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Sports

Linebacker Carter a big problem for offenses

Giants 6-5 pass rusher is excellent at getting in backfield.

Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter during training camp at

Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ, on Sunday. Photo Credit: Brad Penner

Most rookies spend their first week of training camp trying to keep up with the mental challenges that are put before them. They have to learn assignments, responsibilities, schemes.

Lorenzo Carter’s syllabus is a little less complicated.

“The coaches ask me to go forward and go forward fast,” the linebacker and third-round pick said with a big smile Sunday. “I can go for that. I can do that.”

So far, he has. In the first few days of practices, Carter has flashed rushing the passer from the outside linebacker spot with the second team. He stunted up the middle to force an interception Saturday and was a regular visitor in the backfield from around the outside on Sunday.

“One of his redeeming qualities is he’s an excellent edge player,” Pat Shurmur said. “But you also have to be able to work in conjunction with line stunts. Those are things we’re trying to get out of him. He’s a big athlete that’s very long. He’s just working through it.”

At a sleek 6-5 and 252 pounds, Carter seems almost custom-built for the role of pass rusher in defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s system.

“He’s long, he’s athletic, he’s sudden, he’s smart,” linebackers coach Bill McGovern said. “He’s doing a good job so far.”

And a fairly straightforward one. Unlike his time at Georgia, when Carter was asked to fill multiple spots in the defense, the Giants seem happy to have him be — at least for the time being — a one-dimensional player.

“Here, I’m playing straight outside linebacker, strong side,” he said. “My job is simple: set the edge, affect the passer. Lastly, I have to drop [into pass coverage], but that’s an afterthought. In the front of my head is pass rushing and being aggressive going forward. I love it.”

New York Sports