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Fitz still impresses peers for Top 100 spot

Posted by Darren Urban on June 18, 2014 – 10:15 pm

For the same reason Larry Fitzgerald keeps making the Pro Bowl — vast respect from his peers — is the same reason the Cardinals receiver again got into the top 40 of NFL players even though his numbers have been down the last couple of years. The NFL Network is again doing their “Top 100″ countdown over the summer, and Fitzgerald clocked in at No. 38 Wednesday night. He’s the second Cardinal to make this year’s list (we won’t talk about who else has already been named.)

Fitzgerald has been falling over the years. In 2012, he was seventh. Last year. he was 22nd. (He was 14th on the initial list in 2011.) There are some high-profile receivers that are behind Fitzgerald on the list, although despite his “low” yardage total of 954 this past season (still much better than 2012’s 798) he did have 10 touchdowns and as you can see on the video, opponents still worry about him. We’ll see if Fitz can find a way to climb up again after this season, with a second year in Bruce Arians’ offense.

The Top 100 list has now reached the top 30. Patrick Peterson should make it in at some point — I’m not sure he tops Richard Sherman again this year, but it’ll be interesting wherever he ends up.


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Posted in Blog | 18 Comments »


18 Responses to “Fitz still impresses peers for Top 100 spot”

  1. By jeffy1951 on Jun 19, 2014 | Reply

    I bet Larry breaks 1,200 yards this year simply because now opponents will not be as able to double him with all the other weapons we unleash on a backfield.

  2. By Card shark on Jun 19, 2014 | Reply

    Happy for Fitz for making the list yet again……that said, it might just be his last year as Floyd will be the stand out receiver in AZ this year

  3. By Andy kw on Jun 19, 2014 | Reply

    I just have a great feeling Larry Fitzgerald will play better than last season. Once that hamstring of his becomes a non issue, I expect him to go back to his explosive ways. Beast Mode is back and is ready for a big run towards the Super Bowl.

  4. By Chuck 1 on Jun 19, 2014 | Reply

    Card shark,

    I have another reason why 2014 might be Fitz’s last season with the Cards:
    $23 BIG ones.

    But, I hope that Keim somehow will be a contract contortionist and reduce the Cap hit and keep Fitz.

  5. By CreditCard on Jun 19, 2014 | Reply

    Fitz’ numbers is dependent upon how well the QB, OL, and RB play. I think the coaches are building a better well rounded offense. Fitz will benefit tremendously from a balanced attack. Not to speak of increased production from the TE position, and from Floyd, and Brown / Ginn.

  6. By joelhc on Jun 19, 2014 | Reply

    Fitz is an hall of fame talent no disputes that, it truly makes me sad to think about his last few years with Whiz’s (or who ever was pulling the strings at QBs) he could have challenged Jerry and i am hoping he will make a full recovery and with the talent we have in the backfield and opposite him, that he will once again show the world why he should be in the convo for one of the best all time. That being said i wonder if the cards would not have done us and him a favor by trading him, and listen i love the guy as much as anyone he is the very model of what every NFL player should be but Great GM,s know when to trade Hershal Walker.

  7. By John The Draft Guy on Jun 19, 2014 | Reply

    cardshark and Chuck 1

    Growing up in San Diego, I got to watch 20 years of Tony Gwynn and enjoyed every moment. I hope we get to see Larry retire as a card.

    But, Whether this is Larry’s last year or not, Just enjoy this year and realize what a special talent you get to watch.

    I think we all can see that Floyd is a first rounder and he goes into his last year of his contract next year, the cards drafted two young wrs they like, and Fitz is due 23 million in cap space next year. I also saw Arians use a two TE system with one stud receiver and the other, a smaller fast guy in Indy and Pitt. Not two big #1’s.

    So sit back and just enjoy the greatness of the best wr I have ever seen this year, and let next year happen next year.

  8. By Scott H on Jun 19, 2014 | Reply

    Regardless of where others say he ranks right now, he will someday be recognized as one of THE greatest WR’s to EVER play the game. While still in his prime, he is already being spoken of as a probable Hall of Famer. Is anyone saying that about Calvin Johnson? Not yet. And Johnson has yet to take the Lions where Fitz helped take the Cards in 2008. Is anyone saying that about Andre Johnson? No. Reggie Wayne? Don’t think so. He’ll get there before TO or Chad Johnson. And he should. Do Brandon Marshall or Dez Bryant have the maturity and discipline to maintain themselves over long careers the way Fitz has? Remains to be seen, but I doubt it.

    IMHO, there is just no one playing the position right now who does it ALL as well as Fitz has / still does. Well, maybe except for one guy – Anquan Boldin.

    Also, you have to look at the QB’s Fitz has played with over the course of his career. Really, write THOSE names down on paper and then look again at what Fitz has been able to accomplish. He had almost 3 full seasons of Kurt Warner playing at a truly great level. Seriously – project where his stats would be if he has 2 or 3 more seasons of THAT! After Warner’s departure, Fitz spent THREE entire seasons in QB hell. And he remained pretty damn productive.

    Give most head coaches / GM’s / owners / QB’s their choice of ONE WR they could have for a decade from ALL WR’s who have played during the past 10 years, and I think the majority of them pick Larry Fitzgerald. Who else would you possibly rather have???

  9. By Cactus jeff on Jun 20, 2014 | Reply

    I work off of 2 philosophies that Darren can’t stand

    Eye test- Cooper too small to play G, Minter not long enough to play ILB
    “Red between the lines” – Praise for Bethel and Jefferson by BA = Honey Badger will not play a snap this year

  10. By infitzwetrust on Jun 20, 2014 | Reply

    Fitzgerald is the best receiver in the league in my opinion regardless of what numbers say. He’s the complete package with blocking, route-running, amazing hands, and his class-act rep on an off the field. I’m confident Fitz we restructure his deal and retire as a cardinal. Even though his cap number is 23mil I don’t think he has much leverage. For 1: No team will match that and regardless of where he plays he’s taking a pay cut. 2: Bidwell has said many times Fitz will retire as a Cardinal and be the only team he’s played for. All that combined should point to both sides coming to an agreement to meet in the middle and take a team friendly offer. All of the great class-act players do that…

  11. By Dr. G. on Jun 20, 2014 | Reply

    When Warner left, it was not predictable that Fitz’s numbers would tumble so dramatically. Obviously , he has been the recipient of incompetent QB selection and play. And now, with Floyd, BA’s varied schemes, and the hammy issue, his numbers may not rocket. But, if he is healthy, he is still a weapon….along with some others on this team. After Boldin left, he was basically most of it. Now, not so much… Roberts even had better numbers than Fitz in 2012.. only facts here…

    The previous regime had no competent understudy at QB… All they had was a narcissistic Hollywood type guy who placed the Cards about 5th on his list of important things after he got the big $$$$ !!! The insane scramble of QB’s began!

    Now, Thomas could become the real deal if he is prepared and coached up properly. Some of us have been clamoring to draft a QB, though BA kept saying he liked the guys he had. There are ((expert?)) fans posting here that rejected this obvious QB need. I am sure Keim saw a brighter light there… I look forward to a smooth transition at QB when the time comes…

    The Fitz conversation ((aside from the hammy stuff)) is still all about QB’s… And Palmer now may not show favoritism ((forced by BA)) again to inflate the numbers of any particular player. Palmer keying on Fitz did not work last year… Be well CARDS FANS!

  12. By Mike Ellingboe on Jun 20, 2014 | Reply

    Cactus,

    If your eyes tell you that Cooper is too small to play Guard, I can understand why Darren hates your philosophies.

    Are you serious about that?

    Not following the Minter idea either. He’s virtually identical, physically, to Navorro Bowman.

  13. By br in nc on Jun 20, 2014 | Reply

    Dr G

    Could you please elaborate on your “BA forced favoritism” you threw me for a loop with that comment. Not sure Palmer had time to show this “favoritism” you speak of, the first half of the year CP was struggling to learn the offense (as was Fitz, by his own addmission I might add) the O-line was in shambles, which forced Palmer to “wing it” most of the time, when they finally started to come together as a unit Fitz seemed to get a “fair share” of work, bad Whammy and all, geez he ended with what, 10 TD’s??? Correct me if I’m wrong, but he led the team in TD’s did he not? Favoritism??

  14. By clssylssy on Jun 21, 2014 | Reply

    Well said Scott H & infitzwetrust! Yes, both Mr. Bidwill and Steve Keim have said that Larry Fitz will retire a Card so we shall see how good their word is. These days there are few players to meet “The Jeter Standard” (elite player who plays entire career with the same team) but Fitz could certainly be that guy and it would be as much an honor for the Cards as for Fitz (not to mention a star for Steve Keim’s resume). Despite the numbers, for a guy who’s “slipping” he is, IMO, the best WR playing the game today, he has the widest skillset, is the only receiver I have ever seen go bestmode and put both Richard Sherman and Darrell Revis on their backs, is respected universally by his peers, coaches and fans of other teams for his amazing play on the field, his off field charitable efforts world wide, and complete class as a professional football player. He is a player who brings honor to The Shield and to the Cards.
    Last season he didn’t quite get the yards but he still had twice the number of TDs as the next guy and had he been targeted more would have had the yards as well. It seems like these days the organization is making an effort to minimize Fitz’s standing and continued importance to this team which is really sad and I can only assume is about money…he already restructured once so that his teammates could get paid and has never been about the money but the game. When you play in a dependent position your stats can be skewed by the coach, the QB, and don’t tell an accurate story. I don’t think there is a coach in the NFL who wouldn’t give their right arm to have Fitzgerald play for them and I can only hope that this organization appreciates the gift we are fortunate to have in Larry Fitzgerald. He has made many fans proud of the Arizona Cardinals even when they weren’t winning!

  15. By BigAl on Jun 21, 2014 | Reply

    As long as mgt keeps the team headed in a positive direction like the last two off
    seasons draft & FA…then Larry will be a team player & renegotiate accordingly.

    @joelhc
    Interesting thought! Even w/the poor QB direction post Warner under Whiz/Graves…didn’t Larry become the youngest player ever to reach 800 Receptions last season???
    And if I remember correctly, I believe 11,000 yards youngest ever…Help me here
    Darren? Not positive on those statements…But if that is in fact correct @joelhc
    just imagine if Larry had Joe Montana & Steve Young throwing him the ball in an era where the NFC (what was the NFC West back then) was not so deep as now!
    Can you say Perspective anyone?

    I’d rather have Larry than anyone else, however, it’s always been a shame to me we couldn’t find a way to keep A. Boldin here…what a tandem they were!

  16. By Mike Ellingboe on Jun 24, 2014 | Reply

    BigAl,

    Correct on both counts (youngest to 800 receptions and 11K yardage).

    Granted, it was only a season but his career didn’t open with Warner either. I can’t think of a superstar WR who would have been anywhere near as patient as he was during the debacle following Warner.

    Agree about Boldin, and that steps into my biggest criticism of Whisenhunt’s time here (yes, even more so than his post Warner QB attempts). We couldn’t afford two high priced WR’s. Ok, I’m on board with that, better to have a balanced offense, especially in January. And yet, we still went with multiple receiver sets and never did develop a run game for a bunch of very mediocre QB’s. Maybe if they had another superstar receiver to throw to, all those 3-4 WR formations might have had a chance. Let a few Pro Bowlers leave before their prime, and it doesn’t take long for mediocrity to return.

    Fortunately, it appears those days are behind them.

  17. By Dr. G. on Jun 27, 2014 | Reply

    br – Sorry for the late reply…been at the WSOP…

    As for Fitz and “forced favoritism,” it was obvious in the latter half of the season if you just watched the games. Additionally, when the fans got restless about Fitz’s opportunities and stats early on, and during interviews, BA responded numerous times that he would get Larry involved alot more….

    Even though Floyd took much of the attention and coverage away, it was dumb to announce that we will target Fitz more. I wish Palmer had been asked this question. To most fans, it was obvious that the ball was forced to Fitz at times when other options presented better plays. I have always cheered for Fitz, but at this juncture, if you asked BA or Palmer their opinion, Floyd has loomed to be a WR other teams will not ignore. This year, that should give Fitz more opportunity, shouldn’t it? We have one of the best WR cores in the league now.

    All the things you say are correct…. Could Floyd have had more TD’s? The goal line calls were set to key on Fitz ONLY…successful as it was. Now with the speedsters added with some TE involvement, Fitz may see the ball less…or…if the defenders have to watch all the weapons we have this year…Fitz may be open more and more and produce startling numbers…sans injury… Two ways to look at it this season… Semper FI…

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