Cunningham wasn’t even asked about Carter directly, he was simply asked about how Johnson’s presence on the practice field has helped the Lions’ cornerbacks. But Cunningham decided to take a swipe at Carter anyway.
“Whoever said he said he’s not one of the top four receivers, that has got to be the dumbest statement I’ve ever heard,” Cunningham said. “I believe I know who said it, and I’ve been on the practice field with that young man. Cris Carter is a helluva player, but hey, let’s give credit where credit is due. Calvin Johnson, my gosh.”
For the record, what Carter really said is that Johnson is not one of the top five receivers in the league, although Carter mentioned six players — Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Jennings, Reggie Wayne, DeSean Jackson and Roddy White — when naming the receivers he viewed as better than Megatron.
Carter’s comments seem to have become something of a rallying point inside the Lions’ locker room, even though Johnson himself shrugged it off, choosing instead to prove Carter wrong with the quality of his play.