New mini-series to get us through the rest of the offseason. Everyone remembers touchdowns by the all-stars. Ben Roethlisberger, Jerome Bettis, Lynn Swann, those guys all have famous plays and moments.
What about the obscure ones? The random player with one or two career touchdowns where you go “really?” That’s the focus here. Forgotten memories of guys you wouldn’t expect, or don’t remember, finding the end zone.
Today, reliving Tyrone Carter’s two career pick-sixes.
Since 2005, only four Steelers can say they’ve returned multiple interceptions into the end zone. There’s Minkah Fitzpatrick, an All-Pro and arguably best free safety in the game. There’s Troy Polamalu, a first-ballot Hall of Famer and generational player. There’s William Gay, who had a nose for the end zone and didn’t get the credit he was due.
Then there’s the fourth one. Tyrone Carter. A name I doubt any Steelers’ fan would’ve guessed. Carter had pick-sixes in the 2008 and 2009 seasons making for some fun and obscure memories. Let’s take a look.
The first came in 2008, the annual blowout win against the hapless Browns starting future Steeler Bruce Gradkowski that day. A fourth-quarter throw in the right flat bounced off Jamal Lewis’ hands and into Carter’s arms, who did the rest…with help from some eager blocking by William Gay and LaMarr Woodley, back in the days when the quarterback was free game.
It was the icing on the cake to secure victory at Heinz Field.
The second came the following season. Carter stepped into the starting lineup for Ryan Clark, held out of the game due to having sickle cell. Carter played the role well, nabbing this off-target throw by Kyle Orton and returning it nearly 50 yards into the end zone. Pittsburgh’s first touchdown in a rocky but win by game’s end.
Carter finished his Steelers’ career with six interceptions, with two of them returned for touchdowns. He had more pick-sixes than Joe Haden, Bryant McFadden, Ike Taylor, Mike Wagner, and Darren Perry while having as many as Mel Blount and Donnie Shell. One more fun fact. Carter and Sam Washington are the only two Steelers with multiple pick-sixes on fewer then ten career picks. Carter with six overall, Washington with seven.
Carter is a very forgotten name on those great Steelers’ defense of the mid to late 2000s. Sure, he spent more time as a backup than starter, but he still started 22 games and put up solid numbers. The dude had seven forced fumbles and six picks with two touchdowns. An underrated player by most metrics with two interceptions worth remembering.