The Giants want rookie linebacker Lorenzo Carter to do a lot of things for them on the field.
“He should be able to obviously set the edge in the run game,” coach Pat Shurmur said Saturday when asked about the job description for the third-round pick out of Georgia. “We expect him to be able to drop into coverage at times, and then certainly the element that he will bring to us also is his ability to pass rush, whether we play five on the line or we get into a four-man front.”
And if they need a cello player, well, he’s their guy, too.
That’s right. Carter is not only a fierce, athletic mayhem-maker for the defense but an accomplished musician — and a fan of classical music who is known to pop in his earbuds and crank up some Yo-Yo Ma.
“In elementary school, fifth grade, I started to play the cello and it stuck with me,” he said. “I love the sound of wood instruments, and I just fell in love with classical music.”
He also plays the tuba and the baritone horn.
“I tried to play bass for a little bit,” he said. “It’s a little big, I don’t like the sound of it. I’ve dabbled in a couple of instruments.”
Carter laughed at the idea of listening to the soothing strains of classical to get himself pumped up before a game.
“It’s more my after-the-game music to relax and get my mind off things,” he said.
He did, however, wonder why the Giants have not yet played any instrumental tunes during their practices, instead blasting classic rock and hip-hop.
“I might have to talk to somebody about that,” he said. “I don’t know if that would be a great time for classical music, but I would be down with it.”
Ask and ye shall receive. Sure enough, during warm-ups Saturday, in between the Rolling Stones and old-school Michael Jackson was an orchestral piece meant to arouse, not soothe, the savage beasts on the field.
For now, Carter is focusing more on football than philharmonics.
“I feel I bring a lot of athleticism, versatility,” he said. “I can do a lot of things out there, and just energy. I’m young, I have a lot of energy. I want to soak it all in, soak it in from the vets, soak it in from the coaches and just be a sponge.”
He’s already impressed the coaches in that regard.
“He’s very long, he’s very athletic,” Shurmur said. “He did a good job in the coverage drills, in the one-on-one stuff [Friday], and you can see he’s a bright guy. I watched these coaches give him some coaching points and he was able to use that in his next couple of reps. So certainly the arrow is up there.”
Eventually, Carter said, he might let his musical proclivity be known. Last year’s second-round pick, Dalvin Tomlinson, shares the same interest and has been trying to teach himself to play guitar and piano. There might be some jam sessions in the defensive meeting rooms in the near future.
“We can get a band together real quick,” Carter said.
Or he can just stick to his solo act. Either way, he’ll probably have a pretty good act for the rookie talent show that is bound to take place this summer during training camp.
“Oh, yeah, I forgot about that,” Carter said of what might become his NFL musical debut. “Yeah, I’ll bring a cello in here and get down for them.”