Steelers LB Chris Carter enters crucial season


If nothing else, history suggests keeping an eye on Steelers backup outside linebacker Chris Carter this summer.

After all, Carter is entering his fourth NFL season, and he wouldn’t be the first Steelers outside linebacker to find his way after spending several years as an understudy. For instance, Jason Worilds’ breakout 2013 campaign (63 tackles, eight sacks) came in his fourth NFL season. Similarly, James Harrison and Clark Haggans both served multiyear stints as backups before becoming productive starters.

In a story in Saturday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Carter indicated he had been working on his pass coverage, as well as his arsenal of pass rush skills. And it’s his pass rushing that figures to determine where his NFL career goes from here. If Carter can generate some edge pressure this season, he could draw interest as an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

Still, Carter’s production has been lacking to this point.

The 2011 fifth-round pick has yet to be credited with a sack, and he has missed time with hamstring and abdominal injuries. Overall, he has played 231 snaps in regular season play, per Pro Football Focus data. With Worilds and Jarvis Jones the expected starters at outside linebacker, Carter again figures to be a backup.

Carter told the Post-Gazette that his speed off the edge is “an element of my game that separates myself from a lot of people.” Now, more than ever, is the time to show that as he enters what could be a now-or-never season.

17 responses to “Steelers LB Chris Carter enters crucial season

  1. Well, so far I think you have to say no. Luckily he’s not projected to be a starter and there are other options for back ups. If he suddenly makes some big strides, great. If not, the Steelers will move on. In some formations, Shazier will take place outside linebacker snaps too. Carter’s even in danger of being beaten out by rookie free agent Howard Jones, my dark horse linebacker surprise candidate to make the team, or at least the practice squad.

    Go Steelers!

  2. Steelers need to sign Harrison and cut this dead weight loose. Or keep one of the rookies. He’s done ZERO to earn a roster spot outside of preseason games.

  3. I’m not sure why the PG wasted ink on writing a story about Carter. He’s a former 5-rounder who’s been lucky to hang on this long. He won’t make the team. His best bet is to put up some good footage in the exhibition games and hope to hook on with the bungles. He could crawl out of the river and start.


  4. I hope Carter surprises – but have yet to see real reason to get too jazzed about it happening.

    On this topic, I realize not everyone will agree with this, but the Steelers are so thin at OLB that I believe we should rock Silverback (i.e., James Harrison) — who (though older by NFL standards) is training like a mad man, has LeBeau’s system down cold and could flourish now that he’s back in his element.

    Kurt Warner was very effective with the Rams in the early part of his career. Then he became a fish out of water for the Giants – and struggled. But Warner was fortunate enough to go to a team that played to his strengths (the Cardinals) – and he excelled again.

    I believe Harrison could be a valuable contributor in the Black and Gold in 2014 — and hope we bring him back, where (by all accounts) he is universally beloved by teammates.

  5. He’s got to show something in camp this summer to make a roster spot IMO. Both Moats and the rookie Zumwalt can play outside in a pinch and I’d have to think that position flexibility will count for a lot come cut time.

  6. Hopefully Chris Carter will have a Hall of Fame career so that his name can earn some redemption (the “h” makes all the difference) after being associated with the worthless, undeserving PoC that is cris carter whose HoF bust should be a miniature of himself held in the arms of a full-size Randy Moss.

  7. Outside of shazier(maybe), The steelers line backing corps is garbage. The steelers will be the fourth best defense in the division this year.

  8. He’s young and he’s flashed some ability he has just run into injury issues. It’s possible he breaks out this year, I never count out a young steelers player to break out and shock us all!

  9. ravensrunthenfl says:
    Jun 28, 2014 3:03 PM
    Outside of shazier(maybe), The steelers line backing corps is garbage. The steelers will be the fourth best defense in the division this year.

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    This bares no weight coming from a Ravens fan. Lawrence Timmons is the best linebacker in the division.

    Shazier has a lot of potential to be a great player (which I’m glad you at least admit that)

    Worilds had 8 sacks as a part time starter.

    Jarvis Jones has a lot of potential also

  10. Outside of shazier(maybe), The steelers line backing corps is garbage. The steelers will be the fourth best defense in the division this year.

    I am so glad you said this. When one of you Raven geniuses makes a statement like this the opposite happens. Everyone knows Raven fans are clueless……

  11. You’re right my bad. Timmons is good, shazier looks like he could be good, Jarvis jones is a bust, and worilds had 8 sacks?!?!?!? Oh my god that’s so amazing, both Suggs and dumervil had more and will have more this year. It’s ok though at least troy “washed up” polamalu can help fill your outside linebacker spot.

  12. And Timmons is not the best linebacker in the division.
    1. Suggs
    2. Burfict
    3. Dansby
    4. Dumervil
    5. Timmons

  13. If it comes down to Carter or Harrison to fill a roster spot, the choice is easy for me. It better be for the Stillers as well. It’s not like Carter is the Stillers’ future. They can re-address LB depth next season after JH retires.

    Oh, and nice try trolls. I suppose we will see more and more of this now that school is out.

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