Reports around the New England Patriots this week are that the team signed veteran DE Andre Carter. Carter rejoins the Patriots for a second time in three years as he was a Pro-Bowler in 2011 with the team. Carter had a good year for the Patriots as he recorded 10 sacks with the team before going down with a torn quadriceps tendon. The injury would cost him the rest of his season and hurt the Patriots in the long run as they made their way to the Super Bowl.
Now two years later after a slew of injuries on the defensive front, the Patriots bring Carter back hoping to get some help on the defensive line and add another veteran to the locker room. Carter knows the system and will be able to step in right away and contribute on the defensive line. Since Vince Wilfork has been out, the Patriots have struggled getting pressure on the QB and are hoping that Carter can contribute to that. The Pats have been running their normal 4-3 defensive alignment but have been trying to replace Wilfork and Tommy Kelly with two rookie DTs. Once Kelly comes back, I look for the Patriots to go smaller up front and maybe run three DEs and a DT in hopes to get more pressure on the opposing QBs. The Patriots struggled with pressure Sunday vs. the New York Jets which resulted in Geno Smith having a lot of time to make plays downfield.
In the absence of Wilfork, the Patriots’ run stop has taken a hit, but they have not been as exposed as many people thought they would be. The problem has been getting off the field on third down, and bringing a guy in who can help get pressure on the QB should help. Carter is 34 and on the back nine of his career, but he comes to the Patriots once again in great shape and the hope is he can contribute right away. If successful, Carter should not only get pressure on the QB himself, but he should open things up for Chandler Jones. Hopefully that will lead to more pressure on the QB and better results overall for a Patriots defense that has struggled at times the past few weeks.