Cris Carter is widely known as one of the all time greats to ever play the wide receiver position.
He’s also known to be a bit of a talker.
On Thursday, Carter created a stir amongst NFL followers when he essentially questioned Sidney Rice’s work ethic. The comments came after Rice failed to show up for a private “camp” for wide outs held in Minneapolis by Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals. Rice attended last offseason, and was widely expected to participate again after his monster 2009 campaign.
Carter had some choice words when asked what Rice’s biggest challenge will be this season.
I don’t know,” Carter said. “You have to ask him. I don’t know what it’s like to have one good year and then disappear. I don’t know what it’s like. That’s on him. I really don’t know. … If I had that kind of impact on him he should have been here today.”
Apparently Carter doesn’t remember his 2002 season in Miami when he had eight catches for 66 yards and a touchdown… and a lost fumble. With age as an excuse, however, Carter is pretty much correct that he proved to be one of the most consistent receivers in the history of the NFL.
“I don’t look mad do I?” he responded to a direct question. “I don’t get mad about kids coming or not coming. Larry is the only one who invited me. Larry is the only one but some people in Kansas City as far as their administration kind of knew I was going to be here. We kind of let them know that I would be here for [receiver Dwayne] Bowe. But I’m here for Larry. Everybody else is just getting the benefit of our relationship. But Sidney is not here so I guarantee he’s not getting no better today.”
Shortly after Carter’s comments was when Rice’s agent, the infamous Drew Rosenhaus, went to work via his Twitter account. He wrote that Rice is still suffering from a lingering hip injury that may or may not have been the reason had to sit out of his first Pro Bowl. The injury has supposedly been bothering Rice beginning sometime in the post season.
Judd Zulgad of Access Vikings was able to reach Rice by phone on Thursday, and Rice sounded content with how things were progressing and confident in his ability to be ready by training camp.
“Everything is alright. I’ll be ready to go at camp,” Rice told Zulgad.
“We had it looked at [by doctors] and no surgery,” he said. “It’s not bad. Just being cautious with it. I can run. I’m jogging and sprinting. I’m just not doing a lot of cutting and different things like that. The doctors feel this is the best thing.”
This time of year, players have two main goals: Be healthy and don’t get arrested.
The fact that Rice isn’t yet participating in Fitzgerald’s camp is a bummer because it obviously benefitted his performance last season. But, on the other hand, I would say that getting his hip healthy and keeping it that way should be Rice’s highest priority, even if that means staying away from Cris Carter’s strenuous training opportunities.