Chris Carter might not have a lot of free time when he gets to Arizona on Saturday, but you can bet the rookie linebacker is going to find time for one special thing – dinner with his brother David, a rookie nose tackle for the Arizona Cardinals.
"We are going to go out to dinner and just catch up in person," said Carter. "It's been I while since I have seen him. The second we got the call the lockout was over we packed our bags and left. I miss my brother. I am excited to see him."
The Carter brothers played against each other in college when Chris and Fresno State beat David's UCLA team three years ago, but this takes it to another level for them.
"It's a blessing," said Chris. "Just to have a setting like this to play your brother in, both of us getting drafted into the NFL the same year and play each other our rookie year is exciting.
"We talk every day. We both use each other as a crutch to push each other through. If he is down I motivate him, if I am down he motivates me. It's just about the normal things about dealing with being a rookie in the NFL, the struggles of understanding new concepts, playbook, and techniques. We both play the same type of defense. We talk and share tips and remind each other to keep pushing and work hard."
Both Chris and David, who are a year apart, were selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, Chris going to the Steelers in the fifth round with the 162nd selection and David to Arizona in the sixth round, the 171st pick overall.
"That day was extremely emotional," said Chris. "For a while I didn't know if my name was going to get called, he was thinking his name wasn't going to get called at all. We were sitting there worrying, stressing, rounds are going by. Finally I ended up getting a call from the Steelers. I shed a tear or two. Literally 10 minutes later, before anybody in my family could dry their eyes, he got a call. It was crazy. It was a big celebration. The proudest day I have ever had so far."
That pride stems more from David proving the doubters wrong, than from Chris having his own success. Many teams weren't giving David a chance, thinking he would be an undrafted free agent at best. But he is getting a lot of playing time in a back-up role and already has one sack.
"I went to the combine and you speak to teams and coaches feel the need to tell you your brother is not this or that, not tough enough," said Carter. "It was tough. That is my brother and I love him. I can talk to him about anything. Hearing people say that and being in the position I was in, I could only say so much back to them. I was trying to get a job from them. I would sit there and go back and told him what they said and I think it motivated him more than anything. We feed off of that, off of people not believing in us.
"He is proving a lot of people wrong and making a lot of people mad they missed out on him."