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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Dec 30, 2011 - 11:55 am

Browner vs. Fitzgerald is a matchup to watch

Larry Fitzgerald outjumped Brandon Browner to make a touchdown catch during the Seahawks' Week 3 win over the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Brady Henderson is the editor at, the website of ESPN Radio 710, our sister station in Seattle.

The Seahawks' and Cardinals' elimination from playoff contention has raised questions about each team's motivation heading into their Week 17 matchup.

Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals aren't likely to find any in the form of trash talk from Brandon Browner.

The Seahawks cornerback was a guest on "Seahawks Weekly" Wednesday and talked about the challenge of facing the Cardinals' Pro Bowl receiver.

"I think Larry Fitzgerald's greatest attribute is the way he goes and attacks the ball," Browner said. "I don't think he'll show us any routes we haven't seen, but when the ball is in the air he's a great competitor. I haven't seen too many guys do it like he do it when the ball's in the air."

Browner would know. He saw it first hand earlier this season.

In the first half of the teams' Week 3 meeting at CenturyLink Field, the 6-foot-4 Browner and safety Earl Thomas were outjumped by Fitzgerald on a pass in the end zone from Kevin Kolb.

"He may be the best at doing that," Browner said of Fitzgerald, who finished the game with five catches for 64 yards and the touchdown.

The matchup between Browner and Fitzgerald figures to be one of the more intriguing ones in Sunday's regular-season finale. Fitzgerald, who's 6-foot-3, 218 pounds and doesn't posses elite speed by NFL standards, is the type of bigger-bodied receiver that Browner is best suited to cover.

Furthermore, it will be a measuring stick of sorts.

Browner's first NFL season has been a success -- he has six interceptions and was voted a first alternate to the Pro Bowl -- but, as he admits, his game still has room for improvement. Specifically, Browner said he has to better understand the threshold of allowable contact with receivers. He leads the league in penalties, most of them coming in pass coverage.

"In the offseason I'm just going to try to keep my body light like I'm supposed to and come back ready to build on what I've started," Browner said. "I've got a Pro Bowl alternate under by belt so I want to make some noise next year."

Finishing this season with a strong performance against an elite receiver like Fitzgerald would give him a head start.


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