By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 16, 2007
Washington Redskins defensive end Andre Carter is loath to talk about his individual production this season, but he already has surpassed his sack total from 2006 and is becoming a playmaker for the team. After suffering through a long adjustment period last year, his first after signing a six-year, $30 million free agent contract with Washington, Carter is making big plays every week.
Carter leads the Redskins with seven sacks and has forced three fumbles, recovering one. His safety helped spark Washington's 34-3 win over Detroit on Oct. 7, his forced fumble against Arizona on Oct. 21 was a key play in that victory, and Carter forced another fumble when he crushed Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb on Sunday. Had the offense scored a touchdown rather than a field goal after that turnover, Washington likely would have won that game, as well.
The rest of the defensive line has combined for 7 1/2 sacks. The Redskins have not had a lineman post a double-digit sack total since Marco Coleman and Bruce Smith both did so in 2000.
"I'm always hungry to do more," Carter said. "I'm never satisfied, and in a way you're always trying to compete with yourself and continue to make plays. It's been kind of like a new beginning for me here and I take pride in that and want to do the best I can."
After a torrid start to the season, the defensive line has failed to generate much pressure on the quarterback the past month or so. With Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense, rarely able to blitz as much as he would like given the lack of points scored by the offense and the close score of most of the games, the weight of attacking the opposition's quarterbacks often falls on the linemen alone.Safety Dance
Williams said he will rotate various defensive backs into the free safety spot normally filled by the injured Sean Taylor when the Redskins play Dallas on Sunday. Rookie LaRon Landry will get some opportunities in that role, and others, including cornerback Fred Smoot, have practiced at the position.
"We're rotating guys through there and I'll play anywhere they want," Landry said. Asked what his favorite position was, Landry said, "My favorite spot is winning, that's it." . . .
Williams said he shares a bond with Bum Phillips, the father of Cowboys Coach Wade Phillips. Bum Phillips was a broadcaster for the Oilers when Williams was a novice coach with Houston, and they talked often. . . . Tailback Clinton Portis did not dress in costume when he met with reporters yesterday, though he did say he wanted to "choke out" Choo Choo, his character from a week ago, after losing to Philadelphia. . . . Wide receiver Jimmy Farris, who was signed yesterday when wide receiver Brandon Lloyd was placed on injured reserve, said he worked often with quarterback Jason Campbell on the scout team during his prior stint with the Redskins and loves running routes for him. "I think we have a natural chemistry," Farris said. "I love the way he throws the football." . . . Linebacker Marcus Washington (hamstring) practiced fully again yesterday and said he is hopeful of playing Sunday. Guard Pete Kendall (ankle) also fully returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday.