Former Vikings great Cris Carter has become one of a million shouty talking heads trying to win the daily battle of hot takes on ESPN. With that less-than-flattering preamble, though, it should also be noted that he also has pretty good qualifications to speak specifically about Lamarcus Joyner’s late hit on Teddy Bridgewater on Sunday as 1) a former Viking and 2) someone who works as an assistant coach at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida, where Joyner starred.
With that as a backdrop, here are some of Carter’s thoughts on the play, as heard this morning on ESPN’s Mike and Mike radio show:
“I won’t argue what (Vikings coach Mike Zimmer) said about Gregg Williams because they have a history and Zim has a right to say that. He’s in that fraternity,” Carter began. “But Lamarcus Joyner, I personally know him. He’s from St. Thomas, and I coached him in high school. I don’t care what Jeff Fisher or Gregg Williams are teaching. … He’s a great kid. He’s from Miami. Teddy is from Miami. They know each other. He was trying to slow up. … If he wanted to explode on Teddy, he could have. alright, he could have. Lamarcus is not that kind of player. Lamarcus was trying to slow up.”
It sounds like Carter is trying to protect the reputation of a player that he likes (and by extension the reputation of their shared high school). If you watch the replay, you get a much different picture than the one Carter is painting with his words. Basically, you see a player going for a sliding quarterback’s head. Maybe it was all circumstantial and Joyner truly meant no harm, but the fact that these two guys know each other is no reason to think there was no malicious intent.
Williams has coached this kind of garbage in the past. I think Zimmer was more upset at Williams than Joyner. But there was also plenty of blame to go around, regardless of what Carter thinks.