This just in: Larry Fitzgerald is pretty good.
The Cardinal continued his impressive 2011 with seven
catches for 149 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s win over
the 49ers, putting his season totals at 62 receptions for
1,092 yards and seven scores.
All this with shaky QB play and defenses doing everything
they can to not let No. 11 beat them.
“You know, you’re almost running out of things to say
about Larry,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday.
“Every single day he comes to work and works his tail off
to try to get better.”
It’s all part of what makes Fitzgerald so special, and why
the Cardinals worked so hard to sign their star to a long-
term contract extension before the season. It’s also why,
while media and fans alike are constantly amazed by what
he does on the field, Fitzgerald’s teammates are rarely
“That’s Fitz being Fitz,” quarterback John Skelton said.
“He’s a playmaker and he makes all of our receivers that
much better, too.”
Receivers aren’t the only players on the field Fitzgerald
helps look good, as the offensive captain deserves a
Larry Fitzgerald: making bad QBs look mildly competent
Sure, he put up monster numbers when Kurt Warner was
throwing the ball, but think of who has thrown him the
ball the last season and a half and then ask yourself how
much a receiver is worth.
Then again, Fitzgerald’s impact isn’t just in catches,
yards and touchdowns. He’s blossomed into a leader on the
team, someone everyone in the locker room respects.
Of course, it helps when you’re making plays, some of
which help your teammates.
Like, for instance, the HUGE block he threw on 49er Tarell
Brown, helping pave the way for Early Doucet’s 60-yard
touchdown reception in the second quarter.
“We’re always messing with him about buttering guys up so
they won’t give him too much contact, but he went in there
and did his job, so I’m going to give him credit for
that,” Doucet said.
After all, he came into the league as a finesse player who
would out-jump defenders, but has since become more adept
at breaking tackles and gaining tough yards.
So what’s a little bit of blocking, right?
“I wanted to make sure I had him blocked so Early had a
clear path to the end zone,” Fitzgerald said, noting he
was worried he’d be flagged for a personal foul on the
play. “That’s really what my thinking was: not get a
penalty but do my assignment and make it work.”
“It’s a mentality, an unselfishness that you see with
Larry,” Whisenhunt said, adding that Fitzgerald is always
excited to see his teammates succeed even if his numbers
It did work, and it showed just how much Fitzgerald’s game
has evolved over the course of his eight-year career. And,
not surprisingly, the 28-year-old isn’t read to rest on
“I can improve in all facets of my game and I continue to
work on that,” he said.
What if he’s right?
Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this