AFC East: Chris Carter

AFC East leftovers from the combine

March, 3, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS -- Before we get too far removed from the NFL scouting combine and mired in the labor morass, it's time to empty out the notebook from Lucas Oil Stadium. Here are some AFC East-oriented tidbits from the defensive players who met with reporters there.

Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers on the NFL's greatest offensive tackle:
"If I had to pick, I’d have to say Jake Long. One of the best I have ever seen."

Bowers on being compared to Bruce Smith and Reggie White:
"It's amazing. Just to be in the same sentence as those guys is amazing. Anytime anybody can put you in a sentence with Reggie White and Bruce Smith, you must be doing something right."

Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward on being compared to Vernon Gholston:
"We're two totally different players. Vern, they had him dropping at linebacker. You've seen my dropping abilities. They're pretty good [joking]. Me, I can play all over the line. I can play 3-technique and 6-technique. We are two different players. We had the privilege of going to The Ohio State, but we're not the same player. I'm never going to compare myself to him, and I don't think he'll ever do the same."

Fresno State outside linebacker Chris Carter about working with former Patriots outside linebacker Willie McGinest:
"We've been working primarily on drops. I know how to rush the passer. That's my big thing, work on drops and perfecting that, getting the hips loose. Making sure we go over the defenses 100 percent and I know everyone's assignment. When you play DE, you pretty much only have to know the front-seven assignments. But as a backer, one thing they emphasized is making sure we know everyone's assignment."

Hampton defensive tackle Kendrick Ellis on a fellow alum with the Miami Dolphins:
"Every time when I used to be at Hampton, I'd watch Kendall Langford. He just gave us hope. Small-school guys, we're not on TV every week. Just with him doing it, it gave us hope that we could do it. Kendall was a good player. So I try to emulate what Kendall did, being strong in the weight room, working hard and trying to be just like him."

Clemson safety Marcus Gilchrist on what he learned from C.J. Spiller:
"Humbleness. A lot times you hear about these big-time, high-profile guys and a tendency to judge them with character issues because they have such a big head. But C.J. is one of the most humble guys you'll ever meet."

Florida punter Chas Henry on speaking with Jets special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff:
"I’d sure love to hear from him. It’s a great organization. They’re going to have a lot of success in the future, and I’d love to be a part of it. ... I’m definitely following their situation."

Illinois linebacker Martez Wilson on comparisons to Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby:
"I've heard that a lot. I could definitely see myself as a similarity to Karlos. We're both tall and got long arms. Actually our play styles are very similar. That's a great comparison. He's a great linebacker. Just to have that type of comparison, someone who was in the NFL, is just a great accomplishment."

Clemson defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins on being coached by the Buffalo Bills at the Senior Bowl:
"It was real good, being coached by the Bills. They opened my eyes a lot. I had to improve my pass-rush a lot, and they taught me a lot about not looking in the backfield, beating my man first, and actually had a good Senior Bowl, got better each day."

Cancer survivor and Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich on his relationship with Tedy Bruschi:
"Tedy reached out to me first. I remember the date, Sept. 29th, because that's the date I was told I didn't have cancer any more. One thing he told me that night back at my dorm at Boston College was 'Mark, you're a survivor now. Be proud of being a survivor.' Those are words that have stayed with me through my whole process. To me, that meant get your story out there, raise as much money as you can, be helpful to other people."

Moss speaks little, says a lot

December, 20, 2009

AP Photo/ David DupreyPatriots receiver Randy Moss bounced back from criticism with five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown in a victory over the Bills Sunday.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Randy Moss breezed through a side door and began addressing reporters before he reached the microphone. So focused was he on making a statement, he tripped as he stepped onto the podium.

"I'm gonna make it real brief," Moss blurted shortly after the New England Patriots breathed in a therapeutic 17-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills. "Y'all had all two weeks to do all y'all's talking. Let me do mine."

Moss, in a black stocking cap and a natty trench coat over a designer suit, leaned his right elbow on the lectern for effect, like a judge about to lecture a defendant before sentencing.

"I'd like to really thank ..." Moss paused, stroked his beard and started again. "It's been really a tough couple of weeks, but you move on. That’s the nature of the game. So I'm happy that we got this victory. I appreciate all the support from my true fans, the players, the coaches, my family and loved ones.

"I've been in this league 12 years, man, and I've been through a lot. And these shoulders that I have on my body, you can put the earth on it. So just to let you know, I bounce back. I appreciate it."

The gallery didn't ask a question. Moss bolted stage left and out the door.

In those 45 seconds, Moss didn't say much.

He didn't have to. He revealed plenty.

Moss was hurt by the onslaught of criticism he has faced over the previous dozen days, and Sunday provided deliverance.

Moss generated 113 yards for the Patriots and scored their first touchdown, a sweet tippy-toe grab in the back of the end zone. He finished with a game-high five receptions for 70 yards and drew another 43 yards on a Bills pass interference near the goal line.

"My father always said, 'Tall trees experience high winds,'" Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. "He's been at the top for a long time. When it doesn't go right, that's just part of the profession.

"Randy's mature enough to handle that. He's a fighter, and he came out today and really made some great catches for us. Missed him on a couple of deep ones that certainly I wish we would have hit. But he was running his butt off today."

Moss had been called a quitter, a dog, a malcontent.

With the Patriots enduring three losses in four games, Patriots coach Bill Belichick booted Moss and three other players from Gillette Stadium on Dec. 9 for showing up late for a meeting.

Four days later against the Carolina Panthers, Moss caught one pass and fumbled it away, appeared to give less than full effort on a Brady interception and committed a false start. Panthers defensive backs Chris Gamble and Chris Harris proclaimed they made him submit.

A pair of future Hall of Fame receivers, Jerry Rice and Cris Carter, publicly ripped him as a lollygagger. We should have known, the media declared. He was trouble in Minnesota and Oakland. It was bound to happen in New England too.

A cancer, this guy.

Through it all, Moss said nothing. He had no answers, no words to defend himself.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft defended him. So did head coach Bill Belichick, who uncharacteristically took shots at Gamble and Harris as guys who haven't won enough games this year to have a credible opinion.

NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell and ESPN’s Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge -- with access to the sacred coaches' tapes -- were unanimous in their defense of Moss. They insisted he gave a high effort against the Panthers, but those voices didn't make nearly enough noise amid the condemnation.

A productive game would be Moss' only response.

The Patriots wanted him involved right away. They went deep to him twice -- and quickly. Brady fired a long ball too far down the left sideline on their sixth play. That pass interference chunk came on the first possession of the second quarter.

Despite facing the NFL's worst run defense, the Patriots wanted to help Moss prove a point.

"He's a competitor, and he wasn't happy with his performance the week before," Patriots receiver Wes Welker said. "He came out there and showed why he's one of the best to play the game. There's no doubt in my mind or anybody else's that he was going to bounce back from last week and have a great game."

Moss caught more flak than passes over his four previous games. He made six catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns. OK numbers for Chansi Stuckey or Josh Reed, not for one of the greatest receivers there ever was.

But on Sunday he came through. His afternoon wasn't prolific, but in sub-freezing conditions and with the Patriots desperately seeking their first true road win of the year, he made his presence felt.

Brady threw for only 115 yards. Laurence Maroney averaged 3.5 yards a carry.

Moss' shoulders didn't have to carry the earth Sunday, but he carried his offense again.

Atlas shrugged off the past two weeks.

"He always wants to prove something," Brady said. "He's a very competitive guy. The way he played today, he made some tough catches in traffic, made some nice catch-and-runs. He did a great job."