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At the Super Bowl, Fitz talks QBs

Posted by Darren Urban on February 2, 2012 – 2:45 pm

Every year at the Super Bowl, Larry Fitzgerald has a day where he does a series of interviews on Radio Row and with TV stations. He has endorsement obligations to get in front of all the media types to put out whatever endorsement message he has, and fields a bunch of other football questions. Some years, the questions are a little more interesting that others, and obviously, he dropped into the middle of Peyton Manning week out there in Indy.

Early in the day, Fitz appeared on ESPN radio with “Mike and Mike,” and was asked about the speculation of Manning and Arizona. “Everybody, if you play receiver, would love to play with a quarterback like Peyton Manning,” Fitz said. “Anyone in your right mind would want to play with him.”

But on a couple of interviews, including one with Bickley and MJ on XTRA 910, Fitzgerald was clear about his support for current quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.”We have two really good quarterbacks on the roster right now,” Fitzgerald said. “We showed we can win with both of them. With an offseason, I think Kevin is going to do a lot better. … It will pay dividends for us.”

Asked if the locker room had lost confidence in Kolb, Fitzgerald couldn’t say no quickly enough, even pointing to the times the players hadn’t lost faith in Kurt Warner during his bumpy stretches, especially in 2006. With Kolb, “you can’t lose confidence in someone who has been hurt,” Fitzgerald said. “The guy has a lot of talent.”

Fitz did note on “Mike & Mike” that having Peyton available could make it awkward for any team, which of course would include the Cards, if they pursued Manning. “People are always going to get their feelings hurt,” Fitz acknowledged, “… but you know Peyton is an upgrade to what you already have.”

Tom James of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, who has covered the Colts for years, reported mid-day that Fitz and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning were expected to have dinner, which obviously caught everyone’s eye. Fitzgerald and Manning are friends — Fitz seems to be friends with pretty much every high-profile player this is — and so it could mean nothing about the future. But it’s hard to believe, with everything happening, the subject wouldn’t come up.

Fitzgerald, on XTRA, tap-danced around the dinner subject. “Man, I don’t even have Peyton’s phone number”

(As I noted on Twitter earlier today, Fitz does the “Who, me?” thing better than anyone else.)

Asked directly if he was going to have dinner, Fitz said “No, no, no.” Might he see Manning at all this week? “If I see him I’m going to give him a hug like I do when I see him, he’s a good dude and he’s a great ambassador for the game, but I still don’t believe Indianapolis is going to let him go.”

(The dinner sure sounds like it will happen. Fitz’s brother Marcus said “where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire” when asked about it, and Mike Jurecki reported confirmation.)

If he was let go, Fitzgerald guessed there would be “at least 15″ teams that would look into signing Manning. “Even teams that I would say are solid at the quarterback position, the New York Jets, someone that they are confident they have someone in the stable that can lead their team but Peyton is an upgrade … there are a ton of teams,” Fitzgerald said.

It was suggested the Cards would be one of those teams. If so, what would Fitzgerald think about that? Fitz paused for a moment. “I’m like everybody else in Arizona. I just want to win.”

It was really the only things he could say. Fitzgerald has to walk a fine line, and in the belly of the media beast Thursday, the questions were unavoidable. One thing Fitz has stayed consistent with was the end result — the winning part of the equation. He doesn’t tap dance around that at all.

“The hourglass has turned over on me,” Fitzgerald said.  “I’m going into my ninth season now. I’m not getting any younger and the window of opportunity is closing. As an athlete, you have a shelf life. Simple as that.”


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37 Responses to “At the Super Bowl, Fitz talks QBs”

  1. By Peter on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Peyton’s making football an olympic sport might have fallen through, but Peyton to Fitz is too good to pass up if it becomes available. No offence to Kolb, but Peyton Manning is an upgrade on anyone. Larry has done way too much to not have a Super Bowl.

  2. By Sean Goldrick (Ireland) on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    I feel that getting Peyton is a risk as the only person who really knows how bad his injury is, is himself. Whats to say if we do end up with Peyton and he takes a sack in the preseason that he ends up back at square one and then we have few options left. I think we should try build with Kolb and Skelton through the offseason and if the coaches feel that they seem pretty even skill wise, we drop Kolb (who i feel is one/two concussions away from questioning retirement) to save cap room and trade for a top receiver to keep pressure off Fitz, our biggest offensive weapon, and at the same time, give our QB more opportunities to make plays. Basically i feel, if we have a healthy Beanie, a hopefully recovered Ryan WIllians, a FIXED QB situation and an improved O-Line with Fitz and another receiver…WE WILL GO FAR.

  3. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Fitz acknowledged, “… but you know Peyton is an upgrade to what you already have.”

    Enough said.

  4. By Cesar on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    True point.. Cardinals organization has to realize, that the time to win is now, with Larry being in his prime..Adding Manning to this team, will definitely put the Cardinals on the NFLs elite…and a strong SB contender

  5. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Would playing with Peyton Manning for two years make Kolb and Skelton better QBs or worse QBs in the long-run?

    I’d say yes, but playing with Kurt Warner sure didn’t help Matt Leinart.

  6. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Reporters are certainly make Fitz jump and move this week. ;)

  7. By Dylan on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    ottis-

    Peyton is pretty much a upgrade for every team except, the saints, packers, patriots, so that pretty much sums its up stop trying to say fitz doesn’t like his qbs because you have know clue if he does or doesn’t and from what it seems like fitz is excited to have kolb going into the offseason

  8. By Bryth on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    When Peyton Manning is cut by the Colts, deemed healthy and the Cards show interest in him is when I’ll start believing we could get him. Until then, any sentence with “Manning + Cardinals” is hearsay.

  9. By Chuck on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Two factors: Is Payton healthy and if he becomes a free agent,Go all out to get him here in Arizona.I feel he will be more effective here than anywhere else,even Indy,Warm weather,dome,spread offence,Fitz,,a potentaly great defence under Ray Horton ,lots of talent on both sides of the ball.

  10. By SteveG on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Would be pretty surreal seeing PM in red….ho hum….

  11. By Dumbfounded on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    I’d like to note that I don’t remember Fitz ever giving much praise to Derek Anderson. He seems to like both Kolb and Skelton. However, everyone and their mom would know that he would be lying if he said he didn’t want Manning throwing to him. Or Brady. Or Rodgers. Etc.

  12. By Bob-O! on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    too much speculation!!!! now I can’t sleep at night.

  13. By Scott H on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Oh my…just what all of these pro-Manning people needed – Fitz saying how great it would be to play with Manning AND having dinner with him??? Stand back, the flood gates are about to open!!!

    Wnat REALLY came out of this blog for me is realizing that Fitz is already in the league for 9 YEARS??? Holy Cow, when did THAT happen??? My gosh, it does NOT seem like he has played that long!!! Wow. He can say that the hour-glass has turned over on him , but…it seems like he is still getting better every year, doesn’t it??? Right now, he looks more like a guy who has 9 more good years left in him than a guy who has played 9 years already. On second thought…make that 9 more GREAT years!

    But it does accentuate the point about windows closing and how all players only get so many opportunities during their careers. I don’t just want to see the Cardinals win a SB – I want to see the Cardinals win a SB during Fitz’ time here.

  14. By Todd on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Peyton Manning in Arizona would without doubt gaurantee the string of sellouts to continue, season ticket sales would probably be record setting and could you imagine the jersey sales, in fact I’d like to pre-order an authentic Cards-Manning jersey now! Heck I’ll take two!

  15. By Carlo7000 on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Darren
    Will u go to indy for the combine ?

  16. By azfancolo on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Matt Leinart behind any qb would not have helped matt leinart he was sorely overated

  17. By shannon robinson on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Sign Manning? Then don’t talk about signing a dominating guard like Grubb or Nicks or Adam Snyder; don’t think about signing a big time #2 receiver – no money left for a player like Colston and we’d have to let Doucet go; probably couldn’t afford to resign Richard Marshall and Rashad Johnson. The cap this year will be enforced and it’s effectively $121 million. Fitz has a cap impact of $20,250,000 so add Manning and you now have two players that have taken $40 million dollars off the table and you still haven’t resigned Campbell. Daryn College will cost approximately $5.6 million next year up from this years’s number of $2 million when the cap wasn’t even enforceable. There will be savings like Floyd Womack (Pork chop) who cost $1.5 million, Joey Porter who cost the Cards $7.3 million and Levi Brown who was drafted under the old system and would cost the Cards $8.0 million if not renegotiated (Patrick Peterson under the new rookie pool cost the Cards only $3.3 million as a comparison). It is not surprising that without Peyton Manning the Indy roster couldn’t make the grade. Pick your poison but I kind of like Big Red Skelton who’s cap number is $450,500. Personally I’d rather invest our money in an offensive line and a game breaking wide receiver. I think Kolb’s cap number next year is eight million and Peyton will get three times that number. It’s a cruel business where players will have money impact on the cap which will be real this next year. Mr. Graves put a lid on salaries for the lockout, but instead of building a longterm roster we’d be be blowing it all on a fantasy dream – I don’t see the Cards going that route.

  18. By BIG RED on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Sean Gold thank you, know tell that to Brian about kolb. Hope he understands on why the Cards should let go of kolb.

  19. By Cactus Jeff on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Darren
    How is Ryan Williams rehab going?

  20. By Andy K on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    I still don’t see the point on Peyton Manning coming to Arizona. Peyton Manning is a great Quarterback and probably one of the best QBs around. If Peyton does come here to Arizona, our team will probably go to the playoffs. But then the next year would get tricky. Kurt Warner came here, did well then retired. The next year, our team went from 11-7 to 5-11. If Peyton comes here our record will probably be 10-6 or 12-4. Good luck on whatever happens. I prefer Peyton to go to Cleveland, Washington, Jacksonville, or Miami.

  21. By Andy K on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    I know this is kind of unrelated to the Cardinals but these Qbs need to prove that they can be reliable Qbs.

    Michael Vick and/or Mike Kafka (PHI), Kevin Kolb and John Skelton(ARZ), Blaine Gabbert(JAX), Joe Flacco and/or Tyrod Taylor(BAL), Colt McCoy(CLE), Mark Sanchez(NYJ), Ryan Fitzpatrick(BUF), Matt Moore(MIA),Matt Hasselbeck and/or Jake Locker(TENN), T.J Yates(HOU), Matt Cassel and/or Kyle Orton(KC), Carson Palmer(OAK), Tim Tebow(DEN), Rex Grossman and/or John Beck(WAS), Tony Romo(DAL), Christian Ponder and/or Joe Webb, Donovan McNabb(FA), Caleb Hanie(CHI), Josh Freeman(TB), Derek Anderson and/or Jimmy Clausen(CAR), Chris Redman(ATL), Tarvaris Jackson(SEA), Sam Bradford(STL).

    Possible starters: Matt Flynn(GB), John Skelton(ARZ), Rex Grossman(Was), Matt Moore(MIA)

    Good Backups: Derek Anderson(CAR), Donovan McNabb(FA) and many more

  22. By Darren Urban on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff –

    RE: Ryan Williams

    http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Williams-Ready-To-Resume-Plan-A/963e0b84-7f45-481c-bb76-89bbee0e2dde

  23. By pipapiko on Feb 2, 2012 | Reply

    Peyton Manning would be an idiot to come here! No defense, and both offense and defense are constantly rebuilding every year! Big ups to Antrel Rolle though and I hope he gets a Super Bowl!

  24. By John the Draft Guy on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    Andy K,
    I’m lost. What’s wrong with going 12-4? So Manning plays a few years, leads us to 10-6 to 12-4 like you said, he retires and we give Skelton his chance.
    That’s a bad thing people?

    Shannon, (Cap Space)
    You forgot the numbers for Kolb being released if Manning is signed.. Plus the cards most likely aren’t going to make a huge splash in FA. Manning or not, don’t expect a bunch of big names coming in here. I think they will try to hold on to their own. Don’t get to excited about thinking Colston coming here.

    I would think they would draft a LT in the first. Then look at a WR in the 3rd round. I wouldn’t be surprised if the drafted another OL in the 4th or 5th.
    The cards aren’t that far away. Funny, Nicks was a late 6th round pick who started from day one.

    I don’t think people understand how good Peyton is. He, like Warner, makes very average OL look good by making pre snap reads and getting the ball out of his hands. Guys like Andre Roberts and Rob Housler will become good players with him. Safeties have to back out of the box, opening more running lanes for Wells/Williams. Ask his pears, players around the league, heck Fitz. They all will tell you how special this guy is. If you get a chance at a health Manning, you take it.

  25. By TUCSTEVE on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    for skelton to take mannings place, skelton has to be a better player. how long was painter behind mainning and looked how that worked out. how is skelton behind manning gonna be any different?

  26. By Louisville Card on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    @ John the draft guy

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t understand how some people post Manning coming here is a bad idea and that it’s to risky. In my opinion there’s more risk passing on one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play. Peyton Manning’s don’t come available every year so when he does you have to pull that trigger. Who’s to say he won’t play like the 2010 Manning he has been cleared to play. Noone know’s and they won’t until he get’s on the field the risk reward seems to good to pass up though.

    The only thing I may disagree with you on though is FA if they do pull of getting Peyton it will be because they are willing to pick up the missing peices

  27. By John the Draft Guy on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    TucSteve;
    I agree. Either you have the talent and can be accurate or not. Manning can help with reading defenses and footwork, but he can’t fix talent.But for those wanting Skelton now and think he is a savior, how much better will he be playing behind Manning?

    I don’t know if we have a QB right now. I’m not saying Kolb or Skelton can’t do it. I’m saying, a year later and there is still questions about both.Getting Manning would give us a legit chance to get to the playoffs .

    Also, as much as I would like to draft Ryan Tannehill, I don’t think we will a) get the chance b) pull the trigger. I think he ends up in Washington.

  28. By Peter in Canada on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    TUCSTEVE – Like you I am a little dubious about the value to a young QB about playing behind a Manning or a Brady. I doubt whether Favre was very helpful to Rogers. Also he wouldn’t get a lot of practice or playing time except in blowouts, where he would generally have to kill the clock.. I think talent will rise to the top and a lack of talent won’t and that’s about it.. Darren, what do you think?

  29. By Darren Urban on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    Peter in Canada —

    RE: QBs

    I’m not quite sure what you are asking me. I think if Peyton Manning — or Kevin Kolb, for that matter, assuming he plays better — is here and playing, Skelton isn’t going to get a lot of reps regardless.

  30. By clssylssy on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    Very excellent post by Shannon…proud to see female fans with their feet on the ground. As Larry Fitz was quoted as saying,” it’s all about winning”and getting back to the Superbowl is what every Cards fan wants. I have just seen a repost of the article in “The Bleacher Reports” about the NFL’s top athletes who won’t make the HOF, listing Larry Fitzgerald as #1, the reason being that WRs don’t make the HOF unless they are members of teams winning multiple championships. That being the case,and the clock ticking, it would seem this is going to be a “do or die” year for the front office and their upcoming drafting/signing assignment. Better get your calculators and spread sheets ready! Glad to see that someone is keeping track of our balance with Cap space.

  31. By stewart badly on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    one thing is clear to me….that the colts were a bad team all these years and Payton Manning made them a playoff team.
    The cardinals have a good deffense (might be great next season) and an offense with Payton Manning could make them a contender for a superbowl.

  32. By Brian on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    Big Red, now your argument for cutting Kolb is to save money? So you agree with me that we shouldn’t sign Peyton Manning and let Kolb and Skelton battle it out during camp so they are on an even playing field right? Here’s the problem with your argument, Kolb is due a bonus in March. If Kolb and Skelton battle it out in camp that means the team has already committed to Kolb being on the roster for 2012. Even if Skelton wins, the team still wouldn’t cut Kolb because they’ve already paid him and there wouldn’t be huge financial savings. And why not keep Kolb for the rest of that season in case something happens to Skelton since you’ve already paid him most of his annual take. You need a capable backup in this league. Darren has already said in previous posts that cap room should not be an issue next year, and that’s including Kolb’s salary. Plus by the end of camp, all the rosters in the NFL will be set. FA will already be signed which hopefully includes some OL help and a #2 WR.

    To your friend Sean’s point about trading for a #2 WR, not gonna happen. There are a number of WR options in FA and the team is not going to give up draft picks or other players to satisfy another team’s demands for a quality WR. FA or the draft is where that need will get filled.

    I like debating with you, but don’t direct other people’s comments toward me as if it’s going to validate your argument. It just makes your stance soft

  33. By DoblerFan on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    Great post shannon,
    I’m picking the other poison though. If I have a chance to pick up (if healthy) one of the greatest QB’s to ever play the game to a team not far off from competing at a high level, I jump at it. We are also lucky enough to have decision dates working in our favor. Meaning will we know if Manning is avaliable before Kolb’s bonus is due. There is no way we would keep both. Your right worrying about the hit to the cap but you know Levi and Porter are gone (15M) and Kolb is another (7M+). I can’t see Doucet being a prioity to say the least. Curious, Guy or Gal?

  34. By Scott H on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    Todd –

    RE: Sell-outs

    The Cardinals have sold out every home game in this building since the day it opened and they somehow did that without Peyton Manning. Therefore, I’d like to think that the sell-outs will continue whether Peyton Manning is here or not. Believe this – if the team is winning, the seats will be full. Doesn’t matter who is playing QB. A few consecutive 5-11 seasons…and the seats may no longer be full. And again, it won’t matter who is playing QB.

  35. By cardsalltheway on Feb 5, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,
    You talk up R. Williams and G. Toler(meaning you don’t really tell it like it is or how unlikely it will be for them to play much or help the Cardinals in 2012). Then you suggest that a WR ~ A. Boldin came back from an ACL to play in college(not a RB or CB in the NFL). After that, you talk like P. Manning is hurt and is unlikely or a big gamble to play to play in 2012(but ignore the fact that K. Kolb is also a big gamble having had 2 concussions).
    All the while, you NEVER mentioned Chris Weinke and how he came back from the same neck injury P. Manning has to win a NCAA Championship. Hmmm? Also, you forgot about Chris Johnson of the Titans, he also had a neck injury similar to P. Manning.

    “Chris Johnson ~ Fully recovered from turf toe that hampered him in 2006 and neck surgery during the 2007 off-season, Johnson established himself as the premier all-purpose back in the NCAA Division 1-A ranks during his final campaign.”

  36. By Eazy E on Feb 6, 2012 | Reply

    Fitz answers questions as well as he plays WR. Beautiful! He definitely wants Peyton and everybody that is a sane Cardinal fan does too.

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