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Giants’ DC James Bettcher: Lorenzo Carter’s workload is just right, for now

Edge defender impressing in rookie season

NFL: New York Giants at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

It is easy to watch rookie linebacker Lorenzo Carter pressure quarterbacks or run step-for-step down the field with a running back — like he did Monday in covering Matt Breida of San Francisco — and think “he needs to play more.”

I know I expressed that opinion during an appearance on the ‘Locked on Giants’ podcast earlier this week.

New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher is the man with the only vote that counts, though, and Bettcher thinks the roughly 50 percent (72 of 141) of the snaps the team’s third-round pick has played the past two weeks is just right. For now.

“I think it’s one of those things where you’re really anxious, ‘hey, let’s play him 50 snaps.’ At the same time, I see a young player at a position that not often do you see high production out of young players at that position,” Bettcher said on Thursday. “This year we’re seeing it out of the young man in Denver from N.C. State [Bradley Chubb], that’s a rarity to see that kind of production.”

On the season, Carter has played 254 of 602 defensive snaps (42.2 percent). He is tied for the team lead with two sacks, is fourth with seven quarterback pressures and seventh in stops with 12.

“I love how he’s growing, and we don’t want to stunt his growth. We want to continue to add things here and there on his plate, you saw him covering the back out of the backfield on a wheel, we haven’t asked him to do anything like that to this point,” Bettcher said of Carter’s effort Monday on a play against Breida. “The more of those kinds of things that we give him in his repertoire of being able to do, other than just rushing the passer, the more dynamic of a player he’s going to be.

“Over time, yeah, we will stack more plays; but right now, I love the rotation he has. I think he was 32 plays, right around there, and I think that’s a great number. We just find other places we can get him on the field without putting too much on his plate.”