Hall of Fame WR Jerry Rice and future Hall of Fame WR Cris Carter were invited to Minnesota last summer by Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, Jr., who has an annual tradition of inviting other young NFL players to train with him in Minnesota during the offseason.
This summer, Fitzgerald – a MN native and graduate of Holy Angels – asked Hall of Fame WR Michael Irvin to drop by the summer workouts to offer his insight into playing football at the highest possible level.
Vikings WR Sidney Rice, who emerged last year as a budding star in the NFL, participated in Fitzgerald’s workouts last summer and said during the team’s mandatory minicamp last month that he would be doing so again this summer.
The Star Tribune’s Chip Scoggins caught up with Irvin while he was in Minnesota to talk, among other things, about Rice and the challenges that are ahead for the 4th-year WR.
“Maintain on a different fear,” Irvin told Scoggins. “The first fear was, ‘I’ve got to prove that I belong. I have to go out and all my workouts [say], I’m going to prove that I belong. Nobody believes in me.’ OK, you’ve proven that. Now, you’ve got to prove that you belong to stay on top. That I am here to stay on top, and that’s a different monster.”
Irvin acknowledged that the presence of talented WRs Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin will help Rice produce at the level he did last year, but he also maintained that Rice needs to be the Vikings main pass-catching threat.
“But [Rice] still has to be the main man. Here lies the problem. Nobody cares, nobody wants to hear that the safety is rolling over on you. They want to know, why are you not making the same plays? ‘Well, I’m getting double teamed.’ No, we don’t want to hear that.
“Don’t tell us how rocky the waters are. Why are you not docking the ship? That’s all we want to know. If he doesn’t dock the ship, you guys are going to be writing about it and I’m going to be talking about it. The object is to dock the ship. It becomes a little more difficult when you’re the main guy and people are game-planning you.”
Scoggins also discussed Brett Favre with Irvin, so be sure to check out the link I included above. But then get back here to vikings.com.
Tags: Sidney Rice
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