On this belated Independence Day episode of the Moran-Alytics Podcast, Patrick Moran interviews one of the best defensive ends to play in the NFL over the past 25 years. Former 1995 St. Louis Rams first-round draft pick Kevin Carter, 27th on the NFL’s all-time sacks list joins the podcast for a wide-ranging interview.
Going all the way back to the start, Carter talks about growing up in Florida and not being allowed to play tackle football until he got to high school. It didn’t take him or his coaches long to see he was a superstar in the making and despite the late start, he became one of Tallahassee’s hottest college recruits. He talks about choosing to stay in-state for college at the University of Florida despite coming close, very close to going to Notre Dame to play under Lou Holtz.
Following a stellar college career that saw his Gators win the SEC three times, Carter became a hot draft prospect. He talks about that entire process including the draft, one that saw him go not just in the first round to the St. Louis Rams but sixth overall and the first defensive player off the board.
Going to St. Louis was certainly an adjustment for Carter, as the Rams were pitiful in the mid-90s. That started to change in his third year when legendary head coach Dick Vermeil came aboard. The pinnacle of Carter’s individual and team accomplishments came together in 1999 when he led the entire NFL with 17 sacks while his Rams finished 13-3 and went on defeat Tennessee in the Super Bowl.
Carter also talks candidly about why things turned for him after Vermeil retired and Mike Martz took over, which eventually led to a trade to Tennessee and the opportunity to play alongside a man he considered the toughest he’s ever played against, Steve McNair.
He also spends time talking at length about what it was like to play for Nick Saban in Miami for two years and Jon Gruden for two years in Tampa as his career wound down.
Of course, no Moran-Alytics Podcast interview is complete without a “Mini Lightning Round” of questions and Carter reveals such things as his favorite city to visit, what his favorite hobby is, the one person he must follow on Twitter and three guests from any era he’d most like to break bread with.
This is an outstanding interview with one of the era’s great defensive linemen!