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2018 laid foundation for big things from Lorenzo Carter

Like all of the Giants' first-year players, LB Lorenzo Carter had long dreamed of playing in the NFL. When he played in his first regular-season game, he took time to soak in the moment.

"First game, Jacksonville, I went out there and just had to walk around and just realize I made it," he said. "There's still work to do, but it's a big step just getting the chance to get out there and play in the NFL, and make those plays."

Carter started one game and missed another with a hip injury, but has been a consistent contributor while averaging just under 30 defensive snaps a game. He finished with 40 tackles (30 solo), 4.0 sacks and four passes defensed.

"I'm getting in the groove," Carter said. "I try to get better each game, and I feel like I'm getting there. I got a lot of stuff I want to work on in the offseason, but I know what I need to work on now rather than just kind of guessing, kind of assuming what you need to work on."

And what will he focus on now that the season has concluded?

"Becoming more consistent in my rushes," he said, "and then just gaining weight and getting more strength so I can rush easier. I'll be doing a lot of lifting."

Carter has big plans for the 2019 season and beyond.

"Become a starter," he said. "Become an every down player. I don't really want to come off the field too much, so it's working on that. Like I said, getting stronger in the offseason and I feel like the sky's the limit."

Carter is grateful for the bond he has formed with the other members of his draft class.  

"We've done all this rookie stuff together, we've gone through the rough early part of the season and stuck together," Carter said. "We're a tight rookie class and we all push each other. We're pushing each other to make more plays. We don't want to just be a regular rookie class. We want to be something special."