Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald: ‘You don’t put yourself in front of the ballclub’

Sep 11, 2014, 10:46 PM | Updated: Sep 12, 2014, 4:29 pm

Follow @theAdamGreenPresented By...

TEMPE, Ariz. — If not for his father’s tweets after the game, the story of Larry Fitzgerald and his four-target, one reception performance Monday night probably would have gone away rather quietly.

But Larry Fitzgerald, Sr. did fire off tweets about his son’s lack of usage in the Arizona Cardinals’ 18-17 win over the San Diego Chargers, and that did lead many to wonder about how the younger Fitzgerald, who has been the face of the franchise for many years, was feeling after one of his worst statistical games in a long, long time.

The eight-time Pro Bowler felt the need to take to social media Tuesday night to clear the air, and Thursday after practice he elaborated on the situation.

“It’s hard to make news with one catch, but my dad seemed to find a way to make it,” the Cardinals’ receiver said with a smile and a laugh.

The last time Fitzgerald finished a game with one catch was in 2012, when the Cardinals lost to the Seahawks in Seattle by a score of 58-0. In fact, Fitzgerald finished with just one reception four times that season. However, the last time he finished with four or fewer targets was in a 27-26 home win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16, 2010.

So it’s not as if Fitzgerald has never had games like Monday’s before, yet for some reason it took a bit of a different tone to some. Given that he is 31 and facing questions about his contract following the season, there has been a belief that maybe the team is phasing him out of the offense. That coupled with the emergence of Michael Floyd and John Brown has led to speculation that the team was ignoring the future Hall of Famer.

“You have to ask the quarterback,” coach Bruce Arians said of why Fitzgerald wasn’t targeted until the fourth quarter. “He’s going out for a pass every time. I don’t look at that. We don’t design plays for guys to get the ball — that’s interceptions waiting to happen. You have guys go out and whatever the coverage dictates, you get it. The coverage dictated he wasn’t getting many. He was open a couple other times and we threw it somewhere else, but I’m not interested in anybody’s numbers other than the Ws. Those days are long gone.”

So, let’s ask the quarterback.

“You can always throw the ball to anybody you want,” he said. “It may be a good play, but more often than not it’s going to end in a bad play. We’re not going to force balls to guys for statistical reasons. We’re trying to win football games, and if it’s Mike’s turn to have a big night, it’s Mike’s turn. If it’s Smokey’s (John Brown’s) turn, it’s Smokey’s turn. If it’s Larry’s turn, it’s Larry’s turn.

“It just depends on so many different things, and we’re focused on trying to get wins, and that’s all.”

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Micah Parsons sacks Daniel Jones...

Tyler Drake

Electric Cowboys defense presents toughest out yet for 2023 Cardinals

You don't have to look far to get an idea of just how dominant the Dallas Cowboys defense has been two games into the regular season.

2 hours ago

Leki Fotu (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...

Arizona Sports

Injury report: Cardinals’ Leki Fotu back at practice after missing Week 2

The banged up Arizona Cardinals are searching for their first win of the year when they host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

5 hours ago

Trevon Diggs #7 of the Dallas Cowboys warms up prior to a game against the New York Giants at MetLi...

Stephen Gugliociello

Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs suffered torn ACL ahead of Cardinals game

Reports coming out of Cowboys camp Thursday, standout cornerback Trevon Diggs suffered a torn ACL during practice on Thursday.

6 hours ago

Joshua Dobbs in Week 2...

Tyler Drake

New era notes: It’s all about trusting the process for Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs

Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback Joshua Dobbs has had quite the NFL road to get to where he is today.

1 day ago

Jeff Smith #16 of the New York Jets caries the ball during the first quarter of a preseason game ag...

Kellan Olson

Arizona Cardinals sign WR Jeff Smith to practice squad

The Arizona Cardinals made an addition to the practice squad on Wednesday, signing wide receiver Jeff Smith.

1 day ago

Carlos Watkins...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Carlos Watkins needs biceps surgery, L.J. Collier on the mend

Carlos Watkins is expected to miss time with a biceps injury that needs surgery, Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon confirmed Wednesday.

1 day ago

Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald: ‘You don’t put yourself in front of the ballclub’