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Fitz remembers all, Friday before the Texans

Posted by Darren Urban on November 17, 2017 – 3:48 pm

The last time the Cardinals played in Houston in a game that counted, Larry Fitzgerald was only 22 years old, in the days when the Cards never talked about the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t remember. Fitz was asked this week about a 12-yard touchdown pass he caught in the game – a loss to a Texans team so bad they ended up with the No. 1 overall draft pick – and it took him no time to recall that it was the great John Navarre who threw him the pass.

“I have a photographic memory,” Fitzgerald said. “Slant route in garbage time. Fantasy owners were happy.”

Fitz proceeded to say he remembers almost every catch he’s ever made, and that’s quite a few. I mean, that’s 1,185 in his career and counting – a number that came into even sharper focus Friday morning with Fitz’s contract extension through 2018. As I said before, it’s good he’s under contract but for me, it doesn’t guarantee Fitz playing next season. Good sign, yes. But until I hear it from his mouth – I am guessing it will be a topic postgame Sunday – I can’t go all in.

This season, though, Fitzgerald is here and playing very well. If you can have a quiet 10-113 as a receiver, Fitz did last week against the Seahawks. With Blaine Gabbert starting Sunday, I’m guessing the new QB will lean on Fitz targets again, both because, duh, he’s a Hall-of-Famer-to-be, but also because of the troubles the pass catchers not named Fitz had with drops/near-catches against Seattle.

— It made a lot of sense all week that Gabbert would get the nod to play Sunday. He’s healthy. Drew Stanton is not. Bruce Arians wanted to keep Stanton in the lineup, and I do agree with B.A. that Stanton played pretty well against Seattle. Gabbert is playing because of injury but I also understand the idea of getting a chance to see what Gabbert can do, in this offense, in a game that counts.

— Fitz was asked if Gabbert’s success in the preseason gives him confidence in the new QB. It led to a long pause. “I’ve been in it a long time,” Fitzgerald finally said. “Preseason is preseason. I’ve seen him have success in regular-season games.”

— Interesting (to me, at least) that the Cards become the first team to start three QBs this season, given that it comes against the Texans. The long-ago loss in Houston, in which Navarre found Fitz? It was the only time the Cardinals have played three quarterbacks in a game. Kurt Warner started, completed all 10 of his passes (Fitz isn’t the only one who remembers all this stuff off the top of his head) before exiting with a knee injury. Josh McCown was the backup and came in, but he was horribly ill that day and he couldn’t continue. So the Cards turned to Navarre.

— Arians was asked about those receivers this week after the struggles they had collectively. “Practice is fine,” he said. “When those lights turn on … it’s going to be a big week for them.”

— The Cardinals have only played the Texans three times in the regular season. The loss in 2005, and the Cardinals getting home wins in 2009 and 2013.

— Stanton hurt his right knee when he was hit low by Seattle defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, who was flagged on the play (and it kept alive the TD drive that ended with the Stanton TD screen pass to Jermaine Gresham). Richardson was fined $18,231 for his play, and was not happy about it. Also fined $18,231 was Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby, who was flagged for the hit to Russell Wilson’s jaw. Dansby is appealing, and the Seahawks are still dealing with the fallout for not properly checking Wilson for a concussion.

— Corey Peters has been solid in the middle of the defensive line this season. Not having him in the lineup is notable. The Texans are going to want to run to protect struggling QB Tom Savage. We will see who plugs the middle of the line.

— The Texans are putting former all-pro wide receiver Andre Johnson, their version of Fitz, into their Ring of Honor at halftime Sunday. Current star receiver DeAndre Hopkins was asked to name his favorite Johnson play. It turned out he named a reception over Patrick Peterson in Arizona in 2013.

Late in the game, Johnson was blanketed by Peterson, who actually got his hand on the ball and looked like he might get an amazing end zone interception. Instead, the ball bounced and Johnson somehow tipped it to himself and kept his feet in. (Here, look for yourself, around the 52-second mark.)

“I don’t know how he caught it,” Hopkins said.

— Fitz on Johnson: “He exudes class. He’s one of the best to ever do it. This is just a precursor to greater things down the road. He’s a Hall of Fame talent. I’m happy as a fan of his to witness and see it go up.”

— One final Fitz note. It was mentioned in his “A Football Life” episode that he buys suits for all the coaches. Fitzgerald said he’s been doing that “forever.”

“Our success on the field, it says our numbers, but those guys spend hours … (assistant head coach) Tom Moore is here at 4 o’clock in the morning every morning figuring out new innovate ways to be able to feature guys like myself and Adrian (Peterson),” Fitz said. “A lot of hard work was put into those schemes and you want to do right by those guys.”

“They all get custom stuff, make sure they look good. Some of them look better than others.”

See you in Houston.


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19 Responses to “Fitz remembers all, Friday before the Texans”

  1. By JTDG on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    The Texans;
    No Deshawn Watson, No JJ Watt, No Whitney Merciles, No Will Fuller, No Derek Newton.

    The Cardinals;
    No Palmer, No Humphries, No Iupati, , No Peters, No Stanton, No Branch, No Golden, No David Johnson,

    Get ready folks for some preseason football.

  2. By dynosoar on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    A quote by Larry in this article

    “Fitz on Johnson: “He exudes class. He’s one of the best to ever do it.”

    Well, as every elementary school kid has said a thousand and one times, it takes one to no one. This team has been truly blessed to have Larry, and others as well.

    2018 Super Bowl, for Larry. Let’s win. (and we’re not out yet, we’d have to win out and have many other teams lose out, some of them we’ll play again (LAR & SEA), and I have no delusions we will win out, but man that Would Be EPIC!

  3. By NJAzCardsFan on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Gabbert starting finally….. This should be interesting. I know the Cards will win.
    AP will have 100+ game as does Fitz. I think Gabbert will surprise a lot of folks.
    He has a better team, better receivers behind him. If he doesn’t do it now, he never will.

  4. By Dr. G. on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks, Darren, for that little video favorite of AndreJ…you know I would appreciate it, huh? Among many…Megatron, JulioJ, Smith etc… CB is a tricky proposition…there are no shut downs…just the best effort you can give.

    Really looking fwd to the 1st Gabbert 🏈 💣 to Fitz for 6 this Sunday!! I’m hoping for a good Gabbert showing…could be a huge effect on the draft. Be well…

  5. By D on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    Both Punters better get plenty of rest Saturday night, this game may set a record for most 3 and outs.

    USC v UCLA today, should be a nice preview of future Browns and Giants QBs.

    Offseason for AZ will be determined by BA. He is under contract for 2018, and like I said before, no way Mr. B would fire him. My guess will be if Palmer is brought back for the last 2 games, then I will guess he will retire at end of the year. Doubtful Palmer will end his career on the IR.

  6. By Steve on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    Darren: If Gabbert plays well and the Cards win, could he get the nod moving forward even when Stanton heals up?

  7. By Darren Urban on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: QB

    We will see.

  8. By dynosoar on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG,

    preseason? So you’re feeling optimistic about the game? Haha, kidding.

    Kam Chancellor is out and reports are for the remainder of the season. Without him and Sherman, Seattle’s beatable by us, and this week we can win against the Texans. That’s two.
    Giants is three, Redskins are four.

    Jags, Titans are unknowns for me and I’m not sure if the Rams lose again this season. We’re in for a Wild Card if we can win at least 6 out of the next seven. Man I’m dreaming big. Don’t wake me up, I’m dreaming.

    My biggest question is, after we play the Rams again will we have a QB left on the roster? For years Quarterbacks “seem” to get injured more against the Rams than any other team. I’m going to research data on that one.

  9. By dynosoar on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    With the loss – win pattern we’ve established, we win against the Rams ! Woohoo!

  10. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    Turnovers key tomorrow with reserve QBs.

    Call me crazy but each of remaining games winnable, still, with Drew or Gabby.

  11. By Scott H on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    I see where the Seahawks just lost Chancellor for the season. They already lost Sherman. And Thomas was out against the Cardinals. Wow, there goes the Legion of Boom.

    Looks like the Rams are gonna run away with the West this year. Russell Wilson is great but he can’t play defense, too. And they can’t find anyone who can run the ball.

    I feel NO pity for the Seahawks. It’s just a shame that the Cardinals have also been so diminished by their own injuries and don’t have enough to compete in the NFC.

    Oddly enough, one position where we have NOT been diminished by injuries has been WR – it just seems like we have been based on us getting no significant contributions from anyone not named Larry Fitzgerald. That has been a real disappointment. One wonders is Gabbert will help any of these guys – or even any of the TE’s – emerge over the rest of the season.

  12. By Coach K on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    Watching the QB’s today and tonight.

    So far, between Rudolph and Mayfield. No comparison. The Bad Boy Mayfield is clearly the better overall QB.

    Rosen and Darnold play tonight, anxious to see you looks better in that contest.

  13. By dobie on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    If the offense line does not do there job not even Brady could do it hoping for the best

  14. By dobie on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    The reason QB are getting hurt offense line bottom line

  15. By clssylssy on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    Mayfield is without a doubt an impressive athlete but seems immature and crude which would make me skeptical of his leadership abilities as well as his capability to make good decisions. He kinda reminds me a little of a cross between O’dell Becker & Johnny Manziel and doesn’t seem the “type” the Cards have considered a good fit for the team. I would think that anyone considering his ranking in the draft would be more cognizant of how their actions would be perceived by possible future employers. As a QB of the future, he seems to be the anti-Larry Fitzgerald.

  16. By Scott H on Nov 19, 2017 | Reply

    dynosaur –

    RE: Winning 6 of the next 7

    Well, I don’t think we’ve won consecutive games since late 2015. Based on the consistency of THAT track record, we have no shot of running off a 6 games out of 7 run. Really, none.

    The win-loss thing puts you exactly where we were last year and right where we are this year.

    Hey, after a while, you are what your record says you are. So said the great Bill Parcells. And he was right. From the day he made that statement, there has seldom been a statement any truer than that one.

    Don’t hate on me for simply recognizing what a great football mind once said. Send your thumbs downs to Mr Parcells.

    That said, this game seems to be a total coin flip. Both teams are so depleted by injuries…..Cardinals starting Gabbert for the first time…..I don’t even know ( shame on me ) what the QB’s name is who is starting for the Texans….good luck calling this one with any semblance of certainty.

    But finally getting a chance to see what Gebbert might be able to do has my interest at a higher level than it has been.

  17. By Coach K on Nov 19, 2017 | Reply

    Clssylssy

    Mayfield is much thicker than I originally thought. He is compact and muscular. Should be able to handle the NFL beating he will take. I just like his intangibles.

    I am not going to compare him to the spoiled brat that was Manziel. Not even close. He just lets his competitive nature get out of control like it did this week when Kansas refused to shake hands. It lit a fire in Mayfield. Well, it worked. And he torched Kansas.

    He will mature and be fine in the NFL. Hopefully the boy will turn into a man by next years draft. I continue to believe he has that Drew Breeze type throwing ability combined with toughness and attitude I like in a QB.

    Bottom line, he’s a baller and if he slides to the bottom of first round or early second, the Cardinals will be getting one tough hombre as a future QB.

  18. By clssylssy on Nov 19, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K…
    I was at the game & I saw the whole thing. KU is a pathetic excuse for a football team & I personally found it inexcusable that they did not shake Mayfield’s hand irregardless of whatever little drama they had going on. Nonetheless, that did not justify his actions which, in the NFL would have gotten him fined, ejected, or both. My impression was, what an arrogant little punk, hope the Cards aren’t so desperate that they don’t see the warning signs! Yes, he is a baller & I acknowledge he is talented. I think he needs to be on a team strong enough & full of talent as good or better than he is so he will be held in check & continue to grow as a player. I could see him with the Broncos,Steelers, Ravens. I just don’t see him as fitting in with this organization. We don’t have the staff to develop these kinds of “problem children”. I think Donald would be a better fit.

  19. By clssylssy on Nov 19, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K…
    I was at the game & I saw the whole thing. KU is a pathetic excuse for a football team & I personally found it inexcusable that they did not shake Mayfield’s hand irregardless of whatever little drama they had going on. Nonetheless, that did not justify his actions which, in the NFL would have gotten him fined, ejected, or both. My impression was, what an arrogant little punk, hope the Cards aren’t so desperate that they don’t see the warning signs! Yes, he is a baller & I acknowledge he is talented. I think he needs to be on a team strong enough & full of talent as good or better than he is so he will be held in check & continue to grow as a player. I could see him with the Broncos,Steelers, Ravens. I just don’t see him as fitting in with this organization. We don’t have the staff to develop these kinds of “problem children”. I think Donald would be a better fit.

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