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Fitzgerald as pass protector

Posted by Darren Urban on June 29, 2015 – 10:58 am

It seems counter-intuitive, honestly. You want your highest-paid wide receiver to at least have a chance to receive when you are throwing a pass right? But profootballfocus.com (and more specifically, PFF writer Sam Monson) tweeted that it was Larry Fitzgerald who led all NFL wide receivers in snaps in pass protection last season, with seven. In other words, seven times last season when the Cardinals dropped back to pass, Fitz was used to block and not go out for a pass. (For comparison’s sake, Monson notes that Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was used in pass pro only 13 times, while new Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham, playing for the Saints, was used in pass pro 27 times.)

This all folds into the story of Fitz’s evolving role since Bruce Arians arrived. He plays the slot a lot more often. He’s asked to block more than he ever has (and he’s become a pretty good blocker too, especially in the run game.) It’s not Fitz’s first choice, which I’m sure isn’t a surprise to anyone. But he’s clearly come to terms with where he is in his career and with this team, because otherwise, he wouldn’t have made sure he returned.

Kerry Taylor, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Carr


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Posted in Blog | 41 Comments »


41 Responses to “Fitzgerald as pass protector”

  1. By Dynosoar on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    T-Roy,

    I enjoyed your post and thoughts on DWash.

    You’ve given me an opportunity to give a shout-out to many long, long time fans of our team. Thanks for that. It stems from the following statement.

    “Nobody, I mean nobody,
    Has been a CARDS fan as long as me. (49 now and was born and raised in St. Louis and followed my CARDS since I was 5 years old, going to the games and sitting on my Uncle’s knees just to see the field. Live in Richmond, VA now and still love my team)”

    Here’s a few fans on this site that give a run for the money as The Longest Cardinals Fan. (Haha, gauntlet thrown and challenge accepted. I’ve been a fan for 38 years myself, so you got 6 years on me. That’s cool!)

    Johnnybluenose (early 1960’s, fan of Sam Etcheverry)
    Sir60 (between 1961 – 1969,fan of Charlie Johnson on an old black and white)
    Cynicalogre (between 1962 – ’78, so maybe, maybe not. He watched Jim Bakken kick a game winner and became a fan.)
    AzDesertRat1953 (I think became a fan in the 60s, if memory from past posts are correct.)
    jeffgollin (fan since before the bird logo was on the helmets)
    Annette Richters (fan since they moved to St. Louis)
    JOSEPH RATTI (fan since the ’60s)
    joe67 (since their Chicago days)
    brinnc (around 1970)
    Nick Pepe (lifelong fan since ’71, same as you)

    Thanks T-Roy, it was fun to go through an old post I saved answering “Why I Became a Cardinals Fan” and put together this list. Glad to know all of us are huge fans of the oldest and (at least in our minds) greatest NFL team.

    Go Cardinals! Win!

  2. By John The Draft Guy on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    Floyd tweets;

    RT @MichaelMFloyd: To be great, you have to be willing to be mocked, hated, and misunderstood.

    What? Yeah, Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson are hated and mocked.(sarcasm folks) Come on man. Receivers are Hated and mocked for two reasons; 1) they underachieve and their fans get disappointed. 2) they have big mouths (ala TO) and other team fans hate them.

    To be great Mikey, you have to out work Larry, run your routes better than Jerry Rice, and use your big body like Calvin. Then, shut your mouth and show respect to your opponent. I bet you will not be mocked, hated, or misunderstood. You will be loved.

  3. By Cards4Ever on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    Sometimes, I’ll sit back and think of Larry Fitzgerald and everything his name stands for and what he’s done for the Cardinals and the fans and I’m in awe. Then another realization hits me, he chooses to play for our team to play in our state and I can’t but swell up with pride! One of the greatest ever is an Arizona Cardinal! Championship this year, bet!!

  4. By Craig on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    Get that man a ring!

  5. By JohnnyBluenose on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    @Dynosoar….nice of you to mention those of us who came forward a couple of years back as long-time Cardinals fans. I know there are many more. Did not know that you live in Richmond. Are you considering going to see the Cardinals play in Philadelphia? Maybe Scott H will too.

  6. By Richard S on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    Cards fan since their last year in Chicago when I heard they were moving to St. Louis. One of my earliest memories, playing the LA Rams and Tommy Davis punting the ball for the Rams something like 90 yards. I was listening on the radio. A few years back in Mare Island’s Navy Shipyard in the Nuclear Test Engineering Dept., Code 2340, cleaning out an old desk drawer next to my desk, underneath it was the old newspaper that described the Cards moving to St. Loo and Dallas getting their own team.

  7. By Keith on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    Remember when he blocked for michael floyd and knocked sherman on his butt!

  8. By Darren Urban on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    Keith —

    RE: Fitz on Sherman

    Yes. Yes I do.

    http://blog.azcardinals.com/2013/12/20/fitz-waiting-to-play-talks-big-hits/

  9. By shawnRyan on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    @John The Draft Guy,

    Floyd didn’t say anything wrong or anything that isn’t true in that tweet. He didn’t say only the great ones get mocked or are hated. Just that if you want to be great, you will have to be able to put up with it and not wilt and go in to hiding. Do you REALLY think that things aren’t said to Larry and Calvin when they go on the road just because they are nice guys and work hard? Or that opposing fans didn’t say things to Jerry Rice?

  10. By Dynosoar on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    T-Roy,

    you may have started something..

    Richard S.

    Now that’s a sweet find. I knew you’ve been with our Cardinals a while, didn’t know it was that long for you as well. Sweet.

    Keith,

    I was thinking of that play as I read the article. That was as good as it gets.

    JohnnyBluenose,

    I was quoting T-Roy and responding to his statement that No one’s been a fan longer than him. He lives in Richmond. I’m in Salt Lake City, I don’t get actual NFL anywhere close. But when we make it into the playoffs and have home field advantage, I’m just going to have to find my way to Phoenix.

  11. By Crow on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    He’s a beast and can’t be stopped he won’t be slowed down even by aging hahaha fitz is a class act and modeled my highschool recieving career after him he a real insperation!

  12. By Big Ken on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    @ Darren good one, Fitz on Sherman. Another month until camp. Nothing but golf and tennis til then.

  13. By BigBobDiesel on Jun 29, 2015 | Reply

    Dyno

    So Darren is the youngest guy in the comments?

  14. By Steve . on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Darren: Will you have time in the coming weeks to do a Birds of a Feather chat?

  15. By Darren Urban on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Chat

    I will do one before camp but I will be off more than working until late July.

  16. By Eazy E on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    It should be 0! Fitz should always be running a route or pass pattern!

  17. By Eazy E on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    On a Pass Play of course.

  18. By shannon robinson on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, we all thought you were on vacation in the Caribbean.

  19. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG: agree, does seem to reflect the ” woe is me, I’m a victim” virus

  20. By T-Roy on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Dynosoar. AWESOME!!! I guess that is why your post name is Dynosoar? Another fun minute. I want to say that back when JV Cain; Jim Hart; Jim Otis; Jim Bakken; Mel Gray; etc… played in St Loo, I do not remember all of the chatter and muck going on as it does now. I believe that that is the reason that Fitz stands out in my mind. I see so many awesome people in our league but something about Larry. He is an icon in my mind for PRO FTB. Let’s rock this year and I want to give a great BIG; HUGE shout out to our uppers; Michael, Steve and BA. They have made us scary to the rest of the league. Just listen to the Pro Football people and hear the CARDS talked about all of the time. You old timers know what I am saying; we used to never hear our team talked about. Never. Now, a little more. Super Bowl time and I made it to the last one, I want to make it to this one. Thanks again for allowing the fans to be excited in AZ.

  21. By Scott H on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Well, I’m obviously never going to hold the title for having been a fan longer than anyone, but I have a pretty good resume, nevertheless, so please add me to the “Honorable Mention” list. I became a Cards fan in 1976, so I guess I’m about 39 years in.

    And let’s be honest – really, just imagine the character and integrity it takes to be a fan of a team that long – never wavering – with such extensive gaps between winning seasons, playoff appearance, etc. I mean, I think of someone who has been a Cowboys fan or a Steelers fan during the exact same period I have been a Cardinals fan. And….really? Being a fan of THOSE teams was EASY. It was probably fun. It was rewarding. You were USED TO winning.

    Being a Cardinals fan? Please. It took SOOOOOO much more to hang in there with that.

    Looking back, I actually became a Cards fan at just about the WORST time possible. Because during the early 70’s they were a very good team. I think they won division titlies in 1974 and 1975. Then I came along….just in time for the beginning of a post-season drought that didn’t end until 1998! Yeah, they were a “playoff” team in the early 80’s after that one strike-shortened season but….I don’t even count that. In fact, I really don’t even remember anything about it.

    When they went to the SB in 2008, there was TRUE appreciation of that for myself and many other fans. You think Steelers fans even feel that anymore? I don’t. I think they take it for granted. Hey, good for them. But, again – they have it easy.

    And being a fan isn’t supposed to be easy. Is it????

  22. By Scott H on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Just to add to my previous post, here’s another thing to consider. For myself or anyone else who has been a long-time Cards fan from another part of the country, imagine how hard THAT was! Before the age of the internet and having the world at your fingertips, what do ya think THAT was like? It was horrible, trying to be a Cardinals fan from out here in NJ. Shoot, you were lucky to see a box score from their games in the sports section on Monday. Otherwise, there was NOTHING!!! My only saving grace was that I lived right outside Philly and they played the Eagles twice a year ( back in the day ).

    Actually, it did get a little better when USA Today came along. Heck, at least that gave you a little blurb about their games, maybe ( MAYBE! ) even a picture.

    But until the internet came along….you were thrilled if a 3-line blurb about the Cardinals showed up anywhere! It was like crumbs for a starving man, for cryin’ out loud! THAT is what Cardinals fans have endured. We know about tough. Steelers and Cowboys fans don’t know squat about tough! 🙂

  23. By Crow on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Dynosoar
    ive been a cardinals fan since i was 4 im now in highschool and my love for the cardinals is deep rooted i even went to watch Fitzgerald in canton for the HoF game 2011

  24. By azdesertrat1953 on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Dynosoar, yes early 60’s. My Dad Loved his Cards and so did I.
    I was 10 years old when I really remember watching Football with Dad.
    KOOL TV channel 10 CBS, Phoenix, AZ – 1963

    GO CARDS!!!

  25. By Dynosoar on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    BigBobDiesel,

    I’m not sure I understand your comment/question about Darren. I was just bantering with T-Roy and giving a shout out to a few old people… err, old time fans (Haha!) at the same time.

    I don’t know how long Darren or anyone else I didn’t mention has been a fan, so the comment was just for fun as well as a hello.

    Hello. So BigBob, you’ve been on these posts a while, how’d you become a Cardinals fan?

  26. By Dynosoar on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H. if I’d known how long you’ve been around, you’d be in the above post. Yeah, we got to see a Cardinals game twice a year on television, if that. But I was a starving man and those crumbs kept me going.

    Darren, thanks for giving us more than crumbs. We get a good meal in the offseason and a full course meal during the season. Awesome!

    Crow and so, so many others, someday you’ll be like us old timer fans saying “I remember when.” The cool thing, it looks like you’ll be able to say “I remember when our team turned the corner and became a perennial favorite to win.” (At least, that’s my dream.)

    T-Roy, Jim Hart, Niel Lomax, Ottis Anderson, Roy Green, Mel Gray, those were the names I remember from my childhood.

    To all, I don’t care who’s been around the longest or is the newest, I’m just thrilled to rub shoulders with so many great Cardinals fans. This is our team!

    Not many fans can claim they bleed their team colors and prove it. Whether they admit it or not, want to or not, everyone bleeds Cardinals red.

    Ooooh! I can hardly wait. Go Cardinals!

  27. By Scott H on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Dynosaur –

    More names – Roger Wherli, Conrad Dobler, Dan Dierdorf, Terry Metcalf, Jim Baken, JT Smith, Luis Sharpe….memories, man. Memories…..

  28. By jaime on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    jeez is the season starting yet, july and august are the worse for cardinals patience…

  29. By BigBobDiesel on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Dyno,

    Born in Tucson, raised in Chandler (Corona Aztec). I am a home team guy, no back up team. I’ve always said, to be an Arizona Cardinal fan you have to be somewhat of a hopeless romantic at heart. I don’t post as much as a lot of people, mostly because I’m too sarcastic for the written word and because I have different views than other fans.

  30. By Darren Urban on Jul 1, 2015 | Reply

    BigBob —

    RE: Corona

    Interesting. My wife has taught at Corona for almost 20 years; My son goes there.

  31. By Crow on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    Dynosaur and scott H
    I agree so much i would watch tape of the old cards… i even have niel lomax card i got in a pack at a garage sale….love to see fans waiting it out through off season hahaha this is going to be a team to recon with i live on the east coast and get to see the cards on tv once maybe twice if im lucky i just can’t believe the talent that kiem and arians have built around this is definitely going to be the team to beat! rise red sea!!!!!

  32. By Chuck 1 on Jun 30, 2015 | Reply

    There mus be a Niners, Hawks or Rams fan on this thread to be giving “Thumbs Down” to so many happy posts

  33. By shannon robinson on Jul 1, 2015 | Reply

    Pat Fischer #37

  34. By BigBobDiesel on Jul 1, 2015 | Reply

    That’s cool Darren! I graduated in ’04 and I’m still friends with those same guys I use to walk the halls with. All Cardinals fans of course.

  35. By Darren Urban on Jul 1, 2015 | Reply

    BigBob —

    Of course.

    Who was your junior English teacher?

  36. By Scott H on Jul 1, 2015 | Reply

    Crow –

    Whereabouts on the east coast are you, if ya don’t mind my asking?

    I have a Matt Leinart card….any chance of a trade for your Lomax card? 🙂

    My most cherished Cardinals artifact at this point is a Roy Green jersey that I got for X-mas a VERY long time ago. Must have been the mid-80’s or so. It is an authentic jersey so the quality of this thing is awesome. I wore it a lot back in the day, but it looks like it was never worn at all. It’s like a throw-back jersey now! I doubt it would even fit me these days. Sorry to say, I have, um….expanded over the years!

  37. By BigBobDiesel on Jul 1, 2015 | Reply

    Darren
    Mr. Andrew Lawrence

  38. By Crow on Jul 1, 2015 | Reply

    Pennsylvania and i still have my kevin kolb jersey hahaha can’t compare to roy green my most cherished is a larry fitz rookie jersey card

  39. By clssylssy on Jul 7, 2015 | Reply

    No argument Fitz is a tremendous pass protector but what a COLOSSOL WASTE OF TALENT, using “the best hands in the NFL” primarily as a blocker!! When you look at the number of drops Fitz has had compared to everyone else, one would think that he would be the logical target in the Red Zone. What’s wrong with this picture?

  40. By brinnc on Jul 11, 2015 | Reply

    ScottH
    Had no idea you have been a Cardinal fan so long, I have been loyal since my earliest memory of Cardinal football (I have pictures of me as a toddler wearing a Cardinal Helmet and one of those baby onesies, I was almost 3 years old back in late ’68!! Not having the internet all those years was an absolute nightmare especially traveling the world in the Marine Corps for 22+ years, couldnt gather much info at all, I remember taking large amounts of heat back in the 80’s and 90’s and even early ‘2000’s!! As recently as last season, all of last season to be exact, I struggled getting any information on my Cardinals, sitting in a small combat outpost in Afghanistan took me back 25-30 years ago when there was no internet (none to speak of anyway!) internet is unheard of in cesspool country’s such as Afghanistan! ! Hell indoor plumbing is unheard of in most regions over there, of course one would have to have electricity first before one could even hope to see a TV!! LOL! My son started out pretty well sending me articles almost everyday, and he sent a post or two out on this board for me, but the “information highway” wasn’t open for long!! He is 18 now, and this issue of girls kind of took priority over sending dear old dad Cardinal clippings and articles (guess I shouldnt be surprised being he is a Patriots fan!) I managed to make it back to the states the day before the Superbowl but sadly after all the injuries we endured, our beloved Cardinals season was already finished!! Normally I wouldn’t even have watched the SB, but with my son being a Patriots fan and the trouble he went through setting up a “welcome home dad”/SuperBowl party (even though he would never admit it, I think he actually missed his old man!) he downplayed the “welcome home”part of the get together, but this was the toughest deployment for him, most he was to young to remember, but the last 3 prior to this one, he was 7, 8, 9, years old, and didnt understand very well what dad did, this last one though was completely different for him, it was totally unexpected for one, and being 17, almost 18 when I deployed he knew that I was combat search and rescue special operations, and he realized I wasnt going to spend time in club med, plus the fact it has been just me and him for almost 10 years I think it hit him pretty hard!!! I almost thought I had converted him to our side, he followed the Cardinals closely when I was gone, but of course he let me know which team was in the SB and which wasn’t! ! Even now, living on the East Coast (and being a cheap b@$#&*#, I refuse to pay for cable, let alone Sunday ticket, it is very difficult to catch any Cardinal games, but It looks like im doing something I swore I would never do and that is to return home to Southern Illinois, (time to take care of my parents, afterall they put up with my crap for 18 years!!) So I will be able to see my Cardinals twice a year (I plan on going to the game in St Louis of course, but I will get to watch the Rams visiting Arizona on TV!!) First I’m going to take my mom, a Diehard Cubs fan for over 70 years, to a Cardinal-Cubs series (she used to take me to Busch Stadium whenever the Cubs were in town, me decked out in my Cardinal Red, her in her head to toe Cubbies gear, sitting in a sea of Red giving crap as much as she was taking it (now that is a diehard loyal fan, mom taught me all I know about loyalty!! So yes I will be representing my Cardinals when they visit the Rams!!) The best is yet to come, mom hasnt been to Wrigley field Chicago for over 50 years!! My son and I are taking her to a Cub-Cardinals series at Wrigley, good thing she isnt a Football Cardinal fan, or doesnt own a computer!! LOL! Wouldnt want to blow my surprise!!!

    Crow,
    Hang in there as a loyal Cardinal fan and before you know it uou will be posting on Cardinal boards how you have been a diehard fan for over 50 years (by that time technology will probably have you sitting in front of your computer and it will read your mind and automatically send your post!! LOL!!
    Here’s to all Arizona Cardinal fans, young and old, men and women, black, white, red, green or purple, we are all “Birdganger’s” (if that is even a word!) for life, whether that be early teen’s, twenties, thirties…and for all of us who are past those numbers I will spare us the years and just say, ” The most Seasoned Cardinal fans!!! Here’s to bringing the Lombardi Trophy home to Arizona, where if not for all the countless injuries, free agent loses, suspensions, and retirements, it would have been home last season, in 2016 it will be right where it belongs!!!

  41. By brinnc on Jul 11, 2015 | Reply

    ScottH
    Thanks to all this talk about the old school Cardinals I’m on a search to locate my big Red Binder, getting prepared to move anyway so may as well dig it up, it is a binder full of nothing but Cardinal football Cards, my Aunt gave me the binder and a few Cardinal cards for Xmas in the mid 70’s (I think!! Cant even begin to rememer the exact year she gave it to me!! LOL!) The posts on this blog have fired me up for a trip down memory lane!! I must have around 100 cards in that binder, and I havent collected trading cards for probably 20 years, I need to update my Big Red Binder!!! Willing to bet I could add another 100 cards to it pretty easily!!

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