Andre Carter gets itMORE: Life without Ortiz Jermaine O'Neal's still talking


Andre Carter gets itMORE: Life without Ortiz Jermaine O'Neal's still talking

Yesterday on Sirius, formermaybe future Pats defensive lineman Andre Carter was on with guys at "Movin' the Chains." It was an interesting interview, the details of which you can read more about over here, but there's one part that I want to focus on.

Something that Carter said after being asked about spending last season in Foxborough.


"I think I learned more about football than I had throughout my whole 11 years."


After more than a decade of listening to the world talk about what a genius Bill Belichick is, I think it's sometimes easy to take him for granted. Or at the very least, to temporarily lose sight of just how much football's been absorbed by the man's brain over the last 60 years.

But every once in a while you hear something like this, and it puts everything in perspective. You hear Andre Carter, who's played a dozen seasons in the NFL, for seven different head coaches including Joe Gibbs and Mike Shanahan say that he learned more in four months with Belichick than in the rest of his career combined.

I guess we need to take Carter's words with a grain of salt. After all, you know that he's dying for a chance to re-join the Pats this year. And he knows that it can't hurt to kiss a little Hoodie ass in the media. But there's no doubt that part of the reason Carter's so eager to play for the Pats in the first place is that bottomless pit of knowledge that sits on top of Belichick's head.

Whether or not Carter and the Pats will ever come to terms this season . . . we'll see. A lot still depends on Carter's recovery from last December's quad injury. He might be a great guy, but unless he can play to last year's standards, you know Belichick won't bite. But count me among the thousands that hope the two sides work something out.

Not only can the Pats use Carter's presence on the line, but the Pats D can use another established veteran. A guy who might still have a lot to learn from Belichick, but also has a lot he can teach to Chandler Jones and the rest of the defensive line.

One other highlight from the Carter interview?

This: "I didnt realize how big Donta Hightower was," Carter said about the Pats other first round pick. "That boy is a beast. He is big and solid and he can run like the wind, especially for a man his size (6-2, 270). I think for him, on the back end, he can do it all whether its a 3-4 or 4-3, Ill be interested to see what he does."

I'll be, too. Like I said before, I really think we're seeing the start of something special with the Pats crew of young linebackers: Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes and Hightower.

I think I'm more excited for them than I've been for any linebacking trio throughout my whole 11 years.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Expect Patriots to tread carefully as Lewis nears return from knee surgery


Expect Patriots to tread carefully as Lewis nears return from knee surgery

FOXBORO -- Dion Lewis is reportedly set to return to the practice field this week, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, and you should expect the Patriots to move carefully as the running back edges closer to a return.

The team will have until November 16 to decide whether to activate Lewis, who tore his ACL last season against Washington on November 9. The ACL healed fine for Lewis after surgery was performed by renowned sports orthopedist, Dr. James Andrews. But knee pain that developed during the summer was found to be a patella stress fracture. That kind of injury is rare but not unheard of after ACL repairs as quadriceps flexion can put stress on a grafted area (and Lewis has giant quads). The remedy is inserting screws in the patella which was done in Lewis’ case. 

Now, with the “clock” started on Lewis’ return from the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list, determining how well he responds to the increased workload of practice and then padded practice and hitting will be the next step in determining whether he returns by the middle of next month or is put on IR.

Meanwhile, the performance of James White so far has mitigated the sting of Lewis’ absence. While Lewis’ return wouldn’t be accelerated based upon on-field need – this isn’t a “rush ‘em back”-type injury – the team has to feel a little less urgency given White’s contributions so far as a runner and receiver. White is on pace for a career year, with 27 receptions for 244 yards and three touchdowns.