Carpenter Ready For Fresh Start
Carpenter Ready for Fresh Start
Monday, May 10, 2010
By Nick Wagoner
On the day he was dealt to the Rams in a swap of former first round picks, linebacker Bobby Carpenter couldn’t help but view the trade as a new start for his football career.
The Rams officially traded offensive tackle Alex Barron (the 19th pick in the 2005 Draft) to Dallas for Carpenter (the 18th pick in the 2006 Draft) on Monday afternoon, giving both players a chance for a new beginning in their new cities.
“I think it’s going to be a fresh start,” Carpenter said Monday afternoon. “Coming to a new organization and it’s a really young group of guys, it’s an energetic group and the coaches are very passionate. Just being in the building today, there was a ton of energy. Just coming up here, it’s a totally different feel and everybody is very positive.”
The new beginning works on a number of levels for Carpenter, who many believe was never quite a fit for the defensive schemes being run in Dallas.
The Cowboys run a base 3-4 defense that asks much of their outside linebackers in terms of rushing the passer and the inside ‘backers in terms of stopping the run. Carpenter was asked to play inside in that scheme after being projected mostly as an outside linebacker entering the draft.
As such, he started only a handful of games and finished with 66 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two passes defended. He got the most playing time of his career in 2009 when he put up 48 tackles, two sacks and a pass defended working mostly in sub packages that asked him to do a lot in coverage.
“They have had a good team for a number of years,” Carpenter said. “It’s just been tough to get on the field. They have had some coaching changes. I am excited to come up here. I did a tremendous amount of work on second and third down last year and doing some pass coverage and blitzing. I should be able to work in the scheme.”
For the Rams, Carpenter will get his first chance in the league to play in a more traditional 4-3 defense that he played in while at Ohio State. There, Carpenter was a force in posting 14.5 sacks along with 191 career tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions.
In coach Steve Spagnuolo’s defense, linebackers are asked to do a variety of different things, something Carpenter believes he brings to the table.
“Hopefully a fast, aggressive, rangy guy,” Carpenter said. “I think I have a lot of athletic ability I can bring to the team and that’s something coach Spags loves. I think I kind of fit that role.”
One of the tasks in that role, whether he ends up playing on the weak side or the strong side (James Laurinaitis is entrenched in the middle), is covering tight ends.
Carpenter did plenty of that in Dallas last year and says the time he spent covering All Pro Jason Witten was beneficial to him.
And if the adjustment to the new defense proves difficult at times, Carpenter will have plenty of shoulders to lean on and brains to pick. The Rams now boast four Ohio State linebackers in Carpenter, Laurinaitis, Larry Grant and Na’il Diggs. There’s a reasonable chance three former Buckeyes could form the starting trio at linebacker.
“That’s definitely kind of an anomaly there in the NFL to have four guys in a position group all from the same school,” Carpenter said. “It’s going to be great to come in there and play with those guys. We have a talented group of linebackers so it’s going to be exciting.”
On Monday morning, Carpenter paid his first visit to his new football home and came away impressed with what he saw. Most of that time, Carpenter spent meeting with the coaches and getting a general grasp on the scheme and what will be expected of him in St. Louis.
“I sat down with some of the guys today to get the overall general scheme,” Carpenter said. “I think obviously I’ll probably play somewhere on the outside whether it’s strong or weak that is still to be determined. It kind of depends on how I fill into the scheme. We’ll see how I can do and where I can play.”
In meeting his coaches and teammates, Carpenter couldn’t help but feel he wasn’t the only one working on a fresh start.
“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity to come here,” Carpenter said. “They have got some great defensive minds and really a young team. I think it’s going to be very enthusiastic, a lot of energy and I think we are looking to hopefully accomplish some good things this year… it’s something I was not necessarily taken aback by but it was refreshing to see that.”
Re: Carpenter Ready For Fresh Start
Sounds good. Let's get to work.
Re: Carpenter Ready For Fresh Start
Let's get ready to rumble...
We're counting on you Bobbay.