Bruce Carter believes he's ready
November, 2, 2011
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
IRVING, Texas – Rookie Bruce Carter believed he was ready to play inside linebacker during his NFL debut.
“I feel like I could have gone out there and helped out,” Carter said.
His coaches didn’t agree. Carter, who was activated off the non-football injury list last week, didn’t play a defensive down against the Eagles. Head coach Jason Garrett indicated that it would have been counterproductive to give Carter snaps at inside linebacker, even late in the game with the lopsided score.
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The Cowboys need to get Carter ready right away with Sean Lee’s status in doubt.
“You can’t really make excuses,” Carter said. “You’ve got to go out there and be ready and play football.”
Lee intends to try to play Sunday with a cast protecting his dislocated left wrist, but the Cowboys have to prepare for their leading tackler to miss at least one game. It’s asking too much of veterans Bradie James and Keith Brooking to be on the field every play, especially in passing situations.
Carter has the speed (4.57 40) and coverage ability to contribute. It’s a matter of getting him up to speed in Rob Ryan’s scheme.
“He is a smart guy,” Garrett said. “He does pick it up well in the meeting room and when he’s watching tape. He just needs to have snaps at it, reps at it.
“Really, that’s the case for any player, particularly a young player who’s missed as much time as he has. He’s picking it up well. He’s been productive in practice. We’re hopeful that he can take the next step and get in the game and be productive as well.”