By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - You've seen those media scrums where a player stands in the middle then is surrounded in a semi-circle by reporters, microphone caddies and cameramen? They go five people deep sometimes and while the player doesn't enjoy them, believe me, neither does the media. Believe it or not, the best location is sometimes behind the player. Nobody else is there and - with a tilt of your ear - you can hear clearly everything he's saying. On Monday, I went backside on the media scrum enveloping newly-signed Patriot Andre Carter. There, I was met with, well, Andre Carter's backside. I make mention of this for one simple reason. He is 6-foot-4. I am 5-10. Yet his butt was level with my ribs. That should not be. But it was. Carter is what you would call a "high-cut" athlete. His legs and arms are absurdly long. His frame - rock-solid at 252 - was cut. What does this mean football-wise? His long legs will give him an explosive first step. His long arms will help him reach around blockers to get a grip on ballcarriers and quarterbacks. And the athleticism obvious in a frame like that will make him standout among a crop of defensive linemen who look like they could singlehanded destroy a Country Buffet. The vogue comparison for Carter coming out of Cal in 2001 was to Jevon Kearse. Carter has managed to stay relevant longer than The Freak. Part of that may be the professionalism and work ethic Carter is reputed to bring. Bill Belichick described Carter as "a high-quality individual who's very professional, who works hard."A polished Carter did nothing in a short meeting with the media to dispel that description. And his role in New England as he relayed it being told to him, "It was just simple you put your hand in the dirt and go."That message, delivered by Bill Belichick, will capitalize on Carter's attributes and the Patriots could capitalize on Carter's attitude. He is a leader."This was a team that was headed in the right direction, Carter said when askedwhy he chose New England.They had a great group of guys, coming from veteran leadership, to youth, and it was all about one team, and one goal. And that was just to go out there and grind day by day and week by week. Granted, the journey is never easy, but you just have to find a way to get it done.Carter was productive two seasons ago operating under the "hand in the dirt and go" style with Washington. But, with a glut of linemen, he'll need to make a fast impression that he can play at a high level still. He's certainly built to do so.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.
By Tom E. Curran