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This metric calls Fitz the best

Posted by Darren Urban on July 12, 2011 – 9:32 am

There has been plenty of talk this offseason (and, unfortunately, plenty of time for such talk) about lists and the best players in the league, yada, yada, yada. That includes wide receiver, a position in which Larry Fitzgerald is always in the discussion, but, in large part of who has been throwing him the ball, not at the top.

That changed with this grade scale from profootballfocus.com, which gives Fitz the nod (barely) over Houston’s Andre Johnson over the last three-year period. PFF’s metric includes the playoffs (which boosts Fitz because his phenomenal 2008 postseason remains in play) and it also “altered the weighting of our grades so that all other areas (pass blocking, run blocking and rushing) are worth a quarter that of actual receiving.” Which shows that Fitz has been more well-rounded.

Says PFF, “When the Cardinals made it to the Super Bowl, Fitzgerald was our top ranked receiver after a monstrous year and tremendous post season. He still found himself near the top (seventh) when the Kurt Warner-led Cardinals went to the playoffs, and improved on that with a sixth place finish last year despite some horrible quarterback play. Essentially, whether you’re feeding him caviar or out of the garbage, Fitz is a receiver hungry to make the most of any opportunity. The best hands of any of the top receivers.”


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Posted in Blog | 11 Comments »


11 Responses to “This metric calls Fitz the best”

  1. By D on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    funny how all these lists downgrade Larry because of the QB issues-doesn’t mean his play has been worse..still would take him over A. Johnson…

  2. By This Guy on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve always believed that Fitz is better than Andre, not just cuz I’m a Cards fan but because they way people rate these two. The “experts” usually go with Andre cuz he’s bigger and stronger, but what is more important is the catching ability and that is what Fitz has. IT’s David vs Goliath, and I would take our “David” any day.

  3. By Peter in Canada on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    It’s about the playoffs. You play against the best defences in pressure games. Fitz was a playoff record setter in ’08 and wasn’t too shabby against the Pack in ’09. Until Johnson gets into the playoffs and performs at a high level IMO he can not be rated above Fitz. End of story.

  4. By Bryan on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    Larry did not have the greatest selection of quarterbacks this year and he was still able to get more yards this year than he did last year. I think this proves if we can get a decent quarterback throwing him the ball we are going to see a tremendous improvement. what do you think?

  5. By Darren Urban on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Bryan —

    RE: Fitz production

    I think if the Cards keep throwing it to him like last year — but with better success (http://blog.azcardinals.com/2011/02/02/props-for-fitz-feely-campbell-and-warners-place/) — it’s a fair assumption.

  6. By Mike Ellingboe on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    @Bryan,

    Like everyone else I’m more than ready to witness a decent QB again, but to clarify, when you ask Darren about tremendous improvement you do mean from the offense in general as opposed to Fitz’s production, correct? I ask because I’m in complete agreement with you about the season he managed to have last year with our collection of third-string (and glorified third-string) QB’s. Don’t know how much a guy can improve on 90 receptions and over 1100 yards.

  7. By rich on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    Soooo many times last year, they’d have Fitz running 10 yards beyond the safeties, and our QB bunch overthrew him.

    He obviously doesn’t need any more speed, and for what he lacks in strength hes got his intelligence (diving for the corners) and grace.

    Cards fan die hard here, though i myself would put Calvin Johnson above both of these two. Love Larry though.

  8. By uncharacteristicAZ on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    Calais gets a little love on PFF as well. He’s listed as the fifth best 3-4 DE in the league. Not bad.

    http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/07/08/making-the-grade-3-4-defensive-linemen-2008-2010/

  9. By Scott H on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    I still see no need to pick one over the other where Fitz and Andre Johnson are concerned. Both are TREMENDOUSLY gifted players who play the same position but excel in different areas. Fitz will get my vote because he wears Cardinal red and he was such an force during the best season I’ve ever known as a fan. But AJ is just a monster and a pleasure to watch.

    Peter In Canada makes an interesting point about bringing post-season performances into the discussion and I certainly agree in that Fitz helped propel his team to a SB while AJ has not done the same for the Texans. Fitz also kept raising his game to another level and playing bigger as the stages he played on got bigger. AJ has yet to do that while Fitz has put himself on the level of a Jerry Rice. BUT I also consider this – even if the Cardinals had not had the team success they did during 2008-2009, I would probably still make the arguement that Fitz is one of THE best WR’s in the game. Just as I felt that Aeneas Williams was one of the best ( if not THE best ) CB’s in the NFL before he ever played in a post-season game. Like Aeneas, AJ is just that good.

  10. By clssylssy on Jul 14, 2011 | Reply

    From day one, I have continuously and consistently been awed by Larry Fitzgerald’s extraordinary athleticism and performances at WR, which is probably appreciated even more when seen for real and up close. His jumping reaches to catch and hold on to the ball almost make him look like a superhero type rubber man who can almost fly. When these “Best” lists are published, rarely do they have any true validity because they are made up by writers going off of stats,film and the shared views of other writers employed by the NFL and who are biased to begin with. In my opinion Fitz is the best and pure poetry in motion. I think that wearing Cardinal red probably has been more of a hindrance for him since despite almost phenomenal improvement by the team we still get no respect. I am thankful we have Larry Fitzgerald and hope the Cardinal Ownership realizes his value not only as a top WR but also a Team Leader and fan favorite.

  11. By Andrew on Jul 15, 2011 | Reply

    Larry Fitzgerald is the best period. Larry set records in playoffs.(7 touchdowns in playoffs)Larry had a bad qb and still managed to get over a thousand yard and get 90 rec. Fitz is a clutch preformer. BEST WIDE OUT AND BEST HANDS! nobody is better.

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