All NFL players are required to speak to the media at least one time during the week, and long ago Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald decided Thursday would be his day to hold court. So, at some point during the time in which the locker room is open to the media, he makes his way to his locker and chats with what is usually a sizable crowd of reporters.
This past Thursday was a little different, though, as Fitzgerald’s teammate, cornerback Patrick Peterson, decided to sit in for part of the session. At first he told reporters he was there simply to hear the receiver talk, but then decided to chime in with a question of his own.
“Finally having the numbers that you have this year, honestly, how do you feel? I know you’re going to say it’s all about the teammates and all that stuff, but honestly, how do you feel about getting back to your normal self?” Peterson asked.
It’s a reasonable question — one that has been asked in some shape or form at least a handful of times already this season — because the 32-year-old is having a renaissance season with 55 catches, 706 yards and seven touchdowns at the midway point.
“It started off in training camp; I was abusing you in training camp,” Fitzgerald answered. “It gave me the confidence to know that I can beat the best cornerback in the game every day like a drum, then I can do it against anybody.
“So I think that was what really set the tempo for me.”
Well played, Fitz. Well played indeed.
At that point, as smiles and laughter were being shared, the natural thing to do was to ask a follow-up question, and the receiver was pressed to find out if there was a certain route he was running where he had most of his success against Peterson.
“No, I mean, I caught one-handers on him. I mean, I dogged him. It was on social media — if anybody wants to see me catching a one-hander on him, you know it’s out there, it’s out there.”
Peterson tried to defend himself, but this round clearly went to the veteran. However, Fitz did not spend the entire sequence knocking his teammate down a few pegs. When asked if he put the book out on how to beat Peterson — who has two interceptions and his having an excellent season — he said no, all while getting one final jab in.
“I didn’t say I put the book out,” Fitzgerald said. “Not many guys in general have even done anything with him this year, but that’s because he doesn’t have to check me.”
Oh, the joys of a winning locker room.
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- Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks: We got better this offseason