Brandon Carter Talks To JoeApril 19th, 2011
[Joe was tipped off that Bucs second-year offensive guard Brandon Carter was looking for work. Thinking this could be a story about how the lockout is affecting players, Joe called Carter and found out that was not the case; Carter has plenty of cash stashed. But Carter chatted with Joe about playing for the Bucs, living in the Tampa Bay area and how he's spending his lockout time at home.]
If it was up to Brandon Carter, the Bucs second-year offensive guard would be at One Buc Palace, working out like a maniac — twice daily — and in the down time between workouts, breaking down tape.
“Man, I love it,” Carter said about being part of the Bucs. The former Texas Tech guard (who never gave up a sack to either manbeast Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy while playing against the two in the Big XII) was on the Bucs practice squad last year until the final five weeks of last season.
“Tampa Bay is awesome. I love the young atmosphere on the team. I love the direction Raheem Morris is taking the team. I am excited. I think the next few years the team will be really good. I haven’t had one negative experience in Tampa. I enjoy Tampa. I’m excited about this year.
But “this year” has hit the pause button. Rather than spending time on the west coast of the east coast, Carter is back at his home in Lubbock, Tex. He works out twice a day. In the mornings Carter hits the weights. Hard. In the evenings, he works with a specialist to better his agility and speed.
“I’m signed for next year,” Carter said of his job status with the Bucs. “I’ll be back next year… whenever that is.”
Like the rest of his NFL brethren, Carter is sort of in a holding pattern. He has no idea when this labor mess with end and when he’ll move back to the Bay area and resume his football career.
With time on his hands, Carter is getting antsy. So much so he’s looking for work. But it may not be for the reasons one can decipher on face value.
“I’m not out there spending money and wasting time,” Carter said. “Sure, I’d like to have some extra money.”
It’s not his makeup to sit around and veg. Carter is a self-admitted workaholic. He has to be doing something all the time. Not too long ago, Carter delivered pizzas, which might have created some anxious moments for customers, seeing a 6-6, 310-pound delivery man in the dark of the night at the front door. Joe suspects tips came easy for Carter.
In recent months, Carter was a maintenance man at an apartment complex, though he doesn’t have much of a background as a Mr. FixIt.
“I learned to become a handyman,” Carter bragged. Some of his recent duties before the job came to an end included painting a pool and fixing a sprinkler system.
With a degree in exercise core sciences, a degree Carter said a lot of people who someday want to coach have, he is naturally hoping to put it to use in some way. Monday, just before speaking with Joe, Carter was offered a job at a neighborhood gym in Lubbock.
“That would be cool,” Carter said. “It would keep me in the gym all day and maybe do even more of a workout. If I can make some money at the same time, that’s a sweet deal.
“I never had a problem with being in a gym. I always loved it. I love the atmosphere, I feed off the people I am surrounded with. The guys and the girls who want to work hard, I feed off of them. I’m high intensity and when I get my work done, I just walk around and listen to the music.”
If nothing else, having a job between his twice-daily workouts keeps his mind off of the wrangling between NFL owners and the NFLPA.
“Honestly, I have been a workaholic all my life,” Carter said. “I’ve worked since I was 12. When I got back to Lubbock [from Tampa in January], I was bored.”
While Carter’s voice drops when he talks about the stalemate of the lockout, his excitement about playing for the Bucs and being part of the Tampa Bay community just jumps off the cell phone.
“The coaching staff is great,” Carter said. “I loved every coach. I can honestly say I never had any issue with any coach. The team was great. It’s cool to be on a younger team. In a sense, it felt like I was on another college team and going through the growing pains just like everyone else.
“The people [in Tampa Bay] are awesome. I never had a negative experience all the while I was in Tampa. I couldn’t imagine myself being anywhere else. I really enjoy it there. Florida is beautiful.”
Again, Carter sees big things coming from the Bucs in the near future.
“I always loved being the underdog,” Carter said. “Most didn’t give the team and the players the respect they deserved and we went out there and did things no one imagined. I’m really proud of that, and the team, and the coaching staff.
“I don’t think we got the credit we deserved but not one person on the team listened to or cared what anyone’s opinion was. We just worked hard every single day and became the team that we did. In the years to come, I think we will be a great team.”