One drop too many

Posted by Darren Urban on January 4, 2012 – 4:58 pm

It started with a Tweet, as so many things do these days.

Over at ESPN, Mike Sando noted Larry Fitzgerald had just one drop this season, the lowest total (easily) among the four players (Roddy White, Wes Welker, Calvin Johnson) targeted at least 150 times. Fitz answered back that that was “One too many.” There was only one really obvious drop for Fitz this season, so obvious coach Ken Whisenhunt even called him out for it after the Minnesota game, during the Cards’ dark, dark days of this season.

My access is to Stats, Inc., not ESPN. Stats has Fitzgerald with two drops (which doesn’t shock me; while the Vikings’ one I remember, there were a couple others I remember thinking they could be Fitz drops at the time) among his 154 targets. By way of comparison, Stats has Andre Roberts with 98 targets and four drops, and Early Doucet with 97 targets and six drops.

(Drops, of course, are judgment calls.)

For further comparison, it’s Fitz with those high-volume counterparts, and whether it was one or two, Fitz comes out looking good. Stats lists Welker with five drops in 173 targets, Johnson with six and 158 targets, and White with a stunning 15 drops on 180 targets (and remember, targets are just looking in a guy’s direction; it doesn’t mean it was anywhere near catchable. Stats judged 37 passes that came Fitz’s way this season as a “poor throw.” Three targets were intentionally thrown away, and 25 were either defended or knocked down at the line. )

Drops have never really been a Fitz issue, however. He even had a “perfect” season according to Stats: 2007, and he still had 100 receptions. Fitz’s year-by-year drops:

  • 2011: 2 (80 catches)
  • 2010: 4 (90)
  • 2009: 2 (97)
  • 2008: 2 (96)
  • 2007: 0 (100)
  • 2006: 5 (69)
  • 2005: 1 (103)
  • 2004: 2 (58)

Funny that his two most prolific reception seasons are his lowest drop years too.

P.S. I will be hosting a live chat tomorrow (Thursday) at 12:30 p.m. Arizona time to talk about all things offseason. And in-season. Whatever you want. Click here to join.

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Posted in Blog | 29 Comments »

29 Responses to “One drop too many”

  1. By Shaun Church on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    That is beautiful.

    Hey just curious: how do I get access to Stats, Inc?? That would be just super.

  2. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    Shaun –

    RE: Stats

    I don’t even have access. I have to go through people. It’s a paid service.

  3. By joecb91 on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    The man is incredible.

    By the way, stats question. How many throw-aways did Kolb and Skelton have, and what would their completion percentage be without those? I remember Kolb doing ti a lot more than Skelton.

  4. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    Joecb –

    RE: throwaways

    That I don’t know and am not sure how easy it is to track down.

  5. By AndHeSansSupper on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    Doucet had 6 drops?
    I can’t recall any.

  6. By Scott H on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    Why does it not surprise me at all that one drop is one too many for this guy??? I swear, he could catch 1,000 balls in a season but if he dropped one, THAT ONE would be the one he would remember.

    Thank GOD this man is still an Arizona Cardinal. With all of the utterly ridiculous claims that I have heard on this blog in the past year, THE most ridiculous – BY FAR – were the claims that Fitz should have been traded so we could begin to re-build.

    Yeah…brilliant thinking there.

  7. By BIIRDISTHEWORD on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    Mr. Fitz is a beaaaaast….

  8. By Javi on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    darren what widereceiver do you believe the cardinals will target in free agency

    and if you have no clue, if you were rod graves what would you do at that position?

  9. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    Javi —

    RE: FA wideouts

    I haven’t really looked to see who is available yet. I would definitely look and see who is out there. Someone on Twitter suggested Garcon. I think that’s an intriguing name.

  10. By Shaun Church on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    One day, I will have access. That, sir, is a promise! You should talk to someone within the organization about getting set up; the stuff they come up with gets journalists paid! …though I’m sure that isn’t something you have to worry about, as I do.

  11. By OLDude on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    Of course, the flip side of the drop is the “difficult catch” – the ones a receiver makes that warrant a double take or multiple instant replays…….I bet Fitz leads the league ! What say you Darren?

  12. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    OLDude —

    RE: Difficult catches

    I think that wouldn’t surprise me.

  13. By Guillermo Rabling on Jan 4, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, what do you think about the possibility of the return of coah haley to the cards coaching staff? Do you know something about this?

  14. By Mike in Mesa on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    Wow who is figuring these stats out? Does the home organization get to pick a homer to assess these stats? To say Fitz had one or two drops this season is ludicrous. Now I’d be interested to find out the process for figuring out these stats. Because to me if a pass hits someone in the numbers or hands its a drop. I don’t care about the degree of difficulty. Judgement calls is right on as a description Darren. Who’s the Cards or NFL’s stat official on this, Mother Teresa? Somebody is sure forgiving them their sins.

  15. By cooldaddy79 on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    Im sorry,but Fitz had more then just 1 drop….come on who are you guys trying to fool.? Go CARDS!

  16. By tom on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    darren, doyou think the cards would go after garcon or meachem as their number 2 wr? they wont be cheap and im curious of your thoughts on if they would do it.

  17. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    Tom —

    RE: WR

    I am sure they will take a look at them. Guess it depends on what the asking price would be.

  18. By Javi on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    well darren actually i remembered seeing footage of kevin kolb when he was with the eagles, and in many of his BEST games, his favorite target was usually DeShawn Jackson , which is an Unrestricted freeagent………i believe Kevin Kolb would probably want to push rod graves and ken whisenhunt into signing him and make him our #2 receiver……do you agree

    NOTICE: he was a number 1 receiver with the eagles, and remember that he destroyed us in the NFC championship, with monster catches

  19. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    Javi —

    RE: DeSean Jackson

    I’m not going after a potential head case as my No. 2.

  20. By nodavis2000 on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    Since we’re talking potential no 2 receivers, I thought I’d throw in a quick question. I just read an NFL article that the Chargers probably won’t franshise tag Vincent Jackson. He’s a free agent. I think that he’d be a great addition to our wr group. I mean, that’s a name that just stands out and says, “Take a look…”

    What are your impressions on this? He’s a no. 1 receiver. Do you think the Cards would go after him? Do you think that they could co-exist with Fitz???

    Here’s the article:

  21. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    nodavis2000 —

    RE: Vincent Jackson

    If you are Vincent Jackson, why would you want to go where Fitz is? Makes no sense.

    Not that it matters. He’s going to want a lot of money, and the Cards aren’t going to pay that for a No. 2.

  22. By nodavis2000 on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    I know that our no 1 is Fitzgerald. But to have another no 1 receiver worthy on our squad is freaking great. It reminds of when we had Boldin. Two no 1 WRs on our offense…

  23. By Scott H on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    Does it really matter how many drops Fitz “actually” had this year??? Seriously…even if he had 7 or 8, does it diminish the overall impact that he has? Damn…some people need something else to do with their time, I swear.

  24. By Scott H on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    IF Reggie Wayne is not going to be returning to the Colts – and with Peyton Manning’s future in doubt, who knows? – I wonder if the Cardinals will consider him as an addition. I think he is a VERY GOOD complement to Fitzgerald. The Cardinals appear to be a team potentially on the rise again and the Colts…well, I wonder if Wayne is really gonna want to endure another season (s) like the one he just went through. Without Manning, I think that’s what he would be in for. I say we start paying REAL close attention to what happens out there in Indy.

  25. By Chuck 1 on Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

    I realize that this article is about WRs, but the Cards are NOT going to improve much, if at all, unless Graves fixes the OFFENSIVE LINE PROBLEM.

    Without time to throw, the QBs (whomever they are) will NOT have time to get the ball to the #1, #2, #3 ………….. receivers.

  26. By LUKE on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    Andre Johnson is excellent,Calvin is excellent,welker is very good and on down the list but Larry is the best all around receiver i have Ever seeen,period.Not to mention off the field he is a model for young players

  27. By cardsgo4itall on Jan 9, 2012 | Reply

    I think Fitz deserves a QB that will allow him to win a super bowl because good players like him deserve it, and you would hate to see him end his career as one of the greats that never won a ring, so to make that happen we really should consider dropping that Kolb contract and go after Peyton Manning and we have Skelton as a ligit proven back up, but Manning would be a perfect fit for fitz , then you bring in a Garcon as a number 2 someone Peyton is familiar with, then Fitz will have a chance to win every year for the remainder of his career. as well as Peyton, if Manning looks at his options next year he should see that the dessert and fitz would be his best fit because of the division and the chance to be in the Super Bowl contension every year for at least 6 years.and let a great receiver get what he deserves.

  28. By cardsgo4itall on Jan 9, 2012 | Reply

    what do you guys think of my post? manning to the dessert.

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