A familiar face returns to FedExField this Sunday, as defensive end Andre Carter comes back to face his old team as a member of the New England Patriots.
Carter was released by the Redskins in the 2011 offseason after five seasons in which he registered 254 tackles and 34 sacks.
Carter asked to be released after he played one year in the Redskins' 3-4 scheme.
“Well, Andre’s more comfortable in a 4-3 defensive scheme, there’s no question about it,” head coach Mike Shanahan said.
That comfort level is apparent in New England. Through 12 games, Carter has registered 47 tackles and nine sacks.
Shanahan said he still thinks highly of Carter.
“You talk about a class act, a guy that’s taken advantage of an opportunity. I’ve always been pulling for Andre Carter," Shanahan said.
Said Carter of playing in a four-man front in New England: “It’s fun, man. This is something I’ve done for a long period of time. Just for Coach [Bill] Belichick and the Patriots organization to take the chance on me to go out there, it means a lot."
Carter is with a Patriots club that is in first place in the AFC East and regarded as a Super Bowl contender.
The only drama he faces is on Sunday. That wasn't always the case when he was in Washington.
“It was never easy,” he said. “It was definitely never easy. The thing is to be optimistic. That’s something I always learned being there and being in any tough situations. Nothing in life is ever perfect.
Drama aside, Carter still has good friendships and memories from his time in Washington.
“Being there in Washington, I played with some great men," Carter said. “Definitely, [linebacker]
"As far as coaches, there was ‘Go Crazy’ Gregg Williams. Joe Gibbs brought me in from day one. There were a lot of good memories despite the tough times."