The Bruce Carter Appreciation Thread
I'll start it off with this article.
Bob Sturm: Butch Davis on Bruce Carter
Bob Sturm / Contributor
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Over the weekend, my colleague, Norm Hitzges interviewed former Cowboys defensive coordinator and North Carolina head coach, Butch Davis about Bruce Carter - the Cowboys 2nd Round pick. Here is a transcript of their discussion:
Davis: I think the Cowboys have gotten a phenomenal not only football player but a really great kid.
We recruited Bruce four years ago, and in high school coming out - this will give you an indication of what kind of athlete - in high school he was a safety and a Quarterback. An excellent athlete and a terrific kid.
He comes into the program in the 2nd game of his true freshman year, he starts. And he has started every game over the subsequent four years. And here are the things that I have told people and Tom Ciskowski who I have communicated an awful lot about this kid in previous weeks.
Bruce is one of those unique rare linebackers that you never have to take out of the game. He can play Sam, he can play Mike, He can play Will and he can play in all of your nickel packages. Because he has great speed and great ability to cover. He can blitz and he can come off the edge. He is probably the career leader in blocked kicks at Carolina.
Early in his career as he was earning his reputation, he got three blocked kicks against the University of Connecticut in one ball game. And NCAA-wise, he blocked kicks in 3 consecutive games to help us win.
And this is a kid who is a great worker in the weight room and I think he will have an outstanding career in Dallas.
How is the knee?
Davis: I think it is very good and I think he is on track to start training camp when the collective bargaining agreement stuff goes right. I saw him working out in the weight room a week ago, and he was basically doing just about everything. Not 100%. When he tore the knee, it was a partial tear of the ACL in the NC State game, so he misses the rest of the game, misses the Duke game, and obviously the bowl game. The decision we made at that time - and he wanted to try to continue to play - was in the best interest of his career and to go in early and get it fixed.
It was a real reward for him and I think he got almost a two month jump start and is that far ahead of schedule.
Did the Cowboys seek your exact impressions of where he should go?
Davis: No, not necessarily. I think all teams - the Cowboys being one of them - all teams want to make an honest true assessment of every individual. Their character, their work ethic, what kind of athlete he is, how he will fit their scheme... And, they do their homework as well as anybody in the National Football League.
One of the things that we try to do is pride ourselves in our program. And this is one of the things I tried to do at Miami as well, be honest. Tell them the truth. There are no smoke and mirrors in our program. The flaws our kids have, people know about them. And the strengths they have, everybody is going to know about them, too.
I just think the Cowboys really liked this kid's versatility. Because when you look at the draft and I did in the 10 years I spent in the NFL. A lot of times when you are talking about linebackers it is usually, "well this guy can play on 1st and 2nd down, but then you got to get him out of there on 3rd down". And the game has evolved so much to where there are so many guys and so many personnel groupings and a lot of misplaced personnel. And that is something you never have to worry about with Bruce Carter.
I don't care if it is covering the tight end or a running back or if they have to put him outside the formation and the wide receiver comes inside. He can cover those guys equally as well.
I think this was a good pick. I think we're jaded primarily because of how big of a failure the Williams pick was. I have faith that Ryan would not have signed off on this if he didn't think he could play.
I've read some critique that mentioned he is a finesse LB. The more I've read, the more I think that's an unfair assestment.
He is a speed guy. He hits like a mac truck. When he had to take on OL, he did have a tendency to run around some blocks, but I think that is because he's so fast and he could run around them. I don't think anyone that watches the clips of this dude hit would call him a finesse LB. I just think that tag was put on him because he's a speedy guy that likes to run around in space...well, duh!
Another thing to keep in mind, is that speed coverage LBers are invaluable in the NFL. Teams pass more and more and the more you have guys that can play all three downs, the more advantage you have with scheme.
Obviously, the other issue is the knee. If what Butch is saying is true, it appears to be a relatively minor ACL tear. Doesn't seem like it's going to be the traditional 1 year full recovery timetable that we normally see with ACLs.
Only thing that is hard to jump on board with this pick is the fact that he's expected to take over starting next year when Bradie walks. That's fine if your the Steelers and you have a bunch of needs covered, but to me in the 2nd round when you have glaring needs I think you should do a better job looking for a starter to come in and play.
We've talkeda bout how bad Leonard Davis was, if we strike out in FA it doesn't matter how good our tackles play. I wanted to revamp our OL this year then focus on ILB in what will be an amazing LB class. So knowing that it's hard for me to give him a fair chance, but everything I hear excites me.
Also, I'm gonna bet that Ryan went out on a limb to get this guy and I trust his judgement on this, and our grade on our draft board. That alone excites me, but were a team making a legit SB push, you need to grab as many impact players as you can early.
I agree Moore may be a JAG, but him at FS and Huff at SS makes our safeties alot better. I get the whole bpa strategy but some people mistake that to mean there were no good players at the positions the team had a need. I think Moore was worth a gamble in the 2nd due to at the minimum upgrading the position, if nobody thinks he was an upgrade over Alan Ball I don't know what to tell you.
What if we strike out in FA on Safeties? Would it even be realistic to get excited for the season? Right now were a 9-7/11-5 team with huge exploits that can get taken advantage of by a smart team.
I would probably rather pass on Aso if on the flip we can get Huff, Blalock, and a mid level CB. Don't know that we can still get those other 2 players if we get Aso.
After watching some film on him, I am wondering if he can't replace Spencer. I really don't know much about him outside of what everyone else has said. But when I watch the stuff on youtube, he is playing outside a lot.
And Spencer needs to be upgraded!
Victor Butler or Brandon Williams could try to step up in place of Spencer though. Spencer is in a contract year though...
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