Cris Carter Educates Eagles Rookie WR Jordan MatthewsBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Wide Receivers Thursday, June 26th, 2014
On Tuesday night June 24 , 2014 at the Rookie Symposium in Aurora, Ohio, two NFL Hall of Famers former Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle talked about how they were able to have such outstanding careers in the NFL.
Carter was very candid in his discussion of the mistakes he made as an Eagle. He agonized about the drinking problem he experienced during his time as an Eagles rookie wideout. When asked about what is the one thing he would change about his career by one of the rookies, he responded, “If I could change one thing, I wish I could have changed the stupid things I did when I was an Eagle. I wouldn’t have made all those stupid mistakes to force Buddy Ryan to release me from the team. I wouldn’t have done so many stupid things to leave Buddy Ryan no choice but to tell me to put all my belongings in a garbage bag and get out of the locker room”.
I am a “Transition coach for the NFL” and I help players, who are transitioning out of college ball and into the league. I also work with players, who are transitioning out of the league and into other professions as they retire from the NFL. In addition, I work with players during their NFL careers to help them deal with the challenges of being a NFL player.
I’m able to use my experience to educate rookie players about how to carry themselves both on and off the field in order to have successful careers. I was on the Eagles when, Carter was drafted by the Birds and I remember some of his mistakes. Everyone knew that he was a special talent and capable of doing great things in his career, but we weren’t sure whether he would ever dedicate himself the way he needed to, in order to be as great as he could be.
Being cut was all he needed to wake himself up. Carter was picked up off waivers by the Minnesota Vikings and immediately he stopped the drinking and became one of the most dedicated NFL players in the history of the game. Carter’s wife was pregnant with their first child, when he was released by the Birds, so he had a circumstance that motivated him to get his act together.
Cris said he used to talk to Niners players and find out what Jerry Rice was doing , so he could copy Rice’s workout. Carter found out that Rice would wake up at 7am to workout each day, so the former Eagles and Vikings star would wake up at 6:30am in order try to get an edge on Rice.
Carter, the nine time Pro-Bowler stressed to the group of rookies that they must work on their weaknesses and not just put all of their efforts into working on their strengths. From the time he put on a NFL uniform, Carter had the ability to catch the football like few players in the history of the game. During practice, Cris would make spectacular one-handed catches that would leave everybody’s mouth hanging open., but he wasn’t a fast receiver, so he spent most of the off-season working on his speed.
Carter worked tirelessly on being in the best of shape and running properly, so that he was maximize what he speed he did have. Like Rice, he would run up hills and push himself to be one of the best-conditioned players in the league. He could literally run all day long.
One of the youngsters, who was listening closely to the Carter and Sapp presentation was Eagles rookie wide out Jordan Matthews. The young ball catcher was sitting on the edge of his seat throughout the entire presentation.
All he could do was smile and say hello after the session was over when he met Carter because Cris had given him the total formula for what it was going to take to be a great NFL wide receiver. You could see that it was a special moment for the young wideout and he was taking it all in.
Matthews is a very mature and intelligent young man, who has already gotten some rave reviews for his workouts without the pads on. Former Eagles Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Quick, who checked out a few of the Birds OTA workouts, told me, “Matthews is a stud”. Still Quick wants to get the chance to check him out when they put on the pads.
The youngster must be willing to push himself to the level that those former great Eagles wide receivers did in order to be a great player. Matthews has already showed everybody he has the work ethic during OTA’s, but the NFL seasons are long and grueling to rookies. Most of them run into a rookie wall at some point and they have to maintain their mental toughness in order to get over it.
“You have to be willing to do what other players won’t do”, Carter screamed about ten times during his presentation. Matthews walked out of the ballroom at the hotel with that sentence ringing in his ears. “You have to be willing to do what other players won’t do”. I’ll make sure to remind him of what Cris said when I stop by Eagles practices during training camp and during the season.
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