Writing Hall of Fame speech a bit 'nerve-racking' for Cris Carter
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Former Vikings star receiver Cris Carter had to wait six years before finally earning a spot in the NFL Hall of Fame.
In the five months since the announcement was made, Carter has had a chance to reflect and enjoy the build-up to officially reaching the NFL's pinnacle of individual success. Now the moment when he sees his bronze Hall of Fame bust unveiled at the induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio is less than four weeks away.
It's a good thing he still has a little longer to wait, as a crucial piece of his induction is still a work in progress.
"I've been thinking about my speech, but it hasn't come to me yet," Carter said with slightly exasperated grin on Tuesday, back in Minnesota to attend Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald's pro offseason workouts this week at the University of Minnesota.
"It's really nerve-racking. I don't know what I'm going to do. You have a limited amount of time, you've got a lot of people you have to thank. I'm very excited about what's going to happen, excited about the process."
Ranked fourth in NFL history in career receptions (1,101), Carter is the 16th player in Vikings history to make it to the Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is being held on Aug. 3.
Carter is serving as a mentor and coach at Fitzgerald's workouts before hosting his yearly youth football skills camp on Friday.
• A number of players from across the NFL have been in Minneapolis this week to join Fitzgerald for his week-long slate of workouts, which he holds annually at the Gophers' football practice facility. Fitzgerald usually invites teammates, other friends from the NFL and local pros to train with him.
Among those in attendance at Tuesday's session were Arizona quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton, Cardinals receivers Michael Floyd and Andre Roberts, Pittsburgh tight end and Gophers alum Matt Spaeth, Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
• Defensive end Everson Griffen was the lone representative for the Vikings at Tuesday's workout. Griffen is entering the final year of his contract, making the 2013 season a critical proving ground for the 25-year-old D-lineman.
With the Vikings' July 25 report date for training camp looming, Griffen insists he is zeroed in on ensuring he makes a notable jump in development in the season ahead.
"My whole mindset has changed," said Griffen, who had nine sacks in 2011 - the second highest total on the team. "That's what I'm focused on, staying focused the whole entire time and being disciplined. That comes by just listening and being coachable. That's what I'm doing."