Larry Fitzgerald has a close relationship with newly minted Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, dating back to Fitz’s days as a Vikings ballboy while Carter was a star in Minnesota. Carter sees Fitz, despite their age difference, as a friend. So this summer, before Fitz held his annual camp in Minnesota, he called on his friend Carter — a story Carter relayed to Fitz’s father, Larry Fitzgerald, Sr., on the GameDay Gold radio show.
“Larry knocked at my door, 1:30 in the morning, he said, ‘(Last season) was the worst season of my life. I need you to come to Minnesota for five days,’ ” said Carter (below interviewing Fitz for ESPN). “I said, ‘Larry, I don’t have five days. I’ve got to be in L.A. next week. I’ve got the camp one day.’ He said, ‘I need you. I need you to look at my game and make sure because I’ve got to have a good season.’ “
On that point, Fitzgerald — who can be argued had his worst season in Arizona in large part because of quarterback play but also because his own play slipped some — is right. He had 71 catches, 798 yards, a career-low four touchdowns and tons of frustration.
Fitz left Carter’s house an hour later. Carter’s wife said to Carter, “You can’t make this stuff up, you’ve gotta go. You don’t have a choice. You think you have a choice but you don’t.”
“We’re connected in a very, very special way,” Carter said of his relationship with the Cardinals’ Pro Bowl wideout. “He called, I’m here. I’m here to give him a start to be better. I believe his confidence is going to come back being associated with (QB) Carson (Palmer). His weight is way down, he’s at fighting weight. Right now it’s more mental. You get to the point where you can accomplish physical things, but what he went through last year and how to get over that hump, it’s all mental.
“I am expecting a huge year from Larry. A lot of that has to do with Carson Palmer but a lot has to do with the trial he went through last year. I think that will propel him over the next five, six years.”
Tags: Cris Carter, Hall of Fame, Larry Fitzgerald
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