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Cris Carter - Talent And Hard Work

catch ball dillon player

Carter has a rigorous workout schedule that includes football drills, speed and strength training, and yoga. He is part-owner of FAST, a speed-agility, and strength fitness center, and works out there. He couples this discipline with natural talent: he has long hands, wears size XX gloves, and is known for his dexterity as a player. In an informal survey in the Sporting News, Carter was voted the player with the best hands in the NFL. Carter is able to catch a ball with his fingertips, with one hand while diving to the ground, and, according to Dennis Dillon in the Sporting News, "there is his trademark sideline catch, where he stretches like a human rubber band horizontally, his entire body out of bounds except for his tiptoeing feet, and gathers the ball seemingly with his fingernails."

Carter has always practiced difficult catches, trying new and ever more difficult ways to snag a ball. Ohio State University athletics communications director Steve Snapp told Dillon that Carter was the only player he ever knew whose catches during practice would elicit applause from his teammates. In warmups, Carter will run 50 yards down the field and try to catch a pass behind his back; if he succeeds, which he does 50 percent of the time, he believes he will have a good playing day.


1965 Born in Troy, Ohio
1987 Drafted by Philadelphia Eagles
1990 Waived by Eagles because of addiction problems
1990-2001 Plays with Minnesota Vikings
1996 Ordained as a minister
1998 Vikings lose the NFC championship and their chance to play in the Super Bowl
1999 NFL Man of the Year; second player ever to catch 1,000 passes
2002 Announces retirement from play
2002 Comes out of retirement to play with Miami Dolphins

To Carter, catching is not just physical, but mental. He told Dillon that a catch is "seeing the point of the ball coming at you (spinning) like a cross, and it's almost in slow motion. And my head is staying on the ball the whole time. That's the perfect catch." Carter visualizes catches, imagining himself running and catching the ball from many different positions and angles.

In addition to his skill in catching, Carter is also known for evading defenders, knocking a defender's hands off him at the line of scrimmage, or grabbing a defender's jersey and pushing him away. According to Dillon, he is so good at these moves that "it's hard to tell he's doing anything illegal." Cardinals cornerback Aeneas Williams told Dillon, "He does it in such a way that it's part of his release pattern—all one motion."

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