In Andre's words

Andre Carter answers some questions for SFI on his development as a player and how he fits into the Niners' defensive scheme in 2004.

Q: How do you feel about being moved around this summer in the new defensive scheme?

Carter: I look at it kind of like it's a change-up for the defense. When you are having a new scheme, you just adjust. I was very fortunate during this offseason (that) Willy Robinson has taught me a few things, a few (pass) drops. It's definitely helping me just kind of understand the whole philosophy of the defense.

Q: Is that philosophy complicated when you apply it to the field?

Carter: You have to know where your help is and basically know what everybody else is doing, to get a feel for it. But I think this year, you just kind of pay more attention to the game and the philosophy of our defense and why we're calling the plays and all that stuff.

Q: Do you think this approach is going to make optimum use of your skills?

Carter: Not just my skills, but everybody else's skills, too. Everybody has specific skills that (they bring) to the defense, man.

Q: Are you a better player now after having a slump in production last year?

Carter: It just depends on how you look at it. You just kind of look at the positive aspect. You kind of observe yourself as a young guy - 'these are the positive things I did, and these are some of the things I need to work on.' You just kind of go on and build. I'm very fortunate to be young and coming into my fourth year you can always grow and develop. You just try to have a definitely positive outlook on life itself and just say, hey, you grow and learn and move on.

Q: Was it distressing at all to see your sack total drop almost in half last year after your super production the season before?

Carter: Of course, you're going to be frustrated a little bit. I realize now that you can't really get too involved with that when it comes to sacks or anything else. You just go out there each play you play and that's what you do and line up and play ball.

Q: Are you satisfied where you're at right now in your development?

Carter: For myself, I'm never satisified. You always want more, you always expect more for yourself. As an individual, you're looking for that perfect game. I think everybody's trying to have that perfect game, where they execute the plays the best way they know how. Everybody's going to always have that goal. But I'm very fortunate to come out here and learn, and try to definitely take it to a leadership role and just be a better person all around on the field and off the field, man.

Q: Do you think the team is expecting more from you in those departments?

Carter: We have a young tema. Coming in, I grew up with some of these guys. When you look at it, how we sit down and talk, the maturity level of this team has grown so much these past three to four yuears, it's just so amazing. I think we know what level that we want to play on, but it's a matter of just going out there and playing.

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