There are probably few people as excited for the Arizona Cardinals’ fresh start in 2013 than wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
The seven-time Pro Bowler is coming off a substandard 2012 in which he caught just 71 passes for 798 yards and four touchdowns, and his team won just five games.
With a new coaching staff, new quarterback and new teammates, things have to get better, right?
“It’s been tough,” Fitzgerald told ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike Wednesday morning. “It’s never easy when you’re not winning. First and foremost it’s about winning.
“Obviously you want to be productive and go out there and be the best player you can be, but all in all you want to be on a winning team. That’s what it’s all about and that’s what I want to change most.”
That’s what the organization is hoping for, too.
The additions of Bruce Arians and his staff, along with QB Carson Palmer, have left Fitzgerald optimistic as he heads into his 10th season, all with Arizona.
“We had a terrific offseason,” Fitzgerald said. “Coach Arians really has an infectious attitude about football in terms of guys being committed and getting after it and learning the nuances of his system. Carson has come in and been a tremendous leader for us, somebody that we really needed.”
What the Cardinals could also use is a little bit of luck. Their division is regarded as the best in football, as it features Super Bowl contenders San Francisco and Seattle along with up-and-coming St. Louis. Fitzgerald understands the difficult hand his team has been dealt, but believes a new coaching staff and overhauled roster could prove to be advantageous.
Saying the Cardinals know what their division rivals do both offensively and defensively, Fitz believes his team is a bit of a mystery.
“We probably have the most new personnel out of any team in our division, new system,” he said. “So there’s a lot of things that they have to prepare for that they’re probably not going to be accustomed to.”