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Doing What Great Pros Do

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 3, 2009 – 9:09 am

WR Sidney Rice played with a handful of QBs and through injuries during his first 2 seasons with the Vikings. The result was a promising rookie season and an injury-shortened 2nd-year that yielded a 2-season total of 46 receptions for 537 yards and 4 TDs.

But this season Rice’s production has sky-rocketed. Through just 11 games, he leads the team with 56 receptions and is 3rd in the NFL and 1st on the Vikings with 964 receiving yards.

There’s no questioning that Rice has a certain future Hall of Fame QB to thank for that. Brett Favre has given Rice opportunities to make catches and Rice has cashed in.

But there’s also another reason for Rice’s sudden surge in production. With the Vikings preparing to face the Arizona Cardinals this weekend, now is an appropriate time to mention it.

The Cardinals feature an ultra-productive WR of their own in Larry Fitzgerald, Jr., a Minnesota native who returned home last offseason to workout with fellow NFL players and a couple of NFL legends – Cris Carter and Jerry Rice.

One of the fellow NFL players who joined Fitzgerald in his offseason workouts was Rice.

We chronicled the workouts in this space during the offseason.

Fitzgerald, Jr. says he’s thrilled to see Rice benefiting from those workouts and consequently having a breakout season.

“You know how when you see a friend do something and you are just genuinely happy to see him do it? That’s kind of how I feel,” Fitzgerald, Jr. told Twin Cities reporters on Wednesday. “I saw him working. He really wanted to get better at it and he has. I’m just really happy for him. I want to see him just consistently continue to do it and have big years to come.”

For his part, Fitzgerald, Jr. should be commended for having the attitude he does. In a game that is often polluted with trash-talking and negative energy, seeing one of the NFL’s best WRs working with one of its most promising young players gives you a good feeling about the direction of the game.

Fitzgerald, Jr.’s head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, says it’s a testament to his WRs character, although he’s hoping Rice’s hot streak cools off for Sunday night’s game in Arizona.

“Yeah, I am,” Whisenhunt joked when asked if he’s upset that Fitzgerald played a role in Rice’s production elevating. “But I think that it is good for all of these guys. I think that is compliment to Larry, his willingness to work with other guys. To me, that is what great pros do.”


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10 Responses to “Doing What Great Pros Do”

  1. By vikingsfan1955 on Dec 3, 2009 | Reply

    I have always been a rice supporter and have felt we have quality recievers and brett has proven this to be true.Rice is no speedster but he catches like carter used to and he runs good routes.I think he has enough speed to out run many defenders and in the yrs to come with schianoce and harvin and berrian we will be unstoppable.We are set with rb’s recievers,tight ends,full backs and qb’s so now we can refresh the o-line and d-line with the draft and we don’t need much help there.The place we need help would be db’s and the ones we have now aren’t great except winfield but they are showing great promise and holding us in close games.Last I would like to get a ya or nay on how vikings fans feel about favre noy playing for us.I’m sure many have changed their minds.

  2. By hank on Dec 3, 2009 | Reply

    I WAS NEUTRAL AS TO HOW MUCH HE WOULD HELP THE VIKES BUT NOW THAT I HAVE SEEN HIM THROW AND READ DEFENSES WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT I CONSIDER HIM A GREAT QB AND TEAM PLAYER

  3. By VforVictory on Dec 3, 2009 | Reply

    I went to the Cardinals website, to take a look see at what their fans think of how to stop our offense.. 43% of them said to stop Adrian and the run game, and 56% said to stop Brett and the passing game.. This is accurate as it gets from every team we play sometimes more in favor the other way, but they don’t know which aspect of the game to focus on.. Even if they mix it up. If I were them, I wouldn’t know what to do either. Go VIKINGS!!!!

  4. By vikefan4eva on Dec 3, 2009 | Reply

    Sydney is the person I am most impressed with this year on the viking team. Not only because he is successful right now, but because he worked really hard during the off season and he has worked hard to earn respect. Something that is becoming rare in this league

  5. By dmac32 on Dec 3, 2009 | Reply

    1955,
    I am still bittersweet about Farve. I’ve hated (in sports terms) him for so long, that it’s still hard for me to root for him. I’m still looking for one of those games where “the ol’ gunslinger” will come out. I’m hoping that we won’t see one of those games, but, if we do, please let it be in the regular season. I won’t consider this Brett Farve experiment to be successful, unless we WIN a superbowl.

  6. By rap99 on Dec 3, 2009 | Reply

    1955, i disliked favre because he was a packer, but when i saw we were not going to have a starting QB, i was happy to give favre a shot. he has played better than i could have dreamed! go brett! GO VIKES!!

  7. By blacknblue on Dec 3, 2009 | Reply

    rap99 I agree with you in a lot of ways. Didn’t hate him because he was a packer though I hated the drama and the media that was attached to him and the year he had with the jets. I’m very impressed with what he has done and ahs kept the sinic in me quiet, granted we haven’t had too many games with good teams to see what is going to happen in the post season. These last 5 weeks are going to be an ideal acid test for us and hopefuly keep us fired up in the playoffs. On a side note I’d love to play NO in the superdome. Honestly I don’t ever remember the vikes loosing there. We haven’t had too much luck playing in our backyard come playoff time.

  8. By passingthrough on Dec 4, 2009 | Reply

    1955,
    I was iffy about Favre at first but he’s certainly turned me into a fan of his!

  9. By 4everpurple on Dec 4, 2009 | Reply

    Sidney Rice is haveing a good year because he finally has a QB that can get him the ball when and where it needs to be. I look forward to seeing him selected to the pro-bowl, although he won’t be able to play.(he will be playing the following week in Miami) Brett Favre is just trying to be the diplomat when he says this is one of the best teams he has played with. Truth be told, it’s not even close. He’s never had such a talented bunch of teamates. Even the Packers team that won the superbowl wasn’t as complete as our Vikings are this year. Favre makes them better, and they make Favre better. It’s the true meaning of the word team, dressed in purple. GO VIKINGS !!!!

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