Aug. 27, 2009
What: Lobos at Texas A&M
When: 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 5
Radio: 770 KKOB-AM. TV: None
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
If you grew up a Denver Bronco fan, or maybe just an average NFL junkie, there is a problem when it comes to interviewing Rubin Carter, the Lobos defensive line coach.
You can't help but check out Carter's hands to see if the two-time Super Bowl participant is wearing any of his NFL hardware. You are tempted to ask for some inside info on John Elway or Dan Reeves. Heck, you have to fight back the urge to ask Carter for an autograph.
Carter is full-blooded football pedigree. He is one of many assistants on the University of New Mexico staff that make you wonder, "How did Locksley's land this guy?"
Carter's resume is football royalty. He was an All-American at Miami (Fla.). He played 12 years on the line for the Denver Broncos. He won two NFL divisional titles and warred in two Super Bowls. His son, Andre, is in the NFL. Carter has coached coast-to-coast in the NFL and in college ball.
Heck, Locksley ought to have the Lobo defensive linemen lay out a red carpet every time Carter strolls out onto the practice field. This probably would only embarrass this Lobo coach, who is laid back, humble and just happy to be around a bunch of hard-working kids he can coach toward higher levels of football.
"It's challenging and fun coaching college players," said Carter. "They haven't always had real good coaching and they are green behind the ears. So much of what you teach them is new. I start out with the As, Bs and Cs of the position and go from there."
Carter definitely knows the ins and outs of the defensive line from the As to the Zs. When you consider his longevity in the trenches of the NFL -- and who he had to battle on the O-line -- you know Carter had to be doing something right.
"I guess (my NFL experience) gets their attention a little bit," said Carter of his Lobo D-linemen. "I'm sure they look at some of the things we do in drills and wonder what we are doing.
"But I also think once they start to apply the techniques we teach them, they see the results and they understand we are teaching them things to make them better."
Carter's challenge at UNM is to quickly make his UNM linemen better and to get them to do things right and with extreme effort. The Lobos 2009 schedule is one of the school`s toughest ever.
The Mountain West is top heavy with three Top 20 candidates in TCU, Utah and Brigham Young. UNM's non-conference slate features Texas A&M, Tulsa, New Mexico State and Texas Tech.
The young Lobo defense returns three starters and Carter has none of them on his front. What he does have is a lot of quickness, speed and aggression behind Lobos such as Kendall Briscoe, DeAndre Davis, Jaymar Latchison, Peter Gardner, Johnathan Rainey, Brett Kennedy, Ahraya Crespin and Seth Johannemann.
This unit might be undersized, but there is great encouragement to be found in their athleticism, sense of pride and enthusiasm to get to the ball.
"These guys maybe didn't play a whole lot last year, but there weren't that many bad habits to break either," said Carter. "Now, they have their chance to step up and make contributions. I want them to go out there with their competitive juices flowing and use their quickness and speed to make plays."
Locksley definitely isn't surprised by what he got in Carter. The two coached together as assistants at Maryland. You can bet Locksley heard of Carter's "Orange Crush" defense in Denver.
"We have a sense of comfort toward each other," said Carter. "It's nice to come in and work with someone you know and respect both as a coach and as an individual. I know Mike's philosophy and I know his work ethic. I`m looking forward to the challenge of developing young players and developing this program."