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Green and Fitz: From one record-holder to the next

Posted by Darren Urban on October 6, 2011 – 9:51 am

Larry Fitzgerald and Roy Green have been friends since Fitzgerald came into the NFL. Green, the long-time Cardinal, lives in the Valley and naturally had an “in” to meet and get to know Fitzgerald. Fitz, meanwhile, immediately knew about Green because it was Green’s franchise receiving records that Fitzgerald knew he would be chasing.

“He set the bar high,” Fitzgerald said. “I remember as a rookie looking at his numbers thinking I have a lot of work to do. To have the relationship I do with him now means a lot to me.”

There’s been a lot to talk about recently. Fitzgerald – fresh off guaranteeing his long-term spot with the team by signing a contract extension – has been on a record-breaking binge for the franchise. Fitzgerald had already surpassed Green’s record for career receptions late last season. Then, the past two games, Fitzgerald has passed Green’s franchise marks for touchdown receptions and yards receiving.

(Fitzgerald’s career numbers are now 636 catches for 8,565 yards and 67 touchdowns.)

So the friends and, statistically, two best receivers in franchise history (Anquan Boldin certainly has a place at the table) got together this week for an on-camera interview discussion. It will be featured on Maximum Cardinals in two parts, the first coming Saturday on NBC following Notre Dame football (approximately 4 p.m.) and later will pop up on azcardinals.com.

Green and Fitz talk two to three times a week. Sometimes they go out golfing, although Fitzgerald admits he doesn’t golf as much as sit in Green’s cart while Green plays, and the two talk about life during the round.

Life hasn’t been easy for Green recently. He was in the hospital for serious surgery, and is now just getting back on his feet. He is itching to get back on the golf course. When it comes to his now-former records, however, Green is happy it is Fitzgerald who now owns the marks.

“If anyone was going to break it, thank God it was him,” Green said.

“Those records are going to be so far removed (from mine), I can always say I was second to one of the best to ever play, so it’s OK.”

“Anytime you come to a franchise,” Fitzgerald said, “you want to be one of the best.”

Green said Fitzgerald – along with Boldin – “rejuvenated my interest in football.” That’s why he was thrilled to see Fitz sign his contract extension. “In that way we are similar, when I played even though we weren’t winning ballgames, I thought, ‘I want to be part of turning this thing around,’ ” Green said. “I know he has the same mindset.”

Green also is willing to make much bolder predictions about Fitzgerald than just about lofty franchise records.

“Barring injury, I see the best of all time,” Green said. “I believe that. I know Jerry (Rice) has put substantial numbers up and people think they are out of reach, but that’s part of the competiveness, the mentality … (Larry) wants to be the best and he works to be that.”


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Posted in Blog | 20 Comments »


20 Responses to “Green and Fitz: From one record-holder to the next”

  1. By MIKE G on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Ceretainly a great accomplishment for Fitz to break Green’s records. Roy Green was a great player. He was once a defensive back and was switced to wideout. He had big moments with Neil Lomax and certainly was exciting to watch. I think it is always tough to compare players of different time periods and statistics are not always a fair barometer. Especially in football today with all the throwing – the receivers today will have better numbers. The thing about Green he was a home rum hitter–I think in 1984 he averaged nearly 20 yards per catch –that is unheard of today with all the short passes. Hey Darren- what kind of surgery did Roy Green have?? Is he fine???

  2. By Darren Urban on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Mike G –

    RE: Green health

    He is recovering. He was well enough to drive over to the Cards’ facility himself.

  3. By AZfaninSD on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    Great article! Congratulations Larry on breaking the records.
    Looking forward to and will be going to the game in MN. Where does the Bird Crew go/stay in Minneapolis?

    Thanks,
    Harold

  4. By MIKE G on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Thx–I hope the Cards can play the same type of run defense
    against the Vikes that they played against the Giants. They will have to be stout against Adrian Peterson. I hate playing against winless teams. Dan Williams and Carter played well and that was a good sign last week. We need a win before the break. I hope Beanie continues to shine and Kolb will improve.
    Was Hyphen limited in practice yesterday??? We could use his big play capability the week!!

  5. By Darren Urban on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    AZfan –

    RE: Minnesota

    I believe we are in some suburb, not sure where.

  6. By Jon L. on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Fitz is a freak of nature and is certainly one of the best of his generation.

  7. By Kurt on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Darren:

    Thanks for keeping us posted on Roy, what a true NFL legend and great guy.

  8. By drummer-1 on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren, hope you have a good day..

    What stands out to me about Roy Green is his catch in the back of the enzone to beat Dallas… Roy looks like Dion Sanders…lol

  9. By BIG RED on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Enough with the records (Thanks’ Roy Green for your great years and exciting times). Now let’s just win.

  10. By Raymar on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren, for all the great work you do keeping us informed.

    Seems to me that #24 is our best pass rusher, is there any thoughts to moving him to OLB to create some serious pressure? I thought this could work if move Rhodes to SS and PP to FS for this yr.

    Is this even an option for the coaches?

  11. By Darren Urban on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Raymar –

    RE: Wilson at linebacker

    He is not moving to linebacker.

  12. By steve on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    With all this talk of #3 recievers I can remember when cards moved to az roy green and j.t. smith but I dont recall the third or fourth recievers,You any help jarrring the memory?

  13. By georgiebird on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    Roy was the best. No one could create separation between himself and the defender as well as Roy could. Larry is taller and plays in a pass happy league, that’s all he has over Roy.
    Lawrence Taylor established his sack records in the face of being double and triple teamed. In the same way, defenses used to cover Roy with 2 or 3 players in a day when receivers could get knocked around.
    While Larry is one of the greatest himself, he will never have the impact on a defense that Roy did.
    Roy had a relatively short career but he was 1st team All-Pro in 1983 and 1984. While he had Neil Lomax- a great passer; the WR2 was Pat Tilley a smallish, possession type receiver.
    So when the Cardinals’ fans are crying for a WR2 to free up Larry- just think of Roy Green.

  14. By georgiebird on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    To give Roy his just due, here’s a quote from soon to be HOF coach Bill Parcells of the Giants back in the late 1980s:
    “I’d like to kidnap Roy Green. He’s been a pain in the neck for all the years I’ve been in the NFL. He scares me in warm ups.”

  15. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    My favorite Green moment was the late second TD from Neil Lomax at SDS to upset the 49ers in the PHOENIX Cardinals inaugural season.

    That place was rocking that day!

  16. By Scott H on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Darren -

    Nice piece here. And thank you for giving Boldin his honorable mention. i think the fact that Q was the fastest player in NFL history to reach 400 catches is absolutely amazing when you consider that he missed time due to injuries during his first few seasons. I also thought it was SOOOOOO cool when Boldin reached that milestone and Fitz came right behind him ( wasn’t it the very next year? ) as the 2nd fastest player to the same mark. They were just such a great duo. Brought back memories of the days of Green and JT Smith…

  17. By Fitz4Mtrushmore on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Roy was & is my all-time fav Card!!! I still remember watching “Jetsream” toast Darrel Green repeatedly during the ’84 & ’85 season. If anyone was going to break Greens records, the class act in Fitz is ok in my book. God bless Roy, thanks for the memories!!!

  18. By Darren Urban on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Steve -

    RE: 3/4 WR once upon a time

    That was before my time I’m afraid.

  19. By cheesebeef on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    Steve,

    I believe Ernie “Indiana” Jones was the 3rd WR.

    Scott

  20. By Darren Urban on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    Cheese –

    RE: Third WR

    Good call. When the Cards came to Az and Green/Smith were still going strong, they also had a couple of tight ends named Novacek and Awalt who were top targets (imagine that …).

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