Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Patriots path to Superbowl get harder with another injury

Defensive end Andre Carter is a veteran that came in with questions about his age, declining ability and how effective of a player he would be at this late juncture of his solid NFL career. It's possible the Patriots could be moving him to the Injured Reserve list as early as today with the news and statement from Carter's agent that he will be undergoing surgery for "a quad related injury". That's about as specific as your ever going to get out of a Patriots player, coach, staff, all the way up to executives and ownership. Per coach Bill Belichick, his players and staff know to keep it vague when it comes to everything Patriots, whether it's injuries, playing time, opponents, or the game plan throughout his iconic career, "THE HOODIE" has made a point to run a tight ship.

Carter has been by far the Patriots top pass rusher this season with 10 sacks through 13 games reaching double digits which is something of a rarity for the team from Foxborough. The need for pressure on the quarterback has been a constant problem for the Patriots over the past few years and many thought they would look to fill the void with their array of draft picks this past year. When Belichick chose to instead take 2 different running backs. Shane Vereen and Ras-I Dowling have both experienced injuries throughout the year and at my vantage point have been disappointing in their debut season. 

The Patriots found a bright spot with their signing of the veteran Andre Carter though. He has been a fantastic leader and strong voice in the locker room and has set a great example with his work ethic and attitude for the young guys to follow on defense. The Pats are in the middle of reshaping the defensive side of the ball with their youth movement and has some solid pieces in Jerod Mayo, Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington. 

Even on the offensive side of the ball where many questioned the picks of 2 more tight-ends to a team that already had a couple the Patriots are showing just how smart they are. With the record setting season of Rob Gronkowski for touchdowns for a tight end in only his 2nd season and the other pick Aaron Hernandez totaling 9 catches for over 120 yards against the Broncos these 2 guys have showed just how valuable they are. Not that Bill needs to hear it from you or me but GREAT PICKS BIG GUY.

Just as an example here are the first 2 comments listed from fans when I clicked on the ESPN story:

Andre Carter comes across with so much dignity and class in his interviews. Easy to see why his teammates respect him so much. And this is in addition to what he does on the field! Hopefully, he will spend as much time as he can with the team and continue to offer support and leadership.
Andre, get well soon and come on back. You're a class act and a big part of the team.


+Joshua Hastings