Carter backtracks on his Calvin Johnson critique

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Upon hearing about Friday’s comments from ESPN’s Cris Carter regarding his belief that Lions receiver Calvin Johnson isn’t one of the top five receivers in football, I thought one of two things had happened.

First, Carter forgot about Johnson when coming up with a seat-of-the-pants list in response to a Twitter question, and then Carter opted to try to fashion an argument to support his oversight instead of simply saying, “Oops.”  Second, Carter for some reason wants to see Johnson play better, so Carter decided to call Johnson out in order to advance that agenda, a dynamic to which ESPN’s Tom Jackson formally introduced the football-following world in January.

As it turns out, it was the former.

On Monday’s edition of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, the show on which Carter uttered his controversial comments, the two Mikes talked about the reaction to Carter’s opinion, with pretty much everyone who has weighed in taking the position that Carter was flat wrong.  They capped the discussion by pointing out that Carter had called the studio with this message regarding Johnson: “[H]e’s right there with the top five.  I may have given Reggie Wayne a gift.”

In other words, Carter apparently opted not to admit in real time that he had inadvertently overlooked Johnson, choosing instead to stubbornly support an inherently flawed argument.  Three days later, with no way out of the maze, Carter issued a mea culpa which the two Mikes laughed off as they went to a break.

Carter could have laughed it all off on Friday, if he’d been willing to admit that he made a mistake.  Of course, with an ever-growing stable of analysts vying for air time in Bristol, openly admitting to mistakes could be bad for a guy’s career.

43 responses to “Carter backtracks on his Calvin Johnson critique

  1. The credibility standards at ESPN keep lowering as they realize there are other networks and mediums capable of doing what they were hoping to monopolize. They are more flash than substance. Say anything to be noticed. Cris Carter is simply symbolic of what they are about. I think Colin Cowherd must be bending Cris’ ear. As for Mike and Mike just laughing it off. What a surprise. All Mike Greenberg wants to be is the next Regis Philbin. Nothing more than a reactionary talking head.

  2. Haha he MAY have given Reggie Wayne a gift? Uhhhh what about Jackson? Who wouldn’t crack my personal top 15 WR’s, and shouldn’t crack anyone’s top 10 unless they are just completely incompetent in life, and even then it’s questionable.

  3. I’ll give Carter alot of credit, he showed alot of restraint by not putting himself on top of the list. Although he did talk more glowingly about his own accolades than any of the current receivers.

    I don’t know who’s really #1 WR in the league but one thing’s for sure: Calvin is better than Cris Carter.

  4. Hate, hate, hate.

    Carter is now chairman of the Player Hater’s Ball.

    The Onion, this past week:

    “Cris Carter enters Hall Of Fame as paying customer.”

    He must have read that, and this was his way of coping.

  5. please keep this Ego-maniac out of the HOF

    doesn’t deserve it at all

    If Plunkett can’t get it, don’t put Carter in there

  6. As long as the half wit “Stinky” is on the air to state his biased moronic opinions then guys like Carter have nothing to worry about. Jenkins sounds as though he puts some research into his job unlike the other regulars who rehash old perceptions.

  7. ” Of course, with an ever-growing stable of analysts vying for air time in Bristol, openly admitting to mistakes could be bad for a guy’s career.”

    If that’s true it’s just back a$$wards. Owning ones mistakes, correcting them asap, learning from them and not making the same mistake again is what helps careers. NOT glossing over mistakes (pretending they didn’t happen).

  8. Let me guess, Johnson is “just a guy” and Moss is much better? I think I’ve heard that one before.

  9. Cris Carter is, plain and simple, a coward. I quit watching ESPN a couple of years ago. Scores are available elsewhere as are quality sporting events. If there is a rare occasion I NEED to watch a game, I turn the volume down. MORONS.

  10. By the way, Calvin was only tied for 15th in receptions, 9th in yards and not in top 50 for average per catch. At least based on last year, Carter has a point (being on the Lions set aside of course). Calvin wasn’t in the top 5 of either yards or receptions year before last either. Hmm….

  11. If Carter had only used the stats I outlined above to back up his statement and then asked others to back up theirs(that Calvin is top 5) he might have had a leg to stand on. Carter could have cited actual numbers to back up his statement while the others(who list Calvin in top 5) would have nothing concrete to back up their arguments. FACT always beats opinion.

  12. @scoops1

    Lose the stupid “Plunkett deserves to be in the HOF” garbage. A couple of good years doesn’t equal a Hall of Fame career. The guy doesn’t have the numbers.

    Carter is a moron for his WR statements, but at least he has the numbers to justify HOF consideration.

  13. I am not really sure why Cris Carter’s opinion matters to all of you who are so opinated that he doesn’t know anything. If he doesn’t know anything, why do you care what he says?

    For the record, I don’t agree with his opinion but I could care less what he says. He doesn’t matter to me. For that matter, neither do any of the so called experts on ESPN or anything other media outlet (except of course, PFT!).

  14. @ thereisalwaysnextyear

    Facts are always useful, but only when you talk about ALL the facts. On the surface his stats are good, not great. But when you start taking into acct the team he has played on, the players around him, the QB’s throwing him the ball (Drew Stanton, Shaun Hill last season), and you know, the other facts that do matter quite a bit – then it’s quite obvious that Calvin is a superior WR to damn near everyone else in the league.

    But, you want more stats? Ok. In Calvin’s 2nd season with Orlovsky, Kitna, and Culpepper throwing him the ball (it doesn’t get much worse) he amassed 78 receptions for 1331 yards and 12 TD’s. The team only had 281 completions, 3299 passing yards, and 18 passing TD’s. He was responsible for 28% of his teams receptions, 40% of their receiving yards, and 67% of their touchdowns via the pass. That’s downright dominant. It was arguably the BEST season for any WR in that year, and again it was his 2nd season.

    Those are the FACTS.

  15. Carter’s lips are always flapping with no brain activity. What ESPN sees in him is beyond me.

  16. thereisalwaysnextyear says:
    FACT always beats opinion.
    You are incorrect. The category of the statistic being used and the person whose opinion it is changes the weight of each in relation to the subject.
    For example: the other players in the NFL voted Calvin top 4 for WRs (27th best player in the league overall.) Of course, that’s just opinion.
    Donte Stallworth was #1 in yards per catch. Of course, he only caught 2 passes all year. So is he better than Calvin who was ranked in the 50’s?

    What is more telling about a players value, the opinion of the professionals who play with & against him, or a basic division equation?
    Furthemore, there are relevant FACTS that cannot be measured statistically. Calvin does what he does with 2nd/3rd string QBs and 2 or 3 defenders on him all the time.

  17. Andre Johnson , roddy white , Calvin Johnson,Larry Fitzgerald , Brandon Marshall. Those are the top 5 in the league only reason the last three are not up there in stats with other receivers is cause they have no one to throw them the ball but talent wise theres no doubt they are the top 5.

  18. bunkmcnulty says:
    For the record, I don’t agree with his opinion but I could care less what he says.

    You mean couldn’t care less. If you could care less it means you do care. Not sure why most people get this wrong.

  19. I thought he made his assessment after exhaustive film study? Oh, I guess he made that up and actually didn’t watch any film. Big shock.

  20. I’ll agree CJ is a top 5 talent, but I don’t think he has produced as a top 5 receiver. Maybe that’s on the QBs

  21. I’m so tired of Cris Carter, the sound of his stupid voice literally makes me cringe. Great football player – no doubt – terrible analyst. Guy just can’t keep his opinion out of it. Forget your agenda! No one cares what you think. Also, stop obsessing over the patriots bro. It’s unbecoming and unprofessional. Just get your Tiki on and admit defeat. Gahhhhhh!!

  22. I live in Middletown Ohio where he is from….He has done nothing for this area and everyone here can’t stand him. The high school football kids dont even know who he is…What a shame…He could be a real influence instead of running his country mouth on ESPN…jus sayin…cant stand this guy

  23. ESPN only keeps Carter on so they can keep his ugly mug in the spotlight for Hall of Fame consideration. As long as Carter is talking or we’re talking about the things he says, the HOF talk will continue. If/when Carter ever makes it to the Hall, ESPN can crow about one of their own making it. It’s like a certain “fair and balanced” media station that pumps its favorite candidate for the White House race and attacks all others.

  24. I love when former NFL players say something stupid, and instead of squashing the situation, make it worse by saying more stupid things.

  25. Megatron is without a doubt a top 5 receiver. His ceiling is ridiculous, and with a healthy Stafford all year, he could seriously break out this year with a monster 2011 season.

    Chris Carter never has been able to shut his mouth. His ego is still very large and very evident. Religion still hasn’t tamed that ego of his, and who knows if it ever will. It hasn’t worked for Michael Irvin either, but Irvin is a better analyst than Carter.

    Carter will be in the HOF at some point, but I think he is terrible as an analyst, and according to several other posts on this thread, I am not alone in that assessment.

  26. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Aug 15, 2011 11:09 AM


    I’m not saying Carter is right or that I agree with him, I was just showing a way he could have made a better argument to back up his opinion.


    Kind of like Carter, you are now back tracking.

  27. @thereisalways next year

    Wow…syntax police at work. I could not care less what you say. Is that right?

    You’ll be busy if you keep this up. For all the terrible grammer and usage you pick that? Good for you.

  28. Well, according to Shaq, if you’re not a Hall of Famer, your opinion is worthless and you’re a bleephole for having one, so who cares what CC thinks…

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