The Secret is Out: #51 Reggie Carter’s Restricted Zone will be the site of many more crash landings, so say The Watchers
It’s no conspiracy: Area 51 is for real.
UCLA fans already know that Linebacker Reggie Carter is the real deal, but now, the rest of the Country is getting a head’s up. After making 62 tackles last season for DeWayne Walker’s celebrated Bruin Defense, Carter has been named to this year’s Bednarik Award Watch List.
The (Chuck) Bednarik Award will be presented live on ESPN to the Nation’s Top Defensive Player. Carter, who had 2 Sacks and 12 Tackles for Loss last year, is the only Bruin among the 75 guys who made the cut. That doesn’t say a lot for the overall talent that Walker has to work with this year, but at least the vote won’t be split, between Carter and another Bruin. On the other hand, the eventual winner doesn’t HAVE to be on the original Watch List, so maybe Brian Price or Brigham Harwell will get added to the list before the Finalsits are announced.
There are logical reasons why the members of the Bruin Defense have a better-than-average chance to collect post-season honors this year: First of all, Walker now has a National REPUTATION for fielding a quality product, and depressingly, that Defensive Unit is going to log an exorbitant amount of time on the field.
With a severely-depleted Offensive Line and a “statuesque” Quarterback, the Bruins’ Time of Possession threatens to hit an all-time low, which means that the Defense will be able to RACK UP CERTAIN STATS. They might give up more points per game than their fans and coaches would prefer, and their yards allowed might suffer due to fatigue, but stats like TOTAL TACKLES will go through the roof. And since Carter is THE MAN this year, he should be the one to cash in.
Opposing Offenses will eventually have to PLAN AROUND Carter, sending special blocking combinations at him, and just calling plays that target OTHER areas of the UCLA Defense. But before those adjustments are made, Carter will remind fans of some of his recent predecessors, like Danny Nelson, Justin London, and Spencer Havner, who all had a knack for flowing to the right spot, and appearing to be involved in practically every play (except for long bombs, obviously). Havner was so good, that Defenses ABSOLUTELY designed gameplans to avoid him. Carter, with Walker as his mentor, has a chance to be just as effective, and it looks like the National experts agree, as he is also on the Watch Lists for the Nagurski Award and the OTHER Award, inexplicably named after some cheap-shot clown who is now involved in the illegal recruiting SCandal of O.J. Mayo
And speaking of Mayo, he and Kevin Love are lucky that they got Drafted before the Clippers got a turn, as the Clips’ best player, Power Forward Elton Brand, opted for Free Agency yesterday. So did his teammate, Forward Corey Maggette. In the Clippers’ defense, they say that they are going to TRY to re-sign both Brand and Maggette. However, you’ve GOT to believe that after all their suffering in Sterling-ville, both guys would take HALF as much dough to play for just about ANY other team.
And Salary Cap issues probably won’t allow it, but if Elton Brand were a Laker next Season, he’d be wearing a new Ring this time next year. A powerful front court player like Brand would undoubtedly be the final piece to the Laker puzzle, that would allow them to dethrone the Celtics, BEFORE the Celtics wither away from old age.
By the way: No offense meant to current Laker Power Forward Ronny Turiaf, who is a great guy with the will of a warrior and the heart of a lion, but does not have the god-given skills that Brand brings to the table. And as far as the Lakers’ possibly-misplaced Starter at the position, Lamar Odom, he has plenty of skills, but to better complement the Lakers’ thin Centers Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, the Lakers need a bigger, wider guy than Odom underneath, and Brand certainly fits the bill. If only the Salary Cap weren’t standing in the way. Maybe if Odom went “back” on the Ganja, he could add some girth via The Munchies.