Demands on Carter won't be complicated

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Demands on Carter won't be complicated

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 tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

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Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

We're into the Top 10 now.

These are the plays of the Bill Belichick Era you best never forget. And probably can't. They're the ones that led directly to championships -- most for New England, a couple for the other guys. Or they're plays that signified a sea change in the way the New England Patriots under Belichick would be behaving from there on out.

I did my best to stack them in order of importance. You got a problem with that? Good. Let us know what's too high, too low or just plain wrong. And thanks for keeping up!

PLAY NUMBER: 4

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Feb. 3, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 20, Rams 17

THE PLAY: Vinatieri 48-yarder in Superdome delivers SB36 win

WHY IT’S HERE: When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, it was viewed nationally and locally as a cathartic moment for a long-suffering region. Deliverance for a fanbase that resolutely suffered through 90 years of star-crossed heartbreak with a mix of stoicism and fatalism. “Long-suffering Red Sox fan” was a badge of honor, an identity. And New Englanders – baseball fans or not - would self-identify with the hideous notion of Red Sox Nation. There was no “Patriots Nation.” To drag out the forced metaphor, Patriots fans were living in tents and cabins in the wilderness, recluses. Reluctant to be seen in town where they’d be mocked. And suddenly, they cobbled together one of the most improbable, magical seasons in American professional sports, a year which gave birth to a dynasty which was first celebrated, now reviled but always respected. And while so many games and plays led to this 48-yarder – ones we’ve mentioned 12 times on this list – Adam Vinatieri kicking a 48-yarder right down the f****** middle to win the Super Bowl was an orgasmic moment for the recluses and pariahs that had been Patriots fans when nobody would admit to such a thing.
 

PLAY NUMBER: 3

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Jan. 19, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 16, Raiders 13

THE PLAY: Vinatieri from 45 through a blizzard to tie Snow Bowl

WHY IT’S HERE: Two thoughts traveling on parallel tracks were running through the mind while Adam Vinatieri trotted onto the field and lined up his 45-yarder to tie Oakland in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff Game, the final one at Foxboro Stadium. “There’s no way he can make this kick in this weather,” was the first. “The way this season’s gone, I bet he makes this kick. It can’t end here. It can’t end now.” From where I was sitting in the press box I couldn’t see the ball clearly, probably because I was looking for it on a higher trajectory than Vinatieri used. So I remember Vinatieri going through the ball, my being unable to locate it in the air and then looking for the refs under the goalposts to see their signal. And when I located them, I saw the ball scuttle past. Then I saw the officials’ arms rise. Twenty-five years earlier, the first team I ever followed passionately – the ’76 Patriots – left me in tears when they lost to the Raiders in the playoffs. Now, at 33, I was covering that team and it had gotten a measure of retribution for the 8-year-old me.
 

Buy or Sell: Should NFL not test for marijuana?

Buy or Sell: Should NFL not test for marijuana?

Greg Dickerson and Mike Giardi give their take on whether the NFL should not test for marijuana.

Buy or Sell: Patriots will not lose at home even without Tom Brady

Buy or Sell: Patriots will not lose at home even without Tom Brady

Greg Dickerson and Mike Giardi give their take on whether they think the Patriots will be not lose a home game during Brady’s suspension.