New DE Carter likes 'journey' to Pats

Mike Reiss/ESPN Boston

Andre Carter meets the media Monday at Gillette Stadium.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After his first practice session as a member of the New England Patriots, veteran defensive lineman Andre Carter admitted he got a personal workout with coach Bill Belichick before the 2001 draft and laughed when asked about what could have been after Richard Seymour -- the defensive lineman drafted sixth overall by the Patriots, and one spot ahead of Carter -- enjoyed three Super Bowl titles in New England.

Now the Patriots are hoping Carter, 66 career sacks in 10 seasons split between San Francisco and Washington, can fill the void left at pass-rushing end since Seymour's departure.

"[Belichick and Carter] did a little workout together, it was pretty fun ... for Bill," Carter said with a laugh when asked about the 2001 draft. "Besides that, it’s amazing how time flies."

Pressed on what it would have been like to be selected at No. 6, he laughed again and noted how every year rookies land in Super Bowl situations. Carter did note that Seymour deserved to be picked that high.

"It can happen to anybody," said Carter. "Granted, I knew about Richard Seymour, when I met him again, I said, "I give you props, man.'"

Before the Patriots afternoon practice, Belichick hinted at the pre-draft workout.

“Andre is a player I spent a lot of time with prior to him coming out in the [2001] draft," said Belichick. "Of course, he was five years in San Francisco and five years in Washington. I think he’s another high-quality individual, very professional, works hard, very well-conditioned athlete. He’s had a lot of production throughout his career. Last year when Washington went to the 3-4 defense, it kind of wasn’t a good fit for him in that system. But we feel like what we’ll ask him to do this year, relative to what he was asked to do last year, and what we’ve seen him do the first nine years of his career, that we could use his ability on the edge.”

Carter was one of three defensive linemen the Patriots officially added Monday, the team signing veteran Shaun Ellis from the rival Jets and bringing back Gerard Warren, who spent the 2010 season with New England. A couple other highlights from Carter's first Q&A with reporters in New England:

On competition on a beefed-up defensive line: "It’s great competition for each individual, I’m excited about that."

On signing with New England: "It’s all about opportunity... They have a great group of guys, veteran leadership. And it's all about one thing, one goal: That’s to go out there and grind, day-by-day, week-by-week. The journey is never easy."