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Revisiting Fitz and the 2008 playoffs

Posted by Darren Urban on April 10, 2017 – 3:55 pm

In case you missed it, a project I have been working on since the end of the season came to fruition today with the posting of an oral history of Larry Fitzgerald’s huge 2008 playoff run. (Easy to find at azcardinals.com/fitzfantasticfour, so tell a friend). It was great to talk to a few guys that I hadn’t in a number of years, guys who I worked with a lot back when they were around. Steve Breaston, Jerheme Urban, Todd Haley, among others. It didn’t hurt that there are still some in the building that could help, like Freddie Kitchens, Adrian Wilson and Larry Foote.

(And I’d be remiss without pointing out that Sandy McAfee here in the cubicle next to me did a fantastic job taking my words and turning it into a aesthetically beautiful read.)

Mostly though, it was a chance to look back at those games. I’m fortunate enough to have that playoff run on DVD so I could go back for research and simply enjoy re-watching those games. (I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for watching old games. I wish NFL Network would do more from when I was first getting into the game, the late ’70s and early ’80s.) Anyone can understand that Fitzgerald had great stats from that postseason. But his impact looks greater than that when you are watching them in context.

“There were a lot of games where he had a lot of catches (that season),” quarterback Kurt Warner said. “It was the nature of the catches where he really solidified how great he was, how great that run was. His numbers would have been great stacked up against anyone regardless but I think you think back to just the big play after big play after big play.”

Hope you get a chance to read it.


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20 Responses to “Revisiting Fitz and the 2008 playoffs”

  1. By D on Apr 10, 2017 | Reply

    Good job Sandy.

    Reliving that playoff run makes me think that a secondary of A. Rolle, Adub and DRC under performed against the Steelers. I know, R. Brown and A. Francisco cost the D more than the other players. Dockett did his job quite well that night in TB.

  2. By Cactus jeff on Apr 10, 2017 | Reply

    Memo to the cardinal, again I must inform you to identify new variables in your analytic design. Minter was a complete failure. Darren slapped me down after my eye test said he was not long enough. What you measure counts SK. Darren can forward my email address if you want.

    This year the anti-minter pick and probably a top 5 talent in the draft is TJ Watt. Make like Dennis green and draft pro bowlers in first round. Later picks are for filling the roster. Fitz would not have been picked without the dennis green approach because the Cardinals already had Q. TJ Watt is the pick, equal to his brother JJ Watt and better than Clay Mathews.

  3. By Coach K on Apr 10, 2017 | Reply

    If I had a Genie in a bottle, this is what I would wish for on draft week.

    1. Pat Mahomes, QB
    2. Jarrad Davis, ILB
    3. Jordan Leggett, TE
    4. Howard Wilson, CB
    5. Lorenzo Jerome, S
    5. Detrich Wise, DE

    A word about Mahomes. He reminds me of a young Brett Favre. Don’t know why, he just has that mentality. Jarrad Davis may not last until round two, but if he is there, we land a future All-pro sideline to sideline playmaker. Leggett will be the steal of this draft in round three.

  4. By mitchaz on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    Wow, what a superb article, Darren. Great to hear all the different perspectives. Fitz is truly phenomenal. he and Kurt Warner were like Seabisquit and Red Pollard — such a magical, uncanny run-for-the-roses chemistry.

  5. By Scott H on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    Looks like a great piece. Here’s hoping we may be able to provide a proper ending to the Larry Fitzgerald post-season greatness story at some point after this season. An ending that would involve some jewelry, perhaps? That would be the most fitting end to a career like his.

  6. By Cardinal on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    Darren thanks for all your great coverage over the years . I’m entering my 43rd season as a cards fan since growing up in St Louis in the 1970’s. Hope this is our year . Few questions…what ever happened to D-Wash?? Is the London game 1 of our home games or the Rams? Is Dockett done for good , would love to see him come back on a 1 year[ leadership ]contract . He had 3 sacks in our only Super Bowl.

  7. By Darren Urban on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    Cardinal —

    1) He’s suspended.
    2) London game is a Rams home game.
    3) Dockett is retired http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Darnell-Dockett-Retires-As-A-Cardinal/6c95881a-3e3e-4848-acd4-8d6ca06fe647

  8. By Jacob Hewitt on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    No one could guess who I want the cards to Draft no1 no one knows I I want the cardinals to get in Draft he he he!!!

  9. By Jacob Hewitt on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    I’m looking at the mock draft on the NFL web sight why the heck would the cardinal state need a receiver when they already have 2 young stars and when Fitz is gone they can take his place! When Palmer is gone there gonna be is a cross fire looking for a QB ! The cardinals need a QB for Palmer when he leave soon I mean Fitz is fine he has JJ Nelson who reminds me of Antonio Brown!!! Cardinals NEEEED to Draft a QB !!!!! My preference I say they should get QB Watson as there first choice Watson is a rising star and even if they don’t get him first round they need to Draft any QB!!,!

  10. By Joe C. on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    Good read! Well done. I was in San Fransisco for the NFC champ game and found out my flight home was during the game. I rescheduled the flight and watched the game on a 21 inch TV in a local bar. The woman next to me talked to my wife the whole game about Larry’s butt. It was disturbing. She was complimentary though.

  11. By LadyBird04 on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    You and all involved did a great job with the article and imbedded videos. Took me back to the UofP for the playoff games. What a great run by Larry Fitz and the whole team. (Wish Rolle had kept himself off the field and we might have seen a better ending to the story.)

    Thumbs Up to you and the rest of your staff.

  12. By cardcor on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    Beautiful.

    That single word is sufficient.

  13. By clssylssy on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    Beautifully penned piece Darren! Thank you so much for taking fans who didn’t have the opportunity to experience that season to get a feel for the magic many of us “old timers” had almost given up hope for. I miss all of those guys who worked so hard at proving the entire football world wrong about the Cards, and have followed those still in the league as players, coaches, OCs, etc. as their biggest fan. Larry, of course, will always be the GOAT for me, but he couldn’t have done it alone and I would love to see Haley back in Cardinal Red one day as I think he was a visionary few gave him credit for. Your post will be my “guilty pleasure read” for those stressful days I need a lift! Kudos on your fine work.

  14. By Darren Urban on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    Mike in Gilbert —

    RE: Heads up

    Thanks.

  15. By D on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    Big Red (gum) Stadium?
    Redbox Stadium?

    $10-$15 mil per year will narrow down the list of Corp that can pay the naming rights…

    All of these steak dinners for BA can’t be good for his diet.

  16. By creditcard on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    I like the draft talent pool better in the bottom 1st round to mid 3rd round than the top tier 1st round alleged pick choices.

    Trade down, trade down, trade down! Get a high 2nd rounder and m/b a 3rd or 4th rounder for the 13th —- I like the predicted talent that remains in the 2nd / 3rd and 4th rounds.

    This year is a deep draft, and the “talent” between a top 10 pick and the 50th pick is miniscule

  17. By creditcard on Apr 11, 2017 | Reply

    I see the Card’s stadium needs a new sponsor. Needs to be a company rooted in Arizona, and needs to have a football connection …..

    I know, how about A-1 beer!

  18. By Scott H on Apr 12, 2017 | Reply

    Just a funny little something in regard to stadium names….out here in the Philly area, there were a couple of years where the building occupied by the Sixers / Flyers was sponsored by First Union Bank. See the initials? Yup – it was affectionately known as the F-U Center! And that was PERFECT for Philly!

    I still laugh about that to this day.

  19. By Cardinal on Apr 13, 2017 | Reply

    When it first opened it was CARDINALS Stadium for a very short time.

  20. By clssylssy on Apr 14, 2017 | Reply

    scott…
    LOL, along similar lines one name suggested was The Waste Management Stadium, which happens to be legitimate local corporatiion who took over the naming rights to The Phoenix Open Golf Classic, a major pro golf event on the circuit. Let’s hope that their deep pockets and money doesn’t “color” the organization’s judgement on this issue, which would undermine all the efforts to be taken seriously as a respected football team!

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