Souhan: Cris Carter's situation shows talent also needs timing

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 7, 2013 - 1:02 PM
hide

Hall of Fame inductee Cris Carter speaks during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, in Canton, Ohio.

Photo: David Richard, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Cris Carter’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and his emotional speech provided another visceral moment for Vikings fans to celebrate.

Memories of Carter also should make the most paranoid fans in professional sports even more edgy. Carter is the latest reminder that individual greatness does not enjoy a direct causal relationship with championships.

Carter played with four Vikings who entered the Hall of Fame before him: Chris Doleman, John Randle, Gary Zimmerman and Randall McDaniel. He caught passes from another future Hall of Famer, Warren Moon.

He played with an NFL MVP, in Randall Cunningham, and a future Hall of Fame receiver, in Randy Moss, and a slew of Pro Bowl talents, including Robert Smith, Matt Birk, Steve Jordan, Joey Browner, Keith Millard, Gary Anderson, Audray McMillian, Anthony Carter, Daunte Culpepper, Jeff Christy, Todd Steussie, Henry Thomas, Ed McDaniel, Jack Del Rio, Todd Scott and Korey Stringer.

Carter was constantly surrounded with excellence, if not greatness. That extended to the Vikings’ coaching staffs.

In 1991 and 1992, Carter’s first two full seasons as a Viking, the team’s coaching staff included Denny Green, Tony Dungy, Monte Kiffin, Marc Trestman, Ty Willingham, Willie Shaw, John Teerlink, Tom Moore, Brian Billick, John Michels and Paul Wiggin.

Willingham was the running backs coach. He would become the head coach at Stanford and Notre Dame. Monte Kiffin might be one of the best and most influential defensive coordinators in NFL history. Tony Dungy would win a Super Bowl as head coach of the Colts, with Tom Moore being credited with the development of Peyton Manning and the offense that perfectly suited the quarterback. Teerlink would coach the defensive line for Dungy.

Trestman is head coach of the Bears. Shaw would become defensive coordinator of the Raiders. Billick would win a Super Bowl as head coach of the Ravens. Michels and Wiggin were considered among the best line coaches in the league.

Later in Carter’s career, he played on two teams that reached the NFC title game only to be upset in stunning fashion.

Carter could not have done anything more within his power to help the Vikings win games. He never reached a Super Bowl because the Vikings’ tremendous talent never was aligned or allocated properly.

He played with great players. He did not play with a transcendent quarterback in his prime. That’s why Vikings fans are today’s version of Red Sox fans in 2003, wondering whether years of angst will ever be washed away by champagne celebrations.

The 2012 and 2013 Vikings feel a lot like some of Carter’s best teams. This year’s team features at least one future Hall of Famer, in Adrian Peterson, and perhaps more, if Jared Allen and Kevin Williams are viewed favorably by the voters.

This year’s team features a slew of players who have been or will be on Pro Bowl rosters, including Kyle Rudolph, Greg Jennings, Jerome Felton, Chad Greenway, Matt Kalil, Phil Loadholt, John Sullivan, Harrison Smith and the trio of new first-round draft picks.

The Vikings roster is loaded with talent. What is in doubt is whether the alignment or allocation of that talent will work in their favor.

Alignment means having your best players reaching their prime at the same time. The Vikings are under pressure to win while Peterson, still a young man in many ways at 28, is the best back in the game. They’ve already parted ways with their best cornerback, Antoine Winfield, because of age.

Allocation means having your best players at the most important positions. The past 10 quarterbacks to win Super Bowls are Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, and Brady again.

All belong in the top quarter of anyone’s rankings of NFL quarterbacks.

This season won’t provide a referendum on talent. The Vikings have plenty of talent.

  • related content

  • Allen rolls ankle; status uncertain

    Wednesday August 7, 2013

    Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said further examination would be needed to determine whether Jared Allen needs an MRI following an ankle injury Tuesday.

  • Craig: Vikings embrace Twitter but warn: #beverycareful

    Wednesday August 7, 2013

    Vikings coach Leslie Frazier preaches common sense when it comes to Twitter. But to tweet or not to tweet isn’t a question for everybody. There still are Vikings who don’t...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 0 Top 5th Inning
Detroit 11
NY Yankees 1 Top 7th Inning
Philadelphia 3
Northeastern 0 Top 7th Inning
Boston 1
Miami-Fla 0 Top 6th Inning
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 7 Bottom 5th Inning
Toronto 4
San Francisco 2:05 PM
Oakland
Cleveland 2:05 PM
Cincinnati
Boston College 3:05 PM
Boston
Arizona State 4:10 PM
Arizona
Boston 6:00 PM
Cleveland
LA Lakers 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Sacramento 6:00 PM
New York
Houston 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Utah 7:00 PM
Memphis
Washington 7:00 PM
Chicago
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Denver
Nashville 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Calgary 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Buffalo 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Toronto 6:30 PM
Florida
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Minnesota
NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Arizona
Los Angeles 8:30 PM
Edmonton
San Jose 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ole Miss 6:00 PM
Alabama
Eastern Mich 6:00 PM
Ball State
Kent State 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Georgetown 6:00 PM
Butler
Toledo 6:00 PM
Central Mich
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Dayton
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Detroit
North Carolina 6:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
Holy Cross
Iowa 6:00 PM
Indiana
Akron 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Army 6:00 PM
Navy
Maryland 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Stetson 6:30 PM
North Florida
Wright State 7:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
Western Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Houston Baptist 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
NC State 8:00 PM
Clemson
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Florida
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Georgia
West Virginia 8:00 PM
Kansas
Auburn 8:00 PM
Missouri
Michigan 8:00 PM
Northwestern
Villanova 8:15 PM
Creighton
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 3 1st Half 14:14
Presbyterian 7
Coastal Carolina 5:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
NJIT 6:00 PM
UMass Lowell
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Kansas State
TCU 7:00 PM
Texas
Fresno State 8:00 PM
Air Force
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Boise State
Nevada 8:00 PM
Colorado State
UNLV 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close