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THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Season Wrap-Up

On Monday, while teammates were packing up to leave Ashburn, VA and head towards their offseason homes or vacation spots, Andre Carter told reporters that he would be surprised if the Redskins picked up his roster option bonus for next season. If the Redskins decline to pay him the bonus, he will become an unrestricted free agent. Carter is uncertain of his status on the team next year and does not know what direction the team will go when it comes to the rest of the roster

“I really don’t know what changes will be made. That decision will be determined by the head man,” Carter said.

Speaking of the head man, Carter said he does not know when he will meet with Head Coach Mike Shanahan or even Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett to discuss his future in D.C.

“I really have no clue when I will meet with the coaches. I am sure the topic will be up for discussion eventually. Until then, I will pray and wait to see what happens,” Carter said.

Carter feels that he has learned a lot about himself over the past 12 months and that it will help him out no matter where he lands in 2011.

“Never in my career has my pride and faith been tested,” he said. “I’m thankful for the experience. I learned a lot about God’s plan and I was reminded that obstacles in life always have its purpose. Playing linebacker in this scheme made me more versatile and gave me an understanding of what capabilities the 3-4 defense can create.”

Whether he’s playing linebacker or defensive end, Carter plans to continue to stay limber and work on his cardio in the offseason to prepare for next season.

“I will continue to work on speed and endurance. I will have an opportunity to do some type of martial arts and a lot of stretching. If I am playing linebacker or defensive end, my routine will prepare me for the following season,” he said.

If Carter does return to the Redskins in 2011, he will approach playing linebacker the same way he did in 2010.

“It’s a role that I will have to accept and will continue to be a professional in the 2011 season if that becomes my reality,” Carter said.

Carter’s affinity for playing defensive end comes from years and years of honing his craft and not trying to adjust to another position, hence his struggles with the linebacker spot in 2005 and 2010.

“Like any sport, it’s about repetition,” Carter said. “Take the number of snaps from high school, college, and NFL, in practice and in games throughout my career. Now take the 2005 and 2010 snaps at linebacker in practice and in games. I’ve been playing defensive end all of my career. I am what I am.”

Now that the regular season is over, Carter can look back on one of the strangest years in league history and pick out what stood out to him the most. He could have pointed out the continuous talk regarding the NFLPA vs. the owners, the large amount of fines doled out or even the emphasis on player safety but he chose the flawed playoff system.

It’s very rare that in a game that has a winner and a loser, that fans of both teams go home unhappy. That was the case when the Giants beat the Redskins 17-14 this past Sunday. Due to the fact that the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears, the Giants were eliminated from the playoffs while a 7-9 team qualified for postseason play for the first time in a non-strike season. Based on the fact that they won one of the worst divisions in recent NFL memory, the Seattle Seahawks are able to host a playoff game with a sub-.500 record while two 10-6 teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants, are sitting at home watching them on TV.

“What has surprised me in the playoffs is not seeing New York or Tampa Bay in the playoffs. Both teams had successful records, however it wasn’t enough,” Carter said.

Carter says he is looking forward to this Sunday’s NFC Wild Card matchup, featuring two of the NFL’s premier quarterbacks, one of which is an NFC East rival that jumpstarted his playoff push with a 59-28 shellacking on Monday Night Football at FedEx Field in mid-November.

“I am looking forward to the Packers and Eagles game. I have to support my Cal alum, Aaron Rodgers. I have to see what Vick will do when he’s back to normal health,” he said.

Fan Questions:

TCIYM: It’s hard to say what the future holds for the Washington Redskins player personnel-wise so I just want to say Thank You for five years busting your hump every week as a Washington Redskin and I’ll continue to follow you on Twitter.

AC: Thanks for following on Twitter. I appreciate your support as well as having faith in the Washington Redskins.

KazooSkinsFan: Name three players you don’t think will be here next year.

AC: I really couldn’t say. The future of players in the NFL can go either way.

PAPDOG67: Andre, first let me say thank you for another season of busting out there for us on every play. I know myself, and the fans appreciate your effort. My question is being that we played, and beat 3 of the 6 teams in the dance in the NFC, does this team feel its a lot closer to turning the corner next year? Who do you like to come out of the NFC?

AC: The team is headed in the right direction. The head coach always spoke about character. It’s character that wins championships and with the unique group of men in the organization anything is possible.

Irn-Bru: Andre, thanks so much for another season of hard work through a lot of adversity. We also really appreciate the time you’ve taken to interact with us fans during the year. Are there any activities or foods you are looking forward to enjoying that you couldn’t during the season?

AC: Man, I am heading to California on Saturday. There is a cigar spot by my house. Once I am situated it is on. Besides that, I need to catch up on some reading and finally get some tattoo work done.

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell

Categories Posted In Archive: Andre Carter Special | Washington Football Team | WFT News

Leftovers – Week 17

Andre

In an unusually short edition of Leftovers, Redskins linebacker Andre Carter talks about what the win over the Jaguars means heading into the 2011 season, how the game plan changed with Maurice Jones-Drew out of the picture, Devin Thomas’ return to FedEx Field, and gives his thoughts on the Giants game being moved from 1:00 PM to 4:15 PM.

To read this week’s edition of THN Weekly, click here: THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 17

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Categories Posted In Archive: Andre Carter Special | Washington Football Team

THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 17

Approaching a Week 16 matchup with a 5-9 record against a team fighting for a division title, the Redskins could have easily rendered that game as meaningless and packed in their season. But for veterans and younger players alike, jobs are to be had for the 2011 season and it showed with strong performances from guys like Rob Jackson, Jeremy Jarmon and Adam Carriker. Heck, even soon-to-be free agent Carlos Rogers caught an interception.

“I was very happy with their performance. It’s all about maximizing your opportunity. Here are two young guys (Jackson and Jarmon) who haven’t played many regular season games but they contributed their skill on the field and made things happen,” linebacker Andre Carter said.

While Rob Jackson’s elevation to the roster from the practice squad was mainly because of Brian Orakpo’s groin and hamstring injuries that kept him out against Jacksonville, his performance showed what Coach Mike Shanahan was looking for when he benched Donovan McNabb for Rex Grossman two weeks ago. Shanahan is trying to evaluate his reserves going into next year and the solid performances by the young players on the defensive side against the Jaguars vindicated that decision.

“I think he wanted to see what all the players can do, young and old,” Carter said. “Granted, the younger players are contributing more these past few weeks and I’m sure we will see Rob Jackson put on a show this Sunday.”

Speaking of McNabb, reports surfaced earlier this week that he wanted his release following the season after Shanahan said he would welcome him back if he was willing to return as a backup next year. There was a lot of reaction when he was originally benched and now the debate is whether letting McNabb leave will set the team back at the quarterback position.

“I don’t think his release, if it happens, would set the team back. This is the nature of the business. I understand from a player perspective that he needs to go in a different direction,” Carter said.

Carter also feels that despite McNabb’s struggles this year, he played the best he could have.

“McNabb played to his potential despite injuries and the questioning of his ability. He’s still one of the best QB’s I know.”

The man who replaced McNabb, Rex Grossman, had a less entertaining performance against Jacksonville than he did against the Dallas Cowboys the week before but still got a 20-17 victory. Grossman completed 19 of 39 passes and threw for 189 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.

The Redskins win, capped off by a 31-yard field goal in overtime from Graham Gano, who was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, meant a lot for everyone on the team. It showed that they still care about winning, even after being eliminated from playoff contention, and that they were not trying to tank the season to get a better draft position.

“It feels great to win after a four game losing streak. It was getting ridiculous with back-to-back losses and not playing to our potential. However, knowing the fact we were no longer playoff contenders and coming into a hostile environment in Jacksonville, we fought our butts off. We had self respect as men and professionals and weren’t going to go play as if we lost the game or give it away. It’s stupid to think we would purposely lose the game for better draft picks,” Carter said.

The Redskins will attempt to play the role of spoiler yet again in their season finale against the New York Giants, who come limping into FedEx Field after two backbreaking losses.

The Giants gave up a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in one of the most memorable finishes of 2010 two weeks ago and were clobbered by the Green Bay Packers last week in a 45-17 loss at Lambeau Field.

As was mentioned in Week 13’s edition of THN Weekly, the Giants can play like one of the most dominating teams in the NFL during any point of the regular season but can also play like an imploding franchise when it comes to crucial games.

“The Giants often have trouble in November and December but then again, what team doesn’t? Wins and losses make the NFL what it is today. The highs and lows [are what] determines the fate of a team week in and week out,” Carter said.”

At 9-6, they are still in position to obtain a playoff spot so the Redskins would like nothing more than to keep an NFC East rival out of the postseason. Carter expects a much more improved Giants team this Sunday than what he has seen the last two weeks.

“I am sure that the Giants are having an intense week of practice and meetings. This game will determine the fate of the players and coaches. They will come to FedEx swinging. This is do or die for them,” Carter said.

Fan Questions:

TCIYM: Andre, first of all, thank you for taking your time to do this. The personal foul called for roughing the passer looked like a bad call, to say the least. Those calls seem to need to be eligible to be challenged. Do you think this is an issue that should be added to the new CBA? If so, how many offensive players would support those calls being challenged? It almost seems as if the league is trying to divide teams by the rules.

AC: I’m not sure how many offensive players will support the calls being challenged. I don’t foresee the new CBA changing its policy. The league is always evolving and the concern is mainly the safety of the players. If a hit is “uncalled” for, then so be it, regardless of how aggressive the impact was.

PAPDOG67: Andre, we heard all week about how the locker room is divided over the whole QB situation. Do you feel that Shanahan has treated Donovan fairly throughout this whole process, or do you think he might be using him as a scapegoat for a losing season?

AC: Shanahan is boss. He went a different direction and his decision is final. D-Mac has never been a scapegoat for a losing season. Our record falls on the responsibility of the players.

VetSkinsFan: Andre, we hear through the media how much on board the players are with the defense but statistics show that the defense is rated worst or close to the worst in the league. How do you and the defensive players feel about the production versus the statistical suggestion?

AC: It’s unfortunate we are almost dead last in defense. Yes, we have made progress but we have always had a high standard whether it’s a 3-4 or a 4-3. You learn as you go and reflect on your performance week by week as a team.

ATX_Skins: 1. Andre, do you think there is a chance the fans get to see John Beck make an appearance?

AC: We have seen some crazy situations happen at Redskins Park. You never know what this Sunday will bring.

2. Do you see the Lakers going all the way again or are you pulling for an East team?

AC: I said this once and I’ll say it again. I will never be a Laker fan.

Deadskins:
Andre, have you ever been miked-up for a game? Would you like to be?

AC: I have never been miked up. I don’t know if I would enjoy taking on such a task. One, you need to ball out, and two, step out of your personality. I think I’ll pass. lol

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell

Categories Posted In Archive: Andre Carter Special | Washington Football Team | WFT News

Leftovers – Week 15

Andre

Redskins linebacker Andre Carter talks about Graham Gano’s performance against the Bucs, low attendance at FedEx Field, LaRon Landry being place on I.R., and the switch at QB.

To read this week’s edition of THN Weekly, click here: THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 15

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Categories Posted In Archive: Andre Carter Special | Washington Football Team

THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 15

Redskins fans seem to be living through their own real-life version of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Just when they thought they were getting over their Ray Finkle moment against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, five days later they learn their quarterback had been kidnapped… from the starting lineup and possibly from a roster spot in 2011.

Yesterday Head Coach Mike Shanahan made the surprising announcement to bench future Hall of Fame quarterback Donovan McNabb for the rest of the season to evaluate backups Rex Grossman and John Beck in the final three games. Shanahan also said that after 13 games of assessing McNabb, he is uncertain of his future in D.C. beyond this season.

Despite the rumblings of such a move taking place throughout the week, the news still took the fanbase by surprise. The locker room is reportedly divided on this move and the players prefer to have McNabb play out the season. Linebacker Andre Carter says that McNabb has been a great leader but now that the move at quarterback has been made, Grossman has the full support of the locker room as the season comes to an end.

“McNabb has always been a team leader with great work ethic and can control the tempo of our offense,” Carter said. “Now unfortunately there has been struggle, however he has kept his composure. In regards to Grossman, he’s starting and we are relying on him to make plays.

“Rex has always been a professional throughout his career. This is his time to shine and we will back him up 100 percent.”

Shanahan’s proclamation that McNabb may not return to the team next season applies to the whole team and not just the 12th-year veteran quarterback, Carter said.

“Not only is his status questionable (for next season) but the players in general. Coach has always said he will put the best players on the field regardless of years of experience, status, Pro Bowl career, etc. It doesn’t matter. [Coach Shanahan is doing] whatever it will take to win and have the team in the right direction.

In order to determine where the team is headed, they will have to play out the final three games without McNabb, starting tomorrow against a Dallas Cowboys team that has been on an upswing since replacing Wade Phillips with Jason Garrett as interim head coach.

“Obviously, the Cowboys have more of a connection with Coach Garrett,” Carter said. “With that being said, it appears they have a level of respect for the new man in charge. Whatever he is doing, it’s working.”

A lot has changed since the Redskins Week 1 victory over their biggest rival. Since then, the Cowboys dropped to 1-7 but have won three of their last five while the Redskins reached 4-3 but have lost five of their last six. Despite the Redskins three-game slump, they are playing for more than just a win against a division rival.

“When the postseason is on the line, of course there is a high level of motivation. For crying out loud, it’s the playoffs. There is more motivation to have the ‘win and you’re in’ mentality. When it’s a game with no hope for playoffs, there is a sense of pride for yourself and your teammates. The last thing you want to do as a player is embarrass yourself and not perform to your capability,” Carter said.

Against the Buccaneers, there was one player who performed far and beyond what many thought he was capable of. After the first quarter, running back Ryan Torain had tallied 121 yards, putting him on pace to obliterate the current NFL single game rushing record (Adrian Peterson – 296 yards) by 188 yards.

After returning from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the previous four games, it was refreshing for the Redskins to see him have such a strong performance.

“All we said on the sideline was ‘look at those fresh legs,’” Carter said. “I was very happy to see him perform the way he did. Ryan is a talented back and if he can continue to stay healthy then he can and will be a premier back in the NFL. His tone in the running game was great for us on defense because we only played 19 snaps in the first half. From a team perspective, his performance gave us excitement and momentum during the game. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”

Perhaps unexpected performances such as those are what Shanahan is aiming for by making the move to Grossman. It’s clear that he wants the team to get younger and will likely achieve that in the offseason. While Grossman may not completely fit the criteria for “young,” he is a break from the norm and will give the staff a chance to see what they have as far as depth goes.

Regardless of the controversy surrounding the team and the lack of wins as of late, Carter believes these final three games are very important to the present and future.

“We have three games left to showcase the Redskins. These games will define our character, our future, and abilities as a team.”

Fan Questions:

Deadskins: Andre, why do our corners never use the five yard buffer area to chuck receivers and throw them off their routes? Too many times I see opponents receivers run cleanly through our defense, not being touched until after they have caught the ball. This is especially painful to watch when it’s 3rd and short, and our corners are playing 10 yards off the receivers.

AC: Damn man, you know your football. I wish I could answer the question but I’m focused on the linebackers.

PAPDOG67: Andre, after a loss like that, how long does it usually take to get the bad taste out of your mouth?? And do you have something in particular which helps you get it off your mind?

AC: Win or lose, you have to have short-term memory. I call it the 36-hour rule. After a day and half it’s a past memory then you move on to the next game. If you keep on harping on a loss, then the level of preparation for the next opponent will be obsolete.

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell

Categories Posted In Archive: Andre Carter Special | Washington Football Team | WFT News

Leftovers – Week 14

Andre

In this week’s Leftovers, Andre Carter talks about the Buccaneers losing Aqib Talib and Jeff Faine to injured reserve, the Bucs history in cold weather games and how the Redskins have moved on now that Albert Haynesworth had been suspended for the rest of the season.

To read this week’s edition of THN Weekly, click here: THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 14

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Categories Posted In Archive: Andre Carter Special | Washington Football Team

THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 14

In Week 13, the Redskins yet again failed to compete against their toughest division nemesis over the last decade, the New York Giants. At 5-6, the Redskins had an outside shot at the playoffs but after a mistake-laden 31-7 blowout in the New Meadowlands Stadium that dropped them to 5-7, the postseason looks further away than ever before.

What hurt the team the most against New York was the continued ineptitude on offense along with the defense’s bad tackling.

“On the defensive side, we need to tackle better,” linebacker Andre Carter said. “Our tackling was very poor this past Sunday and that’s an area where we have been great. Another area (where we need to improve) is starting off fast from the jump and setting the tempo. When we control those factors, then anything is possible.”

Against the Redskins, the Giants scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time all season, Ahmad Bradshaw reached the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career, Brandon Jacobs ran for his first 100 yard game in over two years, and each of those two men scored two touchdowns. To top that off, the Redskins have lost nine of their last 11 games against the “G-Men.”

But in Washington, that wasn’t even the biggest story. Yet again, Albert Haynesworth stole the headlines after he was deactivated by Head Coach Mike Shanahan just before the game due to his performance in practice late in the week before showing up late to a team meeting the next day.

More controversy arose on Monday night after reports surfaced that he appeared “hungover” arriving at Redskins Park last Friday morning before the meeting. This Tuesday, Shanahan and General Manager Bruce Allen decided to suspend Haynesworth for the final four games of the season without pay.

“It’s all business,” Carter said. “The head man has a standard in how we operate: being on time with meetings, [show a] great work ethic on and off the field, etc. If you can’t meet that criteria, then the team needs to go in a different direction.”

Haynesworth’s biggest problems were his lack of flexibility in adapting to his new role on the defense and not following the directions of the coaches.

“I understood where he was coming from,” Carter said when asked about Albert not wanting to change positions. “At the same time you have to be a professional. You embrace the game and understand that football is a team concept. It started to become a headache and the issues started getting old.”

Carter said that the team bought in to the changes of the 3-4 but Albert marched to the beat of his own drum.

“Everyone was on board because we love the game and our goal was to win. Albert wanted to win as well but his beliefs as an individual were different compared to the ideas as a team.”

For an athlete playing a team sport, one of the most important concepts to understand is selflessness, a trait that Albert has not brought to the table since arriving almost two years ago.

Will he ever really grasp the concept of “team”?

“I really don’t know,” Carter said. “I hope one day he will understand the concept because the moment he understands, he can have longevity in the league.”

When Carter was asked to move from a defensive end to a linebacker this past offseason, he wasn’t pleased about it but he accepted it, moved on, and didn’t complain about it. He said he wouldn’t have handled it any other way, especially the way Haynesworth went about voicing his displeasure.

“I can’t imagine myself handling the position change the way Albert did. Not only myself but other players had to adapt to the scheme. That’s the nature of the business. The league is always evolving and as players and coaches you adapt to the new stages year-by-year,” Carter said.

“I am a professional and as much as I didn’t want to play this position, I am a prideful man who loves the game and loves to compete. If you complain, the days seem longer. If you are positive and believe that good will come out of it then the days will be easier. I learned about myself and this season from a personal faith in God and myself. So I am thankful regardless of the circumstances.”

While Carter may have the same opinion of some fans when it comes to how Haynesworth is viewed on-the-field, he gives a ringing endorsement to Albert’s off-the-field character, which is contrary to how most fans and media feel about him.

“[Albert is] one of the greatest men I have known off the field. He is a comedian and is known to crack a joke or two here and there. He’s very attentive to his kids and can be deep in certain conversations. On the field, he’s a player who is difficult to comprehend,” Carter said.

This suspension raises the question as to whether or not Haynesworth will return to the team in 2011, which seems unlikely at this point. Most fans have soured on him so far but Carter would like for him to return next year but under one condition.

“I would like him back without the drama,” Carter said.

A lot of teammates may agree with Carter’s sentiment but another large roster reconstruction is expected this upcoming offseason in order to help bring in personnel that are better-suited to fit the zone blocking scheme on offense and the 3-4 on defense. Even with an impending lockout looming, it wouldn’t shock Carter to see the team make some moves to get drastically younger.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the Redskins decide to go for younger players in the offseason. I am not a soothsayer, however, I have seen it time and time again throughout the league. It’s business. Nothing personal,” Carter said.

Getting younger is what propelled the Redskins next opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, from a 3-13 season in 2009 to their current 7-5 record. Carter may be the only person outside of Tampa who expected this kind of a turnaround.

“I’m not surprised. I had a feeling they were going to be contenders this season.”

The Bucs began their reconstruction in the 2009 offseason when they released established veterans such as linebacker Derrick Brooks, running back Warrick Dunn, and wide receiver Joey Galloway. Tampa Bay felt the need to get younger in order to be successful and so far it has been paying off for them.

“Usually that’s the case. Last season for the Bucs was a rebuilding year. They needed to grow and mature through the highs and lows. Observing them this season, they have an extra pep in their step and the players respect each other. That’s big because the season can be a grind. It’s evident that the players are performing for each other,” Carter said.

If the Redskins put forth that type of mindset to use in these final four weeks, it will be a big indicator as to how many of these players will keep their jobs next season.

Fan Questions:

Kilmer72: Andre, I would love to hear about how the Redskins feel about the Giants rivalry compared to the Cowboys and Eagles as a Redskin. Let us face it, we have a bad record against the Giants, so how does this compare?

AC: I think all the teams are intense in our NFC East division. Are some games more intense than others? I personally don’t think so. We have always had some physical battles and intense quarters during my tenure here since ‘06.

PAPDOG67: Andre, why does it seem that the Giants physically dominate us every time they play us in the last 4-5 years? We don’t see that with any other team but them.

AC: I really don’t know but I feel your pain from a fan perspective. I really don’t know why we come out flat but it’s disappointing and we are becoming fed up with it.

KazooSkinsFan: Is there anything you can point to that would give fans hope our defense is actually making progress in the switch to the 3-4? I’m sad to say I’m not seeing it.

AC: The 3-4 is a process and takes time. Even though we are not the Pittsburgh Steelers, I think football fanatics forget how rough they had it when the defense made that transition. Once a defense masters it, the scheme can be the real deal. Like anything new, it’s a learning process.

skinpride1: Mr. Carter, do you feel Brian Orakpo and yourself are not being used correctly on the field to pressure the QB and generate sacks and turnovers?

AC: We are being used the best way possible. Brian is having a great year getting sacks and I am doing what I can despite my situation. It’s all a process.

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell

Categories Posted In Archive: Andre Carter Special | Washington Football Team | WFT News

Leftovers – Week 13

Andre

In this week’s installment of Leftovers, Andre Carter talks about the Wildcat, the offensive line, the running game and Devin Thomas.

To read this week’s edition of THN Weekly, click here: THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 13

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Categories Posted In Archive: Andre Carter Special | Washington Football Team

THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 13

If the Redskins have been consistent at one thing this season, it has been their ability to be inconsistent.

With only five wins on the season, the Redskins have only managed a winning streak of two games just once and will ride their third two-game losing streak with a loss to the Giants..

It looked as though the Redskins had possibly redeemed themselves by winning a close and difficult AFC game on the road following a blowout loss against the Philadelphia Eagles. But now, after losing to an underachieving Minnesota Vikings team, Washington has to face the motivated New York Giants, who lost consecutive NFC East games in Week 10 and Week 11.

The loss to the Vikings proved to be a big blow to the Redskins’ playoff chances this season, especially considering Minnesota was 3-7 heading into the game and it was played at FedEx Field. The Redskins are 2-4 at home this season, which is a discouraging statistic considering the stadium is supposed to provide a home field advantage. Why is there a lack of success at home?

“I have no clue,” Redskins linebacker Andre Carter said. “We need to win at home and our success rate has been low. It’s our home, our turf so there should be no excuses. I really don’t have any explanation.”

Earlier this week, cornerback Carlos Rogers made some controversial comments by saying the criticism from the fans behind the team’s own bench has been excessive and that the team does better on the road because they hear less criticism from fans when they travel. Carter says that the fans and players feed off of each other, so he understands where both sides are coming from.

“On the Mike Wise Show I had mentioned that fans and players go hand-in-hand when it comes to emotional support. When we are doing well, they are loud, and when we are unsuccessful, the stadium can be quiet. It’s always contingent on our success. That’s the reality. I understand that from a fan perspective. Now as a player, a man who loves the game, I would like crowd noise from the beginning to the end of the game through good or bad. We know that we have support 24/7. I think people don’t understand how the crowd itself can change the momentum of the game.” Carter said.

Part of the reason for fan criticism at home is the team’s inability to take advantage of big opportunities that arise and also their lack of discipline on the field.

One of those opportunities came after star running back Adrian Peterson left the game with an ankle injury in the second quarter, leaving rookie Toby Gerhart to replace him. Gerhart filled in well, taking the bulk of the carries throughout the rest of the game. Carter says that the defense’s inability to execute the basics is what led to Gerhart’s success on the ground.

“Gap control and poor tackling were our issues on certain plays and those particular plays hurt us in the end,” he said.

The Redskins also had a chance to take advantage of a turnover-prone Brett Favre, who had thrown a league-leading 17 interceptions heading into the game. The Vikings offensive turnover ratio was also at the bottom of the NFL while the Redskins defense was in the top 10 in that category. On top of that, the Vikings offense was very underwhelming statistically in the game but for just the second time this season, the Redskins defense was not able to force a turnover.

“It was unfortunate we didn’t create turnovers,” Carter said. “We stress it in meetings, practice, and have created big plays in games. We were unsuccessful in that area last Sunday. The three areas that hurt us the most were the two opening drives in the first and second half as well as the final drive to end the game.”

“Bret and the Vikings had a great game plan against us,” he continued. “The run game was an issue. Our goal was to put the Vikings offense in second and seven+ (situations), however they ended up being in second and four/five, so in the passing game he threw a lot of quick hitches. Bret was hardly in a seven-step drop.”

Unfortunately for the Redskins, who have beaten top-quality opponents like the Packers, Eagles and Bears, they also have a propensity for losing to teams that they should easily beat like the Lions, Vikings and Rams. If the Redskins want to have any chance at the postseason, they must establish consistency and the ability to regularly beat top-tier opponents down the stretch. That stretch starts this Sunday against the 7-4 Giants, who have beaten the Redskins eight of the last 10 times they have played.

“We have the talent. We have the capability to play at a high level against all odds. We prepare ourselves mentally and physically in meetings and practice. The issue is not the battle against our opponent but the battle within ourselves. We often play at our opponent’s level rather than playing to our potential. There are moments when we are amazing but we need to do it on a consistent basis,” Carter said.

If it’s any consolation, the last two times the Redskins have beaten the Giants were in December and in playoff seasons (2005 and 2007) so if they were to win on Sunday, fans can grasp at the hope of the postseason yet again based off of that trend.

New York is fresh off a comeback win at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars but lately have been hot and cold as a unit. Just like in years past, the Giants can either look like the most dominant NFL team or they can look horrible and make a lot of mistakes. Carter is prepared to face the former.

“The Giants have always been a threat. They have had our number unfortunately. The Giants can really make a mockery out of any team if you are not prepared. They know how to come back from a [deficit] as well as maintain a lead,” he said.

“They will come out and try to humiliate us. It’s going to be a dog fight. It always has been,” he added.

Just like the Redskins, the Giants are battling key injuries, especially at wide receiver with Hakeem Nicks out and Steve Smith doubtful to play. That doesn’t make Carter any less wary of their offense.

“Despite Hakeem Nicks not playing, Eli Manning still has other targets. The Giants’ tight ends are playing real well and they have a great receiving corps,” he said.

Speaking of receivers, the Giants may have a familiar face line up for them on Sunday. The team claimed former Redskin Devin Thomas off of waivers from the Carolina Panthers last week before the Jaguars game. The Giants had an urgent need to add depth at receiver but this move could also be used to gain intel on the Redskins considering both teams meet twice in the final five weeks. But how useful could Devin really be to the Giants in that regard?

“I’m sure the scouts and Giants know just about everything about our scheme and vice versa. It’s only a matter of when those plays will be executed and how. I’m sure Devin, and similar to most players who have been released and join another organization, can tell coaches what the offensive or defensive philosophy is. Coaches and players will receive all the information they need in order to have an edge on an opponent,” Carter said.

For Carter, his biggest concern on Sunday will be less about enemy intel and more about the Giants physical running game.

“The Giants have always been known for the run game. They have downhill and powerful runners as well as big offensive linemen, who create holes in their ground game. [Eli] Manning is playing at a high level despite injuries on the offensive front and receivers,” he said.

Fan Questions:

Deadskins: Andre, I’m sure it is as frustrating for the players as it is for the fans when the refs call such a one-sided game. Why do you think this seems to happen to the Skins so much?

AC: It’s funny you mention that because it is really unfortunate. Is it frustrating… yes. However, we have placed ourselves in those close games due to improper technique, poor tackling, etc. We are playing well but it’s the small detail that we need in order to play great.

skinpride1: Would you love to play for Gregg Williams again, Mr. Carter?

AC: Of course. Gregg is old school and there is nothing like an old school cursing in the morning to keep you motivated. I consider that my morning coffee. Great coach and a great man.

Redskin In Canada: Will you be here next year?

AC: I have no clue what the future holds. Regardless of what happens, it’s been a blessing playing for a wonderful organization. Lord willing, we can make this run and add more memories.

PAPDOG67: Andre, even though you both are starters, I’m sure you have went against Trent Williams in practice occasionally. How do you feel he is coming along as a rookie LT in this league? Could you see him eventually becoming a Pro-Bowler in the future?

AC: Trent Williams is by far one of the best tackles I have seen. His athleticism is similar to Walter Jones. He has the talent and ability to be a premier tackle in the league.

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell

Categories Posted In Archive: Andre Carter Special | Washington Football Team | WFT News

Leftovers – Week 12

Andre

This week, Andre Carter talks about Randy Moss, Rusty Smith, the Vikings surprising 3-7 record and how he spent Thanksgiving.

To read this week’s edition of THN Weekly, click here: THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 12

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Categories Posted In Archive: Andre Carter Special | Washington Football Team