Recently, Redskins linebacker Andre Carter took time to discuss a variety of topics with THN. A lot of his quotes made it into the article, which can be found here. Some didn’t. Which is what Leftovers is here to provide to you.
Andre was candid and honest while he went through many subjects, including whether any of his teammates gave Albert Haynesworth a present to celebrate his recent birthday, how he felt when the Redskins let go big name veterans early in the offseason, how he is adjusting to the new defense and what he took from seeing the Redskins Alumni reunion at the team’s final mini-camp.
THN: How have Coach Haslett and Coach Spanos catered to your style of play to give you a smoother adjustment to the position?
AC: Everyone had to adjust and not just one individual. It’s a new scheme and there is a certain criteria on how defense is played.
THN: Did you ever in a million years think you would see the day that Donovan McNabb would don the burgundy and gold? How does it feel to have him as a teammate now? What does it say to the team that he immediately jumped right in and started working out with the guys the morning of his introductory press conference?
AC: Anything can happen in this business. Players come and go. It’s the nature of the game. However, to have a player like [him] to come on board was a privilege. He’s always been a team leader and dedicated to becoming the best at his position. For him to work out after the press conference showed he was ready to win for the Redskins.
THN: I know it’s a business and this type of stuff happens all the time but what kind of impact did it have on you to see locker room guys like Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright, Fred Smoot, Randy Thomas, Cornelius Griffin and Antwaan Randle El go? At this point, does it even have an impact at all or are the current crop of players too focused trying to adjust to the scheme and regime change?
AC: When you hear the news of players being dismissed [there is] a level of disappointment. You can question ‘why?’ and ‘what if?’ but at the end of the day you move on as if your heart never skipped a beat. All you have is memories and adventures. We have the same faces and new ones like every year.
THN: This defense is undergoing some major changes, such as bringing in five new defensive tackles in the span of a couple weeks during the spring, making LaRon Landry bulk up and play both safety positions and moving four defensive linemen to linebacker. How long will it take this defense to transform from a 4-3 mindset and start to get in a rhythm and become successful in a 3-4?
AC: Everything is timing. That’s why we had all the OTA’s and mini-camps in order to be familiar with the scheme. Like any new scheme, its [a] process and our success will come. We have set a standard for ourselves to where and how we want to be at the end of the 2010 season.
THN: Out of all the draft prospects, who do you see having the best NFL career and why?
AC: It’s too soon to tell. I hope all the men we drafted end up becoming successful. Longevity is one of the hardest accomplishments in this business. I wish them well.
THN: Where did you watch the Draft each day? Do you like the new “Prime Time” format the NFL started this year?
AC: I was hanging out with the family and to be honest I missed the first few rounds. It was weird not watching the draft on a week day. It took a while to get use to the new schedule of the draft.
THN: Looking back on all of the change that has occurred since last season, what excites you the most looking forward to the 2010 season?
AC: It’s a new season to win and makes things right, to earn the respect from our opponents within our division as well as gain recognition in the NFL.
THN: What or who has stood out to you the most so far this offseason and why?
AC: Everyone stood out because we were tired of losing and are training on a higher level together and [as] a unit.
THN: Being someone who was asked to drastically change positions on the field this year, what do you take from a player who, in one year, has already made almost as much money that you signed your original contract for in 2006 and isn’t reporting to mini-camp because he supposedly is unhappy with his new role, which isn’t even that much different from his original role?
AC: What can we do? It’s upsetting but nothing on the level that we lose sleep over it. The game has evolved when it comes to versatility, schemes, trimming, etc. As players you have to evolve as well or be left in the dust. For Albert he decided to go in a different direction. If you love the game, and are paid to compete, you make it work. But that’s just me.
THN: Does this situation affect you differently than most of the players on the roster considering you are changing your position but have taken your new role in stride instead of taking drastic actions?
AC: I am not the only one changing my position. The scheme is different. Everyone has a different role so the level of adjustment is on a high scale because it pertains to the whole defense.
THN: Have you been apart of or seen a situation like this (the Haynesworth situation) before?
AC: I have never been [in] or seen a situation like this before.
THN: Is this (Haynesworth) situation bringing the players together?
AC: We have been close from day one. This situation is a small mosquito bite. It’s harmless.
THN: Have you been in contact with Albert over the past few months? Who on the team has made a concerted effort to convince him to come back and play for the team?
AC: I really don’t know who spoke to him. I don’t have his number.
THN: What do you think he is gaining and working on while he’s training on his own? Is there an advantage he might get on his own that he may not get at Redskins Park?
AC: He’s a grown man. If there is a program that works to suit his skills then I am for it just as long as you prove it. Older players do it on and off throughout their career. As [a] man, only you know what’s best for you. It’s vital that you remember that you are always under the watchful eye and that you need to be in the best physical condition. We hope Albert is ready for camp. Only time will tell.
THN: Albert turned 29 years old on the final day of mini-camp. Did anybody get him a birthday present?
THN: How will the team react to Albert if he does show up for training camp?
AC: Our feelings will be reserved until he proves himself as a teammate. He has a lot of making up to do.
THN: How have you been preparing yourself for training camp since mini-camp ended?
AC: I have always prepared before training camp. After each mini camp I take a good week off. I do a lot of stretching and core work. When I continue my workouts my conditioning is on a different level. I run a mile for time and do sprint intervals and hills on the treadmill.
THN: What was it like to have so many former Redskins from the past attending mini-camp practice?
AC: It was great seeing them. I truly believe these players were the pioneers of Redskins football. So to have them come to the facility was an honor. Meeting these men gives you a constant reminder that the game will last forever but as individuals, it’s a small moment in time. We always have to embrace the game because once it’s over, it’s over.
THN: Was there anyone in particular you talked to or bonded with? If there was, what kind of stories did you exchange and what story stood out to you the most?
AC: I shook many hands. I was pressed for time but I shook as many hands as I could.
THN: How impressive is it that Bruce Allen has been able to bring back this tradition and positive atmosphere in such a short period of time?
AC: It was great for Bruce Allen to bring back the Redskin greats. Not too many organizations bring back former players. So for Bruce Allen to change up the atmosphere was great.
THN: Were events like this common in San Francisco?
AC: We had the former players go to banquets and from time-to-time the men were honored during the regular season games.
THN: Based on how mini-camps and OTA’s have been run so far, what do you anticipate from “Camp Shanahan” in July and August?
AC: I expect him to be the same person he was in March. [He will be] intense, dedicated, hard nosed and [expecting] no slacking off.
Tags: Albert Haynesworth, Andre Carter, Antwaan Randle El, Bruce Allen, Cornelius Griffin, Donovan McNabb, Fred Smoot, Jim Haslett, Ladell Betts, laron landry, Lou Spanos, Mike Shanahan, Randy Thomas, rock cartwright, San Francisco 49ers