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Carters to hold reunion during Steelers-Cardinals game

| Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011

Steelers outside linebacker Chris Carter is hoping history repeats itself today when brotherly love takes a timeout for three-plus hours at University of Phoenix Stadium.

When he last played against his older brother three years ago in a Fresno State-UCLA game, Carter remembers covering a kickoff as a wedge buster.

"He was supposed to block me," Carter said last week. "I think he missed me."

The two could meet in the same realm when Steelers visit the Arizona Cardinals for a 4:05 p.m. game.

Chris Carter has been a regular on special teams the past couple of weeks, making it possible that he will encounter David Carter while covering a kickoff. David Carter is a defensive tackle for the Cardinals, and he also plays on special teams.

The two brothers are separated by 14 months and 22 spots in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Steelers took Chris, who excelled as a speed pass rusher at Fresno State, in the fifth round. The Cardinals selected David in the next round.

The two are best friends as well as brothers, and they have been looking forward to their unique reunion since shortly after they were drafted.

"Playing against my brother, with it both of our rookie years, I am going to be all kind of emotional," David Carter said. "There will be all kinds of energy going into this game and man, it's going to be great."

It's also going to be well-attended by those who best know the Carter brothers.

David Carter said he expects 200 family members and friends to attend the game -- or at least the tailgate that will be held outside of the stadium. As far as ticket requests, Chris Carter said he "stopped counting after 30, 40."

Fortunately for the Carters, their mother, LeGenia, has handled all ticket- and travel-related aspects, allowing her two sons to stay focused on their day jobs.

David Carter has been a pleasant surprise for the Cardinals. The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder has played regularly at nose tackle, and he registered a strip sack of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning three weeks ago.

Chris Carter, who was hampered by a hamstring injury during the preseason and early part of the regular season, has had to exercise more patience than his brother. The 6-1, 248-pounder has played mostly on special teams while he learns the Steelers defense and picks up pointers from players such as LaMarr Woodley.

The brothers talk almost every day, and they have helped each other make the transition from college to the NFL.

"We both kind of share experiences, and he tells me how he's doing with his and I tell him how I'm doing with mine," Chris Carter said. "I don't think either one of us have run into too many major problems that we can't handle. But it's always good to have that great support system. I can just pick up the phone at any time and call him."

They will get to talk in person today, and Chris Carter may remind his brother that he never paid up after Fresno State beat UCLA, 36-33, in 2008.

"He was supposed to wash my car after that game," Chris said. "I'm going to hold him to that as long as we live."

Chris Carter said that even if he and his brother make another wager, they won't lose sight of the larger picture today.

"The game is bigger than side bets, bigger than brothers," Chris Carter said. "That is my best friend. I'm his No. 1 fan. I wish him the best. I just hope my team wins."

Additional Information:

Key matchups

Carter vs. Carter won't have the impact on today's Steelers-Cardinals game as some other matchups:

• Steelers WR Hines Ward vs. Cardinals SS Adrian Wilson -- The hard-hitting Wilson is Ward's responsibility when the Steelers run the ball.

• Steelers LT Max Starks vs. Cardinals OLB Joey Porter -- Porter will extremely motivated playing against his former team. Starks may still be rounding into football shape after he struggled in the fourth quarter last Sunday.

• Steelers WR Mike Wallace vs. Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson -- The Cardinals will give their prized rookie help more often than not when it comes to Wallace.


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