Carter appears ready to step in at strong-side linebacker in Week 2 against the Saints should Danny Lansanah, who also practiced fully on Friday, experience any setbacks before the opening kickoff. Although he disappointed in his off-season audition at the middle linebacker spot he was originally signed to occupy, Carter is still expected to provide valuable experience and depth for the Bucs linebacker corps in 2015.
Carter's lack of restrictions is an encouraging sign for his Week 2 status, after a rib injury caused him to exit the opener in the first quarter with only one tackle to his credit. The 27-year-old linebacker was originally expected to man the middle linebacker spot for the Bucs, but was transitioned to the strong side in preseason and eventually lost his spot atop the depth chart to fourth-round rookie Kwon Alexander.
Regardless of the fact that he's fallen short of original expectations, Carter undoubtedly provides veteran depth and is figured to rotate in frequently on substitution packages. Another day of full participation Friday will serve as a strong indicator of Carter's chances of suiting up against the Saints on Sunday.
So far, so good.
Carter has taken a leadership role during organized team activities and everyone is taking notice.
“There is a lot we ask of our linebackers, starting with making the calls,” coach Lovie Smith said. “Bruce has done that. He has good athletic ability. Just look at our history with Mike linebackers – any good defense, it starts there. He is the quarterback of the defense. Bruce can handle all that, so we are excited about what we think he is going to bring to the table. I think he had about five interceptions, so he’s a playmaker too. We need all that.”
Carter thrived in a system similar to what the Bucs run while he was in Dallas, so the transition has been smoother than usual for a player switching teams and stepping in to such a big role.
"I think it makes it a lot easier, just knowing the scheme overall,” Carter said. “For me as an individual, a player learning a new position, especially middle linebacker, it takes some time to get used to it and working at it. [Linebackers] Coach Hardy [Nickerson] has been doing a great job of helping me out with my keys and reads."
Carter started 32 games over the last three seasons, and recorded 68 tackles and five interceptions last season in just 13 games.
He made 234 tackles over the past three years, adding 14 passes defensed and three sacks.
Carter, who has spent his first four years in the league with Dallas, totaled 68 tackles with five interceptions in 13 games for the
|Bye: Week 6|
|7||10/25/15||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|8||11/1/15||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|11||11/22/15||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|12||11/29/15||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|15||12/17/15||@ STL||8:25 pm|
|17||1/3/16||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4||6||5.0||1||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||1|
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