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Video: Cris Carter Teaching NFL Rookies to Have a “Fall Guy”

In a video that’s recently [and quickly] making the rounds on social media, Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter is seen leading a session for NFL rookies. In case you had any doubt about his status, Carter is—of course—wearing the yellow jacket.

At this specific point, Carter brings up the concept of NFL athletes designating a “fall guy.” Coincidentally, Carter calls up Teddy Bridgewater to use as an example in his hypothetical scene. Carter says the following:

[pull_quote_center]If ya’ll have a crew, you have to have a ‘fall guy’ in the crew. […] I let my homeboys know. Ya’ll want to keep rolling like this, then I need to know who’s gonna be the ‘fall guy’—who’s going to be driving—because you’re not all gonna be doing the right stuff, all right? So I have to teach you how to get around all this stuff, too. If you’re going to have a crew, one of those fools has to know he’s going to jail. We’ll get him out. [/pull_quote_center]

Former defensive tackle Warren Sapp laughs at Carter after the first sentence, and Carter’s initial expression/stance suggests he may be joking. However, he does take a more serious tone as he continues, and it’s generally hard to interpret his undertone.

It’s clear that even Bridgewater feels uncomfortable and is unsure how to respond.

Jon Krawczynski posted the following on Twitter shortly after the video surfaced:

I echo these sentiments exactly. While I hope Carter isn’t speaking entirely seriously, it boils down to this: it’s inappropriate regardless.

Carter is speaking to a group of young athletes from a variety of backgrounds. The context of his speech addresses realistic scenarios and acknowledges the temptations and situations that could certainly accompany such a high-profile lifestyle. Whether he’s joking or being serious in prescribing preparation for these scenarios, it’s a terrible reflection on someone who’s been placed at that podium as a presumed mentor.

The NFL has received plenty of flack over the years, and especially recently, for the way it handles various situations. Whether that be player discipline, public perception or the training and mentoring of players entering the league, the NFL continues to get caught with its hand in the cookie jar, per se.

In an organization bearing an already-tainted reputation, Carter makes an overwhelmingly poor choice in how he addresses Bridgewater and his peers. If he’s speaking tongue-in-cheek, it’s embarrassing and tasteless. If he’s seriously intending to “impart wisdom”… it’s tragic.


We can only hope that there was more to this subject that’s not included in the video.

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Lindsey Young

Lindsey Young (Featured Columnist) is a graduate of University of Northwestern – St. Paul and is an avid Minnesota sports fan[atic]. It’s been argued females don’t know much about sports, but she begs to differ. Her work has been featured on Bleacher Report,, and Fox Sports North. In addition to her work with VT, Lindsey is a contributing writer for Canis Hoopus, runs a bi-monthly fan feature for and is a freelance writer for You can read her blog at Making the Call and follow her on Twitter.

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  1. Ummmm, it was a speech at the NFL rookie symposium and posted on How is that “leaked”?

      1. NP, love your coverage here. I see Florio pointed out that when ESPN reported this, they didn’t report who said it which would lead one to believe it was some leaked video. I can certainly see how people would get that impression. It’s hilarious that there was any intrigue at all given where it took place but ESPN was protecting it’s own I guess. I hope they don’t can CC but man, was that stupid on his part.

  2. I disagree with the fall guy thing. But this is really BS, this has been available for the whole world to see for over a year on the NFL website. Some hard luck quitter from SF comes out and wants to tell everyone how bad the NFL is…and people are buying it. Give me a break. I didn’t hear Teddy talking about it, and he’s the one Carter called up on the stage!
    Nothing against you Lindsey, you are a very good writer with a great future. And I know from my screen name this looks very homerish. But this is just BS. How about the other 13 times Carter got up there and made some very good and valid points? Maybe in one of those he helped just one rookie make the right decision, maybe. I didn’t see anyone else doing it! It takes guts to admit your mistakes in front of everyone!
    Take a listen to that one! Maybe you can find something that isn’t politically incorrect.

    1. @ccarterhof

      I love CC as much as the next card carrying Vikes fan from the 60’s which I am but what a stupid damn thing to say by CC. You point out it was available for a year, I guess I need to go watch everything he says to filter out and determine the next completely idiotic thing he says……sheesh.

        1. Well, I finished up and have returned as requested. I’ll not bore you with all of the details but instead I’ll just give you the executive summary. Cris Carter is an idiot.

          1. Well, good research young man! And just over 24 hours…I’m impressed. I’ll try not to let your hurtful comment bother me.
            What is it, just 3 more weeks to week one? Can’t get here soon enough.

  3. Carter responds per PFT….

    ““Seeing that video has made me realize how wrong I was,” said Carter, who apparently didn’t realize how wrong he was when the words were, you know, emerging from his mouth. “I was brought there to educate young people and instead I gave them very bad advice. Every person should take responsibility for his own actions. I’m sorry and I truly regret what I said that day.”

    No kidding Cris. What ever made that thought pop into your head. Aye yi yi.

  4. Honestly I like it. I know in today’s politically correct and progressive world is not PC but it’s good advice. Obviously it would be better to never be in those situations but they will undoubtedly happen, to probably 90% of those players and could (will) end careers. While not as appropriate as most advice it’s more realistic.

    1. “I know in today’s politically correct and progressive world…”

      You lose your 1st Amendment rights, or are you wallowing in self-indulgent histrionics?

      1. Was just referring to anybody who speaks the truth is offensive or shunned, while people who spew bull**** are great.
        Carter probably gave these kids better advice than anybody else at that rookie symposium. (that was my attempt to stay on topic instead of indulging in your politics).

        1. I see the error of my ways, I’ve always considered “truth” to be subjective. I didn’t know you had the ability to dictate what was, and wasn’t truth.

          So “truth” is telling kids to go ahead and commit crimes, take zero personal responsibility, and have a friend take the fall? And also to tell anybody who might take issue with that view they are stupid PC progressives?

          I never would’ve guessed. I’ll recalibrate immediately.

          1. Agree with you old buddy. But if anything it was one of those things you say…when nobody is around. You know, ‘hey kid…’
            For him to say AND for nobody saying anything for 14 MONTHS! Whatever, right?

            1. ” But if anything it was one of those things you say…when nobody is around. You know, ‘hey kid.”

              I agree with that Cart.

  5. LOL. Carter was a great receiver. Beyond that, he’s not a shining star of intelligence.

    1. I hate 97.32% of what he says but this was true. Let’s be honest can you remember back 50 years to your 20s? As bad as it is (and in no way do I condone it) drinking and driving will happen with most men in their 20s,especially rich ones with lots of free time. If you’re going to lose millions from a dwi, dang right you better have a fall guy (not as good as a taxi but a whole lot better than throwing out your career).

  6. I know many people will question my morals- but I think this is great advice from a realist perspective delivered to some new 22 year old millionaires.

    if they were saints- they would not be professionals in such a violent game. If they so much as get caught with a little weed, they are going to potentially lose millions. I remember what I did when I was their age, and I didn’t have the world as my oyster. I think the criticism toward these comments are unfair. It is great that you have grown and matured as a person, and you understand right and wrong, but many of these kids are just that- kids (with a grip of cash). Young and stupid is common, and with them there is a lot more at stake until they do mature.

  7. Tongue in cheek? Try foot in mouth, Carter may have surveyed the room, decided they’re not listening and I’m going to get there attention, well it took a year but he’s certainly getting the attention now. Is this the kind of advice that “helped” the Vikings lead the league in arrests?