LB Lorenzo Carter -- April 18, 2019
Q: How different is this now from a year ago?
A: It is a lot different. First of all, I know where I am at. I know my teammates and the guys that I am working with. I get a chance to work with them. That is a major plus and I donít have to deal with the whole draft process that comes with it. I am done with it. I am focused on getting myself and my team better. I love it.
Q: What are some of your takeaways from last year?
A: I know I can get a lot better. I feel like I had an OK season. People told me I did good, going home people tell you all this stuff about how great you were but for me personally it was just, I know there is a lot of room for improvement. Get in the gym, go to work. Get in the lab and just comeback for year two and make it a better year.
Q: Was there a part of the year where you felt the game slowdown for you and you didnít feel like a rookie anymore?
A: Yes. It definitely slows down. When you first get out there, after those first few games, you are like wow, this is the NFL. I am playing against the guys that I watched on TV growing up. These are the guys. You have to take that adjustment period to realize that you made it and you are actually out there on the field. After you get past that, you realize it is the same game you have been playing as a kid. You have to go out there and just run and hit. It doesnít change.
Q: Reaction to the OV trade?
A: I understand that teams are going to be different. Moving parts and pieces. Every team is different even in college, your team will never be the same. It is a business and I understand that. That is the guys upstairs. I just have to make sure I step into my role and do it the best I can.
Q: When you look at this defense, a lot of big pieces are gone. Do you sit there going in this season asking what you have?
A: People on the outside think that, but I know what we have. I am in the locker room and the gym with these guys. That is why it is so busy getting back into the building with these guys. It is nice to see that everyone has been working. No one has really taken time off. The guys we have in the locker room is who we are working with. That is not going to change. We are going to work with what we got.
Q: Do you look at this year as a big opportunity for you?
A: Definitely. It is year two. It does not matter what happened in the offseason with players or whatever. Coming into year two for me is big. It is a big jump. You are not a rookie anymore so you know what you have to work on. That is it really.
Q: There is not a lot of NFL sacks out there on your roster. Is that an issue?
A: There were not a lot of NFL sacks out there and if we draft someone, that wonít increase the number of NFL sacks either. It doesnít matter. I donít think about stuff like that. I just think about how I can make myself and my team better. Sacks are going to come. Sacks are the things that people over analyze and like to look at a lot. If we play the way we are suppose to play and work fast and hard, it is going to come. Everything will fall into place. I am not worried about trying to add sacks to the team. It will come.
Q: There is a young nucleolus here. Is that group ready to lead the defense?
A: Yes, definitely. We have young guys on the team but all of us are ready to work. There is a team full of people that are looking for leaders. We just have to step up and be those leaders. I donít question that we canít, we just have to go out and do it.
Q: How has Coach Bettcher expressed to you that this is your second year and you are not a rookie?
A: Yes, he told me that a few games into the season last year. That title is just a mindset. Being a rookie is a mindset. If you come in and work, and realize you have been doing this, football doesnít change. The sport does not change. It is just the amount of knowledge you gain. If you can gain more knowledge over a shorter period of time, go for it. That rookie period does not have to be too long. This is a big step for me in year two.
Q: What did you say after last year that you needed to do and how did you get there?
A: Definitely thought I could add a few more pounds and some more strength. That comes with the game. It comes with time and experience. There is no big rush. I feel like there are things that I have to improve on. Just first step, have to finish better. That just comes with drill work and I feel like I did that in the offseason. I am going to keep doing that. It is something you have to stick to. It doesnít matter if it is year one, two or five. If you keep working at it, you will get better at it.
Q: Any vets you worked with this offseason?
A: Not really. I really worked on gaining strength and muscle. Talking to the guys that I talked to, if you work on your game and stick to your move, it will work. That is the main takeaway that I got talking to guys in the league that have done what I am trying to do.