Fantastic Analysis On Carter And Fins (Great Read)


Feb 16, 2002
Reaction score
Analyze this: Carter's impact in Miami

(Nov. 1, 2002) -- Last May, Cris Carter retired as one of the NFL's most decorated wide receivers -- 1,093 catches and 129 receiving TDs during a 15-year career. He joined HBO's Inside the NFL as a co-host shortly thereafter, but maybe the fact he never got that elusive Super Bowl ring had something to do with a change of heart.

Carter recently signed a one-year deal with the AFC East-leading Miami Dolphins, who were in dire need of a quality receiver after suffering several major injuries to their receiving corps. Sixth-year man Oronde Gadsden is lost for the season with a torn wrist ligament, while starter Chris Chambers is just returning from a concussion suffered in Week 6.

"I really missed playing," Carter said. "When the call came, I initially said no. Then I began think about it."

How much of an impact will Carter have in South Florida?'s panel of experts weighed in with their thoughts on the matter.

"The Dolphins get a double bang for their buck with the return of Chris Chambers and the addition of a veteran like Cris Carter, who can read blitzes and is tough over the middle. But his biggest impact might be in the running game. How many times this season have you seen Ricky Williams break through the line and get tackled in the secondary? Cris told me that he was going to get all over those guys to make sure they get their blocks. So he might be as big for the running game as he is for the passing game."

"I don't think there's any question that Cris Carter will make an impact on Miami's receiving corps. A guy with that much experience and that much production didn't get that way without being able to play. Even if he's lost a step, he'll certainly be an upgrade over the receivers they've been using in recent weeks."

"Cris is one of the best receivers of all time and I believe he can still play at a high level. I definitely think he'll help them. They've had some injuries and needed a guy who was the best available. The system itself will be a little different from what he was accustomed to in Minnesota, but he's working with a great offensive guy in Norv Turner. They [Miami's coaches] will take advantage of his skills, so I would expect him to really help them out. The big question is how well Ray Lucas rebounds from what happened [against Buffalo in Week 7]. But I think Cris will be fine. Hopefully, they can find a way to get him the ball."

"It's difficult to answer that question until he steps onto the field. He's got 12 years of experience with the Vikings, eight 1,000-yard seasons and eight Pro Bowl appearances. If backup quarterback Ray Lucas can get the ball to him, Carter, one of the NFL's all-time leading receivers, may help Miami stay atop the AFC East, make good during the playoffs and eventually get that elusive Super Bowl ring after 16 NFL seasons."

"Knowing that he's only been out of football a little while and that he's been training during the offseason, I don't think being in playing shape will be that big of a deal. He'll be ready to produce. And even if he's not physically as good as he was, his knowledge and experience will help him be productive. Plus, the offense they run in Miami will aid him. The play-action passes they run will give him time to get away from a defender. It's not a huge timing offense where he's got to beat the defensive back with one move and the ball's going to be there. That's not what the Miami Dolphins do. The Dolphins' offensive style really lends itself to Cris Carter fitting right in immediately. And he's replacing a receiver who is a lot like him. Oronde Gadsden is a big receiver who is able to use his body to get open. Cris Carter will do the same things."

"I really think he's going to have a big impact on that football team. His ability to play the game is still there. He might not have the speed he had at one time, but he knows how to get open. Especially with Miami's ability to run the football, that opens up the passing game. His leadership ability also will help as far as the younger receivers are concerned. He's had two weeks now to get ready and it might be a couple more weeks before he really rounds himself into shape, but he'll be effective enough to make an impact."

"He should have a significant impact, because he still has most of the skills that have made him one of the greatest receivers in the game. He has kept himself in tremendous physical condition, and I don't think that spending the first half of the season in a television studio caused him to lose his edge. The only question is, with Jay Fiedler injured, do the Dolphins still have the quarterback who can get him the ball? I also think he would be much more effective as a complement to Oronde Gadsden  just as he was to Randy Moss  rather than as his replacement. But he will be a positive force for a team that desperately needs one in its passing game."

"When I interviewed [Raiders DE] Trace Armstrong this summer, he said any great athlete can stay in the NFL until they're 32 years old. He then went on to say to get from 33 to the end, a player must have a great work ethic, not lost his passion for the game -- and a grass field and warm weather don't hurt. Cris Carter has all of those ingredients. He didn't miss a game from 1993 through 2001 and really took his first well-deserved vacation in 10 years. Cris is five years younger than Darrell Green, three years younger than Jerry Rice, two years younger than Bruce Smith, the same age as Rod Woodson, Rich Gannon and Trace Armstrong, and just eight months older than Tim Brown -- and cut from the same cloth as all of them. He works out constantly, drives younger players into the ground with his training regiment and just 10 months ago finished up a respectable season with 73 receptions and six TDs. He may be more productive when Fiedler gets back from his injury but until then, offensive coordinator Norv Turner knows how to work with older veterans. Throw in the fact that he doesn't have to babysit Randy Moss and I expect him to make an impact."


Top Bottom