THN Weekly With Andre Carter: Week Eight
Following a 14-11 victory over the Cleveland Browns, the Redskins now sit in second place in the NFC East at 5-2, a record last matched in the 2000 season.
“It’s a blessing to be 5-2. Actually, my thought process was to take one game at a time and never look at the season as a whole. Focus on the day, and so on and so forth. I knew we had a special group, however, you can you have all the talent in the world but if you don't play hard and consistent as a team, then it can all goes downhill,” Redskins defensive end Andre Carter said.
Carter recorded his second sack of the season when he lassoed Browns quarterback Derek Anderson for a two-yard loss late in the third quarter.
When asked what went through his mind as he was approaching Anderson for the sack, Carter replied: “Yeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“The way the sack was set us was [Cornelius] Griffin and I did a stunt to where he gets penetration in his gap. I take two steps up and come underneath him. From then on, it was all about getting Anderson down. If it wasn't for my defensive tackle, I wouldn't have made the sack. Thanks Big Griff,” said Carter in his breakdown of the sack.
That sack wasn’t the only big play for the Redskins on Sunday. Tipped passes, big hits, and an impressive goal line stand helped highlight a banner day for the defense.
The defense held the Browns to just 59 yards offensively in the first half and held Jamal Lewis to 80 yards on 19 carries. Lewis is just another talented running back to be contained by the Redskins 6th ranked defense. The defense also ranks 7th against the run.
“It’s a blessing to be in the top 10 defenses. However, our journey to becoming the best is not over. We can always improve ourselves and never become content with our last performance. We can always play at a higher level,” Carter said.
“Stopping the run is emphasized day-in and day-out in practice. Wednesdays and Thursdays we have a drill called 9 on 7. It’s a period that stresses the importance of the run game. Our defense will have eight plays against our show offense and our offense will have eight plays against our show defense. This period is crucial because the level of focus has to be on point. As a group you can't make mistakes because reps are so limited, so we stress the importance of paying attention to detail in that drill as well as practice as a whole,” Carter said in regards to the defenses attempt to effectively stop the run.
With the improvement of cornerback Carlos Rogers this season, stopping the pass may not be as difficult without top corner Shawn Springs this Sunday against the Redskins upcoming opponent, the Detroit Lions. However his injury is vital to the defense.
“It’s unfortunate that Shawn is down. As a d-lineman, we have to have faith that whoever is stepping in for Shawn, will play to the best of his ability. At the same time, we have to come harder and faster to help our secondary. They take care of us and we take care of them,” Carter said in regards to how Springs’ injury will affect the defensive line.
The injury will also be less of a factor considering how well the leader of the defense, linebacker London Fletcher, is performing so far this season. Fletcher, who has not missed a game in his 11 year NFL career, has set the benchmark for consistency and is continuing to play at a Pro Bowl level. He was key in stopping the Browns on one of their late goal line drives last Sunday.
“London Fletcher is someone who I admire and have the utmost respect for. He is a leader on the field and is dedicated to being the four-star general on our team defense. He has been underrated for a long time now and I hope he receives recognition for what he has become,” Carter said.
Considering the performance of running back Clinton Portis, who racked up 175 yards and one touchdown to earn him NFL FedEx Ground Player of the Week, and the rest of the talent on offense, many felt that the Redskins should not have had to sweat out a missed field goal by Browns kicker Phil Dawson towards the tail end of the game.
“First and foremost, Cleveland is a good team. Don't allow their record to fool you and anyone. It was a physical game and like most physical games, it’s going to be close,” Carter said.
Just like Cleveland, the Lions have a losing record. 0-6 to be exact. But as was learned two weeks ago by this very own Redskins team, never take a team lightly no matter what the numbers say.
“When analyzing each opponent, you can’t take each team for granted. The Lions are an NFL team, so we have to take that into consideration. This week, we play away and it’s tough to play in an away game. We will analyze them and study them, similar to how they study us pertaining to strength and weaknesses,” Carter said in regards to how the team prepared for the Lions this week.
Under the Helmet:
THN: What was the first thing you bought after you signed your first NFL contract?
AC: I bought a 2002 Cadillac Escalade on 22's. I was in Heaven. My ride at that time was my baby. It was like my home. I put more into that car then I did in my old apartment at that time. In my old residence, all I had was a bed, a couch, a George Foreman grill, and a PlayStation 2, and a TV. My old truck had two TVs, some bump. I was a fool back then when it came to my truck.
THN: If you were another animal, what would you want to be and why?
AC: I would be an elephant. Elephants roll in groups. So if some other animal messed with me, then that animal would get the whole gang.
This article was released on 2008-10-25.
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