In this week’s edition of Leftovers, Andre Carter talks about his performance against the Dallas Cowboys in the Sunday night season opener, the final play of the game and playing gap control defense.
To read this weeks edition of THN Weekly, click here: THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 2
THN: What is your overall evaluation of the game? How do you feel you played and where does it rank in games that you’ve played?
AC: I played my butt off. [I] still need to work on my angle tackling. I didn’t over think on the plays called and last but not least I had fun. The game as a team was amazing. Despite the ups and downs we fought hard and didn’t give up.
THN: The defense still gave up a lot of runs up the middle and was tested from side-to-side by the Cowboys runners. How can the defense adjust to prevent that against a team that has a runner who sprinted for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns in their first game?
AC: [Playing] sound [in the gaps] is key and [so is] playing physical. Our fits in the 3-4 [are] very important and having a gap control defense can determine the outcome of the game. If you are on your p’s and q’s you can be successful. If not, then it will be a long day.
THN: Does the fact that the Super Bowl is in Cowboys Stadium this season add any incentive for you and the team to want to play there?
AC: I think overall we want to go to the big show. It’s been a dream for all of us. ‘Til then we have to take our ways of viewing the season one day at a time.
THN: Did the defense take offense to Dallas trying to run screens and other plays as opposed to just taking a knee and going into halftime as time was winding down?
AC: We didn’t take offense before halftime. They needed to score and we were ready for anything.
THN: The defense only had one sack against the Cowboys but did the fact that Dallas had two starting offensive lineman out for the game help the pass rush at all or were their backups capable of protecting Romo better than the defense anticipated?
AC: Well the offense wasn’t really into third-and-long situations ‘til the end of the game. They had some good conversions on first and second down, so when third down came along they hardly threw the deep ball. Orakpo would have had two or three sacks but with the holding calls it made it impossible.
THN: Does the fact that, had the Cowboys not held on the final play, they would have scored the game tying TD to set up the game winning field goal make the defense change how you all game plan next week?
AC: From a defensive perspective, it’s important to create more turnovers any way you can, especially in the situation like last Sunday.
THN: Does looking back on game film and seeing that Roy Williams was so wide open on the most pivotal play of the game provide a wake-up call for the defense?
AC: Each offensive opponent has a variety of weapons. Our coaches will provide a game plan in regards to preventing Roy from making big plays. It’s up to us to study and have a great performance.
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