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Does Chris Carter Use 2013 to Develop into a Potential Long Term Back-Up at Outside Linebacker?

July 8th, 2013 at 10:31 PM
By Mark Mihalko

Much of the recent Pittsburgh Steelers news has centered around the linebacking corps has mostly focused on rookie first round pick Jarvis Jones. Rightfully so, with his linebacker lineage, he may be able to transition into the Pittsburgh Steelers' system quicker than others, potentially even earning playing time early in his career. While Jones is the defensive player many will be watching in his competition with Jason Worilds at the outside linebacker position, but another players development could be a long term key to stability at the outside linebacker position. That player is third-year linebacker Chris Carter.

'MRR_0139' photo (c) 2006, SteelCityHobbies - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Carter is an interesting player, who has battled nagging injuries throughout his career. However, the 6-1, 246 pound fifth round selection from Fresno State has solid athleticism, and is an explosive edge rusher that could play a huge role by developing into a viable back-up at the outside linebacker position. Blessed with a non-stop motor, he has enough size and speed to be a valuable asset in pursuit. However, he is not the biggest linebacker, and had a problem setting the edge against larger offensive linemen, but that flaw can be corrected with some added technique and weight room work.

Moving forward, the Steelers appear set with their starting outside linebackers with Jones and LaMarr Woodley locked up for multiple seasons. However, with Worilds entering the final year on his contract and Carter coming up on restricted free agency, the team definitely lacks depth at outside linebacker after the 2013 season with only 2012 undrafted free agent Adrian Robinson possibly being on the roster.

When you throw Stevenson Sylvester into the mix, the 2013 training camp could go a long way at determining which veteran player(s) the Steelers target in the offseason to man the back-up outside linebacker positions. Of course, this could also be why they used a handful of their rookie undrafted free agent spots on the outside linebacker position, potentially using the practice squad to develop depth moving forward.

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Tags: Adrian Robinson, Chris Carter, Football, Jarvis Jones, Jason Worilds, LaMarr Woodley, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Stevenson Sylvester

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