It was a rough Monday night for Larry Fitzgerald. Twice he came off the field dealing with eye issues, and one of those times came after a pretty violent rip of the facemask from 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver that went uncalled. After the game, he spoke at his locker, quietly. The wide receiver has made it plain he wants to win at this point in his career, and the Cards were far from that against San Francisco.
He was asked about the Cardinals’ 4-0 start, and the perception picking up steam that it was a mirage.
“I’ve been here since 2004,” Fitzgerald said. “The Arizona Cardinals have always been considered a mirage. It’s nothing that we haven’t heard and it really doesn’t affect us in this locker room. We know what we are capable of, we know the quality and character of the men and their resolve. The only way we’re going to get through this is by buckling down. It doesn’t get any easier from this point. It’s an uphill battle, but you wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Personally, I get the “mirage” question but it’s an oversimplification. I tend to believe the Bill Parcells’ line of thinking: You are what your record says you are. (Ken Whisenhunt, who once worked under Parcells, has been known to utter the same phrase.) The Cardinals deserved to win the games they did because they did. They had some breaks, of course. But they made some breaks too. They have lost the games they have lost because they played, on those Sundays, losing football. There is an ebb and flow to every season and often, every week. The Cardinals were doomed to the No. 1 pick in the draft last year during their six-game losing streak — at least, that’s all I heard — and then they were .500. No one asks if that six-game losing streak was a mirage, although it felt that way a little by the end of the season.
The Cardinals are not playing well right now, especially offensively. If that doesn’t change, the losing will continue, and there are definitely holes on this team that are hurting the end-product. We’ll see where this goes.
“If we want to get ourselves out of the predicament we find ourselves in, we’re going to have to fight our way out of it,” Fitzgerald said. “We have to do it together. We can’t fray apart, we can’t be broken. We have to be as one.”
They might as well. When it’s over, the Cardinals will be judged as a whole anyway, whatever the final record might be.
Tags: Larry Fitzgerald
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