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He Is A Carpenter

he'd keep the tape running. He'd be looking at his teammates and how they were doing. Then he'd look at the opposition and ask, 'Why are they beating us?' He wanted to know why they weren't winning and whose fault it was." 

He's dedicated. The story is told about being at Otterbein College after graduating high school to play in Ohio's annual North-South football game. Rob was the coach. Bobby was one of his linebackers, as was soon-to-be Ohio State teammate A.J. Hawk. Both had been working out religiously all summer in preparation for their Buckeye arrival. So during their first lunch hour between two-a-days at Otterbein that week, dad Rob said Bobby and A.J. went in search of the weight room and its keeper of the key. After finding the day-time janitor, dad Rob said in the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, "I told the guy, 'Look, this door has to be unlocked here every day or the door might just get knocked in because they know where (the weight room's) at now.'" Know, they were the only two who lifted every day. 

He's old school. On this, he probably didn't have a choice. Dad Rob, now 51, who even after playing 4½ seasons in Houston, 4½ seasons with the Giants and his last (six games) with the L.A. Rams (1986), returned to his birthplace of Lancaster to live permanently. And you get the feeling if he had his druthers, after growing up in Lancaster and going to college at Miami of Ohio, he would just as soon have played in Cincinnati or Cleveland. So what's the saying about not falling too far from the tree? Well, know what Bobby has been dealing with. A couple of weeks before the draft, mom and dad joined the brave new world, but only by necessity. They junked their trusty network-only-channel television capability for, oh my, satellite TV - in this, 2006, mind you. Had no choice. The NFL Draft is carried live only on ESPN and The NFL Network. And after all, this was their kid about to be taken in the first round. And chances are, they might not be able to travel to every one of his games, so their ticket would be NFL Sunday Ticket, which can only be had on cable or satellite television. "Acquiring more than just basic channels, that was a huge step in the Carpenter household," chided Bobby in the Lancaster daily. "Everyone got cell phones a couple of years ago, and that was a big deal. But skipping over cable and getting satellite and the NFL Sunday Ticket, that's more than anything I thought I'd ever see in my lifetime." 

Like it. See, if it was I about ready to sink millions into someone, and if it was I having to rely on some 24-year-old kid to start holding down the fort at left outside linebacker in my 3-4 defense this year and for years to come, and the size, weight, speed and college production was up to snuff, than this would be the personality and upbringing portfolio I'd be trusting. 

Yep, these are the things I already know I like about Bobby Carpenter, and he hasn't even put on one pad yet. 

As for what I just can't stand? 

Why do some guys get all the cool hair?   


!   And people think the Cowboys couldn't draft wide receivers. They could, just couldn't keep them healthy, evidenced by Cowboys' 1992 second-round pick Jimmy Smith hanging 'em up after a 12-year NFL career. Problem was, his first two with the Cowboys were destroyed by first a broken leg in his rookie training camp and then a ruptured appendix that caused life-threatening infection to seep through his body the next training camp. Then came the salary cap, and just when the Cowboys released him, figuring they would re-sign him to a minimum deal since he hadn't caught his first NFL pass in two years, the Eagles lured him to Philly with a signing bonus. Then they released him on the final cut, and he didn't even play in 1994. Then along comes the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars to sign him in 1995 after his mother sent new coach Tom Coughlin a binding of his press clippings to help earn him a tryout. Elevens seasons later, he calls it quits, the NFL's seventh all-time leading receiver with 862 catches - but not a one for the

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