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Patriots Carter: ‘A Blessing’ To Be In New England

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Patriots defensive end Andre Carter. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Patriots defensive end Andre Carter. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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New England Patriots

FOXBORO (CBS) – Sunday’s matchup with the Redskins in Washington is just another game for Patriots defensive end Andre Carter.

“I’m going to go out there just like every game, preparing for another great opponent,” Carter said of playing his former team on Wednesday.

Carter spent the last five seasons with the Redskins, going through all the ups and (mostly) downs in DC. He had a career year in 2009, setting new career highs in tackles (62) and solo tackles (48) to go with 11 sacks. But Carter saw his numbers decline in 2010, as the team tried working him in as a linebacker.

Things were no longer working out for him in Washington, and he took the risk stepping away from the final guaranteed year of his contract to test the free agent waters. Carter actually thought at the time his playing days could be over.

“It was definitely a risk. I was locked in for one more year, but I had to go upon my faith and my ability to know that that particle fit didn’t work,” he said of Washington. “ I knew it just wasn’t right for me. They knew that too, but they appreciated the hard work by me.”

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

Now he is in New England, a move Carter calls “a blessing.”

“Just being here, to get picked up, because I was telling everybody I was done coming into this season,” said Carter. “So just to be productive and have fun and play the game that I’ve loved for so many years, it’s just a wonderful feeling.”

His new team feels the same way.

“You get the same effort out of him every day, seven days a week, whatever this is, [16] games or however many we’ve played. He’s really the same dependable player on a daily basis with a lot of consistency. All those are strengths,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said on Wednesday. “He’s been such a pleasure to have on this team and he’s added a lot to our football team in a lot of different ways.”

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him after playing against him for a bunch of years. He’s a Bay Area guy, so you’ve got to like that about him – another California kid,” said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. “He’s got a great attitude – really professional. You see the way he takes care of himself before practice, after practice. He’s always out there doing extra conditioning. He’s really a true professional, and that’s why he’s been around. That’s why he’s been productive really everywhere he’s been. It’s great to have him on the team.”

Read: Pats-Broncos Remains 4:15pm Game

Carter has shined for the Patriots, already with nine sacks and 47 tackles this season. But just playing in the NFL is glory enough for the 11-year veteran.

“Despite whether you’re winning or losing, I think it’s always just a blessing to go out and play this game,” he said. “Only so many people have the opportunity to play pro sports. In general, to be here, a part of a great organization and great tradition is an all-around great experience.”

While he may have spent five years with the Redskins, Carter does not think he will have much to offer his new teammates when it comes to game planning with the many changes their defense has gone through the last year.

Carter has shined for the Patriots, igniting a pass-rush the team has not seen in years. The 32-year-old already has nine sacks and 47 tackles for season.

But just playing in the NFL is glory enough for the 11-year veteran.

“Despite whether you’re winning or losing, I think it’s always just a blessing to go out and play this game,” he said. “Only so many people have the opportunity to play pro sports. In general, to be here, a part of a great organization and great tradition is an all-around great experience.”

While he may have spent five years with the Redskins, Carter does not think he will have much to offer his new teammates when it comes to game planning with the many changes their defense has gone through the last year.

Tune in the the Patriots-Redskins game Sunday on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub at 4:15pm. Pregame coverage begins on WBZ-TV with Patriots Gameday at 11:30am and at 1pm on The Hub. Stay tuned after the game for all the reaction and analysis on 98.5, and over on MYTV38 with Patriots Fifth Quarter.

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