As a prelude to some live video chats we will have in Indianapolis at the Scouting combine — details are still being fleshed out, but the hope is to have all the big decision-makers among the guests –myself and Cards’ analyst Ron Wolfley will be taking part in a video chat Thursday morning at 10 a.m. We’ll talk all things Cardinals — whatever might be on your mind. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to @azcardinals using the hash tag #AZCardsChat.
The video can be seen at www.azcardinals.com/livevideo, which will also be the link to all the combine video chats. Again, more info to come on those, because I will be asking for submitted questions on those as well.
— I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but Josh Weinfuss has a great story on former Cardinal Roy Green, his kidney transplant and how Nicole Bidwill has put herself out there as a dancer to help raise money for the cause. Watch a video of Roy and Nicole here, and maybe donate a couple of bucks to the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona.
Tags: live chat, Nicole Bidwill, Ron Wolfley, Roy Green
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Sure, the Super Bowl is coming Sunday. But there is still time to talk about the Cardinals, so I’ll be doing that in a chat a 1 p.m. today Arizona time (3 p.m. Eastern). If you are interested, the link is right here.
— Speaking of links, here are a couple more.
* Here’s a cool highlight package of Larry Fitzgerald’s greatest hits. Don’t forget Fitz is also up for the NFL’s Man of the Year award, which will be announced Saturday night.
* Nicole Bidwill is taking part in a charity dance competition for her friend, former Cardinals great wide receiver Roy Green, who underwent a kidney transplant. Bidwill is raising money for the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona. My cohort Josh Weinfuss is working on a story for azcardinals.com that should be posted in the next day or so, but you can also watch a video with Bidwill and Green about the situation (and maybe even donate some money.)
* Here’s a quick overview of one of the new members of the front office, Debbie Pollom, who comes to the Cards to work for GM Steve Keim after two decades with the Rams.
Tags: Debbie Pollom, Larry Fitzgerald, Nicole Bidwill, Roy Green
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Larry Fitzgerald and Roy Green have been friends since Fitzgerald came into the NFL. Green, the long-time Cardinal, lives in the Valley and naturally had an “in” to meet and get to know Fitzgerald. Fitz, meanwhile, immediately knew about Green because it was Green’s franchise receiving records that Fitzgerald knew he would be chasing.
“He set the bar high,” Fitzgerald said. “I remember as a rookie looking at his numbers thinking I have a lot of work to do. To have the relationship I do with him now means a lot to me.”
There’s been a lot to talk about recently. Fitzgerald – fresh off guaranteeing his long-term spot with the team by signing a contract extension – has been on a record-breaking binge for the franchise. Fitzgerald had already surpassed Green’s record for career receptions late last season. Then, the past two games, Fitzgerald has passed Green’s franchise marks for touchdown receptions and yards receiving.
(Fitzgerald’s career numbers are now 636 catches for 8,565 yards and 67 touchdowns.)
So the friends and, statistically, two best receivers in franchise history (Anquan Boldin certainly has a place at the table) got together this week for an on-camera interview discussion. It will be featured on Maximum Cardinals in two parts, the first coming Saturday on NBC following Notre Dame football (approximately 4 p.m.) and later will pop up on azcardinals.com.
Green and Fitz talk two to three times a week. Sometimes they go out golfing, although Fitzgerald admits he doesn’t golf as much as sit in Green’s cart while Green plays, and the two talk about life during the round.
Life hasn’t been easy for Green recently. He was in the hospital for serious surgery, and is now just getting back on his feet. He is itching to get back on the golf course. When it comes to his now-former records, however, Green is happy it is Fitzgerald who now owns the marks.
“If anyone was going to break it, thank God it was him,” Green said.
“Those records are going to be so far removed (from mine), I can always say I was second to one of the best to ever play, so it’s OK.”
“Anytime you come to a franchise,” Fitzgerald said, “you want to be one of the best.”
Green said Fitzgerald – along with Boldin – “rejuvenated my interest in football.” That’s why he was thrilled to see Fitz sign his contract extension. “In that way we are similar, when I played even though we weren’t winning ballgames, I thought, ‘I want to be part of turning this thing around,’ ” Green said. “I know he has the same mindset.”
Green also is willing to make much bolder predictions about Fitzgerald than just about lofty franchise records.
“Barring injury, I see the best of all time,” Green said. “I believe that. I know Jerry (Rice) has put substantial numbers up and people think they are out of reach, but that’s part of the competiveness, the mentality … (Larry) wants to be the best and he works to be that.”
Tags: Larry Fitzgerald, Roy Green
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The latest in a series of offseason posts looking back:
There is a fair argument to be made that the course of Cardinals’ history was changed on Nov. 13, 1988. That was the day the Cards beat the New York Giants, 24-17, at Sun Devil Stadium to run their record to 7-4 and reside in first place in the NFC East. It was also the day quarterback Neil Lomax’s career began to spiral to its ugly conclusion.
Some of the details about that season, and Lomax’s end, seem to have gotten cloudy over the years. The big picture was the most painful. Lomax never won another game as a quarterback. The Cards ended up losing their final five games of the season that year and didn’t make the playoffs. And Lomax’s bad left hip ultimately forced his premature retirement.
But it wasn’t as simple as Lomax getting hurt against the Giants and never playing again.
Lomax got hurt in that game against the Giants, but it was a twisted left knee that sent him to the sideline and not his hip. Lomax even threw a touchdown pass – 44 yards to Roy Green – after the play on which he thought he got hurt. At that point, Lomax had 19 touchdown passes and only eight interceptions and the Cards were cruising during their first season in Arizona.
Lomax did come back that season, however. He sat out losses at Houston and at Philadelphia while Cliff Stoudt struggled. He was brought back against a good Giants’ team in New York and was pummeled, completing just 9-of-25 passes for 103 yards and two interceptions in a crushing 44-7 loss. With playoff hopes slipping away, Lomax did OK against the Eagles (29-for-50, 384 yards, one TD, one INT) but the Cards lost at home, 23-17. Then he had a bumpy day against the lowly Packers (15-for-33, 172 yards) in a final loss.
Lomax never played in the regular-season again. He gave preseason work a try in 1989 and went through training camp (pictured below, with Gary Hogeboom to Lomax’s right). But he couldn’t move, and went on injured reserve at the end of training camp. By that point, Lomax was trying to hold out hope he could still play, but it was becoming clear he probably wouldn’t because of the hip. That was crystallized the following January, when Lomax finally retired at age 30. He made two Pro Bowls and could’ve made a third in 1988 had he not hurt his knee. He held most of the Cards’ passing records before Kurt Warner came along.
Hindsight shows Lomax’s hip problem was bad enough that his end was coming regardless, although the way it played out – and the way the Cards’ 1988 season finished up – made for more of a sad narrative.
Tags: Cliff Stoudt, Eagles, Gary Hogeboom, Giants, Kurt Warner, Neil Lomax, Oilers, Packers, Revisionist history, Roy Green
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And now, we take a brief breather on free-agency debate …
The NFL and NFL.com are putting together, for the draft, the greatest 75 draft picks of all time, with fans getting a chance to vote. Each of the 32 franchises had 10 players selected as nominees, which not only had to be good players but bring value to whatever round they were chosen (so does, for example Aeneas Williams in the third round mean more than Peyton Manning first overall?). The list coincides with the 75th NFL draft.
The 10 best Cardinals’ draft picks chosen were (in alphabetical order): wide receiver Anquan Boldin, tackle Dan Dierdorf (pictured below blocking for Jim Ottis), wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver/defensive back Roy Green, safety Tim McDonald, tight end Jackie Smith, running back Charlie Trippi, cornerback Roger Wehrli, Williams, and safety Larry Wilson.
Players are pitted, randomly, in head-to-head matchups and fans vote (through April 18th). Picks 11 through 75 will be unveiled on NFL.com and the NFL Network from April 19-22, with the top 10 unveiled in the network’s draft coverage April 22. Don’t forget the draft is over three days this year. The first round is Thursday night, April 22. The second and third rounds are on Friday night, April 23. And the final four rounds are Saturday, April 24.
Tags: Aeneas Williams, Anquan Boldin, Charlie Trippi, Dan Dierdorf, draft, Jackie Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, Larry Wilson, Roy Green, Tim McDonald
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Larry Fitzgerald’s first catch of the second half was the 500th of his career, getting him to that level in just 87 games — the second-fastest in NFL history to 500. Teammate Anquan Boldin, who did it in 80 games, was the fastest.
Then again, no one looked faster on the Cardinals than rookie LaRod Stephens-Howling, who broke off a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown — the first Cards’ rookie to do so since Roy Green did it against the Cowboys in 1979, a 106-yard return.
Finally, Darnell Dockett already has three sacks today (Vince Young had been sacked just once this season on four starts), a career-high in the regular season and tying the three he notched in the Super Bowl.
Tags: Anquan Boldin, Darnell Dockett, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Larry Fitzgerald, Roy Green, Titans
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