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Carter Is No Stranger to Redskins Park

In his five seasons in the NFL, Andre Carter established a reputation as one of the league's high-energy players. If you want to know something about how Carter plays the game, consider Marcus Washington.

Players of that ilk have, to use the metaphor that coaches like to call upon, a motor that's always running.

Carter, the 6-4, 265-pounder, was introduced at Redskins Park Wednesday morning as one of the latest additions to the club's free agent class of 2006.

In truth, the former San Francisco 49er defensive end/outside linebacker is no stranger to Redskins Park.

Carter's father, Rubin, coached Redskins defensive linemen on the staffs of Norv Turner and later Terry Robiskie in 1999 and 2000.

Andre Carter was still at Cal then. In fact he was in the process of setting the all-time Cal mark with 31 career sacks, a record that helped him become the seventh overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft.

When his father was a Redskins assistant, Carter would occasionally attend a practice session at Redskins Park.

Asked about those experiences, Carter said today that he remembers those days--particularly summer camp 2000 at Redskins Park--as something of an orientation to the NFL game for him.

"More than anything else, I remember how hot it was," Carter said with a beaming smile. "I watched those guys in camp, and I came to realize how hard it is to make an NFL team. I look back at that time as an opportunity to learn some of the ins and outs, the basics of the NFL game."

During that time, his father Rubin was helping to direct a defensive line that featured Dana Stubblefield, Dan Wilkinson, Marco Coleman and Kenard Lang. Derek Smith was the middle linebacker, Mike Nolan the defensive coordinator.

In San Francisco, Carter eventually saw Nolan become his head coach. Smith and Stubblefield were teammates.

The 49ers were playoff teams in Carter's first two years in the league and he produced an outstanding season in 2002 with 12.5 sacks. He's not come close to that sack total in subsequent seasons, slowed, as he was, by back injuries and the fact that he was shifted to outside linebacker.

Even though San Francisco has struggled in recent seasons, Carter considers the time he spent with the 49ers as time well spent.

"It was a great ride," he says, "despite the ups and downs. I got to meet great people like Bryant Young. Plus, I was part of the last draft class of Bill Walsh, in 2001. That's something to be proud of."

He and Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache appeared to have hit it off already. Carter sees 2006 as a fresh start to his career and a chance to return to the days of putting up big numbers in an aggressive defense.

"It was an adventure to play outside linebacker," he adds. "I've basically seen myself as a defensive end, ever since the 10th grade. I know I'm a versatile player, but I hope to get back to the trenches."

In deference to his father, now in his second year as the head coach at Florida A&M, Andre Carter gave serious thought to joining just two teams in his search for an NFL home: the Redskins and the Denver Broncos.

Back in the '70s, Rubin Carter, once a Miami Hurricane All-American, was a standout defensive lineman in the Broncos' "Orange Crush" defense and even made a famous Sports Illustrated cover.

So, when Andre Carter made his decision earlier this week and ultimately joined the Redskins, he wasn't actually heading into a strange new land.

Said head coach Joe Gibbs: "With Andre, we feel we have the right type of person for this organization. Plus, his dad has a history here."

During that stretch of 1999-2000, quite naturally Rubin Carter was all about the Redskins on Sundays. On Saturdays, though, he did what he could to keep up on scores from the PAC-10 and Cal.

Looking ahead to 2006, Andre Carter puts it this way: "I'm glad to have a chance to join this Redskins defense. It's known for flying around to the ball. I know these coaches are going to push me as far as I can go."

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