Steelers select Chris Carter in fifth round

CHRIS CARTEROutside LinebackerFresno State University Bulldogs6:01.1-248Fontana, CaliforniaHenry J. Kaiser High School5th Round – 162nd Overall Quotes from Chris Carter and linebackers coach Keith Butler below bio* Keith Butler on Chris Carter video CAREER NOTES**Carter started 38-of-49 games at Fresno State (32 at defensive end, six at outside linebacker), including his last 26 at defensive end…recorded 205 tackles (116 solo) with 19.5 sacks (115 yards) and 38 tackles for loss (175 yards)…caused seven fumbles and recovered two…deflected one pass…tied for seventh in Fresno State history with 19.5 sacks…tied for seventh on the school's season-record chart with 11 sacks in 2010…ranks fifth on the school's season records list with 16.5 tackles for loss in 2010.

2010 SEASONAll-Western Athletic Conference first-team selection…named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year by the conference's coaches...recipient of Fresno State's Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Lineman (Defense) awards…started all 13 games at defensive end and ranked seventh on the team with 55 tackles (32 solo), including 11 sacks (63 yards) and 16.5 tackles for loss (93 yards)…led the WAC and tied for ninth in the country in sacks per game (0.85)…tied for second in the conference and 24th in the nation in tackles for loss per game (1.27)…led a unit that finished ninth in the country in sacks per game (2.85) and 35th in tackles for loss…caused four fumbles, tying for 15th in the nation in that category (0.31 forced fumbles per game)…tied for seventh on the school's season-record chart with 11 sacks in 2010…ranks fifth on the school's season-record list with 16.5 tackles for loss in 2010.

2009 SEASONAll-Western Athletic Conference first-team selection…recipient of Fresno State's Most Valuable Lineman Award (Defense)…started all 13 games at defensive end and ranked fifth on the team with 47 tackles (34 solo) with five sacks (36 yards) and 13 tackles for loss (51 yards)…placed fourth in the conference in tackles for loss…tied for fifth in the WAC in sacks…caused two fumbles and recovered one…deflected one pass.

2008 SEASONAll-Western Athletic Conference second-team selection at linebacker…started 12-of-13 games (six at outside linebacker, final six at defensive end)…began the season at outside linebacker before moving to the defensive line…ranked second on the team with 88 tackles (38 solo) with 3.5 sacks (16 yards) and 6.5 tackles for loss (25 yards)…tied for 10th in the conference in tackles and 16th in sacks.

2007 SEASONPlayed in 10 games as a true freshman at defensive end…recorded 15 tackles (12 solo) with two tackles for loss (six yards)…caused one fumble and recovered one…made his collegiate debut with a three-yard tackle for loss vs. Sacramento State.

HIGH SCHOOLAttended Henry J. Kaiser High School (Fontana, Cal.)…inducted into the San Bernardino Hall of Fame…nominated for Old Spice Red Zone Player of the Year…all-state third-team selection…All-CIF, All-County and All-Area choice…named Defensive Most Valuable Player of his league…led the Kaiser Cats to a 10-3 overall record while registering 106 tackles with 21 sacks as a senior…collected 89 tackles with 13 sacks and a blocked punt while helping Kaiser to a 10-3 overall record as a junior…rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com, which listed him as the 40th-best strong-side linebacker recruit in the nation.

PERSONALPhilosophy/Pre-Law major…earned Academic All-State honors in high school…parents are LeGenia and David Carter…has one brother, David, and one sister, Sadia…brother, David Carter, played defensive tackle for the UCLA Bruins (2006-2010)…born 4/06/89…resides in Fontana, California.

Chris Carter Conference Call
What does it mean to become a Steeler with the linebacker tradition that is here?It's amazing. It was a long wait in the draft, but I couldn't be happier to be with any other team. It's a wonderful organization. They have a great history and tradition, I'm happy. My uncle is a die-hard Steeler fan so I know he is going to be happy about it as well.

Coach Butler said he might transition you from a defensive end to a outside linebacker. What are your thoughts on that, and can you make that transition?I feel that I definitely can, I've been working on it for the last few months. I've been working with Willie McGinest and a few other coaches. I'm just excited and I'm sure I'll be able to make it.

What's the connection to Willie McGinest?I trained at API LA (Athlete Performance Institute) and he was our linebacker coach there.

Have you ever been to the East Coast? Are you a California guy?I'm from California, but I'll go anywhere.

How is your uncle a Steeler fan? Is he on the East Coast or is he out there?He's out here, but he's just a Steeler fan. I don't know why. I never asked any questions, but when we go to his house he has a Steelers room.

I know it is important to get in here to work and begin to play. Are you following what is going on with the labor situation?I'm going to try my hardest to get in as soon as possible, as soon as the team and the coaches allow me to get in and adjust to the playbook. They run a pretty good defense that I feel I can adjust to.

How difficult do you think this will be if you are not allowed to come in until, maybe, training camp? Will it be a tough transition for you to make now?I don't think so. I still think I'll be able to make the transition. I'm very confident in my abilities and what talents that I bring to the table. And I'm very confident in the coaching ability of the coaches at the Steelers.

Plus you have a couple of decent guys to learn from in [LaMarr] Woodley and [James] Harrison, right?It's an honor to be in the same locker room as that guy. It's an honor. I watch him all the time. In college, all I used to do was sit at home and watch NFL Network to watch this guy. He plays with passion. To be a player of that caliber is something I dream about and I definitely plan of making that dream come true.

Which guy? LaMarr or James?Harrison. I respect both of them for sure. I definitely respect both of them, but I watched a lot of Harrison, especially more so in college.

He's more of your height, right Chris? Is that part of your game – that speed rush around the edge?Yes he is.

Do you have a brother in this draft, too?Yes, he's actually getting some calls right now. We're kind of waiting to see where he's going to go.

Any [calls] from the Steelers?He hasn't gotten a call from the Steelers yet. I know he just got off the phone with Arizona and they are thinking about picking him up. So we'll see how it goes.

Linebackers Coach Keith Butler
Re: Stocked on outside linebackers, couldn't pass up opportunity:He has a good motor and a lot of speed off the edge. He's been mainly a three-point stance most of his career and they stick him outside or wide outside and bring him off the edge. Teams have had problems dealing with him. His biggest asset is as a speed rusher off the edge. He did stand up a little bit and play two-point stance. That is awkward for him right now, and it's something we'll have to deal with in his transition to play outside linebacker.

Re: Ranked high and lasting longer in Draft:He's a hard fit. In terms of most, people see him as a 4-3 defensive end. We think he can stand up and be as effective in a two-point stance. We'll see when we get him to training camp. Hopefully this CBA thing gets done and we can get him in here and start making the transition a little bit easier for him.

Re: Stand up transition:It's usually a couple of years. The biggest thing for these guys is, I say this again often, Jason Worilds had the same problem; he was a defensive end also. LaMarr Woodley was a defensive end. Guys like that, when they play at defensive end, usually have to line up over an offensive tackle, if there's not a tight-end or side. They don't have to make formation adjustments. This will be the biggest obstacle that will have to overcome in terms of recognizing formations and exactly where we want to line up. I spend 80% of my time talking about alignment with all the linebackers because if you get a line right, it makes your job a lot easier. We'll have the same thing with him. Learning where to line up and the different pass coverage techniques we'll ask him to use. It'll be Chinese to him. I think he'll be okay, but it's going to take a couple of years for him.

Re: Special teams position:He's got good speed. We had him at 4.66. Watching him play, on defense, offenses had to recognize the problems they have with a speed guy, so they gave him a lot of attention in terms of protection. We hope to utilize that when he gets here.

Are you comfortable with the depth for inside linebackers?I think we've got pretty good depth. I think we got four starters in there, depending on what Fox does. We also think that Sly's [Stevenson Sylvester] got a good future in front of him. It'll be hard to make our team do the inside linebacker depending on what James Farrior does. James is coming back for this year; we think he's got another year in him. Larry Foote is a starter in my mind. Lawrence Timmons is probably one of the best linebackers in the league in my mind. We got Sly last year and he's really come along for us. He's a really smart football player. You've all seen Keyaron Fox. Keyaron, when he's had to go in there on injury situations, he's done well. So, we feel pretty good about that position.

How much does it set the players back when they can't practice during the offseason?I think probably the best example is Thaddeus Gibson. We couldn't get Thaddeus in here last year because of the graduation situation and the rules as far as the NFL is concerned when the Spring semester is over with, so we didn't get him in here until late, so he was put back. We had time with him in the mini camp, but other than that we had no time with him. We got a little bit of time with him in the summertime, but very little time. Then, he came into camp far behind. So, I hope this thing gets done so we can get to work with these guys and teach them. Usually we have three shots at them before they play a preseason game in the mini camp, in the OTAs and then in training camp. We give them a whole bunch of stuff early, then we kind of spread it out in OTAs and then in training camp it's spread out a little bit more. But, it's re taught to them three times and they have a lot better chance of grasping it if we can do it in that manner. That kind of takes out a couple of big steps for us, especially if we don't get to have the mini camp and especially if we don't get to have the OTAs. It hurts young players. We've got a team of veterans, so it's really to our advantage a little bit in terms of the CBA because our guys know what we're doing defensively and offensively. The young guys, it's going to be a struggle for them and a struggle for me too trying to get them caught up.

Do you have any question about James Farrior?No. James is getting on up there a little bit, but he's going to come back. He's going to definitely be back. I thought last year, the only thing I saw was maybe his change of direction slowed down a little bit, but his speed is not. He was productive for us, probably had a better year for us last year than he had the year before. I look for James to come back and be the guy that he's been for us.

Will Chris be better on LaMarr Woodley's side or James Harrison's side?We'll determine that when he gets here.  He's a good sized kid though.  He's not 6'5" 270lbs or anything like that, but he's got good speed and he's strong.  Kids like that usually have to deal with offensive tackles trying to run by them and stuff like that.  You pretty much get in a wrestling match and you do have to have playing strength to do that.  He's got adequate playing strength I think.  He's got good speed.  I think he's going to have to develop a counter because if you're only a one-trick pony in this league with the pass rusher, then offenses usually figure out how to shut you down.  They are smart enough over there to sit there and look at film and say this guy's only a speed rusher, so they are going to get off the ball and get deep and catch him as he comes.  But if you can counter that with a good bull rush then you're going to take that offensive tackle back to the quarterback.  We have two guys who can do that.  Jason Worilds I think will develop into that, and this kid is going to have to learn to counter when we gets here in terms of being a protective pass rusher in my opinion.

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