind whether or not the others agree or disagree His time with the Redskins, I think, isn’t running thin.

THN: This Sunday, it’s another underperforming team, this time the Kansas City Chiefs at home. The Skins are currently undefeated at home. What will it take to keep that homefield advantage going?

AC: A lot of pride and Redskin fans. Having fun at our home turf.

THN: The Chiefs played the Cowboys pretty tough on Sunday. What makes them dangerous?

AC: I haven’t watched film on them yet but from what I heard, their passing game is a threat. If (Matt) Cassel is in the pocket long enough he can create big plays for the offense.

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