Every year at the Super Bowl, Larry Fitzgerald has a day where he does a series of interviews on Radio Row and with TV stations. He has endorsement obligations to get in front of all the media types to put out whatever endorsement message he has, and fields a bunch of other football questions. Some years, the questions are a little more interesting that others, and obviously, he dropped into the middle of Peyton Manning week out there in Indy.
Early in the day, Fitz appeared on ESPN radio with “Mike and Mike,” and was asked about the speculation of Manning and Arizona. “Everybody, if you play receiver, would love to play with a quarterback like Peyton Manning,” Fitz said. “Anyone in your right mind would want to play with him.”
But on a couple of interviews, including one with Bickley and MJ on XTRA 910, Fitzgerald was clear about his support for current quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.”We have two really good quarterbacks on the roster right now,” Fitzgerald said. “We showed we can win with both of them. With an offseason, I think Kevin is going to do a lot better. … It will pay dividends for us.”
Asked if the locker room had lost confidence in Kolb, Fitzgerald couldn’t say no quickly enough, even pointing to the times the players hadn’t lost faith in Kurt Warner during his bumpy stretches, especially in 2006. With Kolb, “you can’t lose confidence in someone who has been hurt,” Fitzgerald said. “The guy has a lot of talent.”
Fitz did note on “Mike & Mike” that having Peyton available could make it awkward for any team, which of course would include the Cards, if they pursued Manning. “People are always going to get their feelings hurt,” Fitz acknowledged, “… but you know Peyton is an upgrade to what you already have.”
Tom James of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, who has covered the Colts for years, reported mid-day that Fitz and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning were expected to have dinner, which obviously caught everyone’s eye. Fitzgerald and Manning are friends — Fitz seems to be friends with pretty much every high-profile player this is — and so it could mean nothing about the future. But it’s hard to believe, with everything happening, the subject wouldn’t come up.
Fitzgerald, on XTRA, tap-danced around the dinner subject. “Man, I don’t even have Peyton’s phone number”
(As I noted on Twitter earlier today, Fitz does the “Who, me?” thing better than anyone else.)
Asked directly if he was going to have dinner, Fitz said “No, no, no.” Might he see Manning at all this week? “If I see him I’m going to give him a hug like I do when I see him, he’s a good dude and he’s a great ambassador for the game, but I still don’t believe Indianapolis is going to let him go.”
If he was let go, Fitzgerald guessed there would be “at least 15” teams that would look into signing Manning. “Even teams that I would say are solid at the quarterback position, the New York Jets, someone that they are confident they have someone in the stable that can lead their team but Peyton is an upgrade … there are a ton of teams,” Fitzgerald said.
It was suggested the Cards would be one of those teams. If so, what would Fitzgerald think about that? Fitz paused for a moment. “I’m like everybody else in Arizona. I just want to win.”
It was really the only things he could say. Fitzgerald has to walk a fine line, and in the belly of the media beast Thursday, the questions were unavoidable. One thing Fitz has stayed consistent with was the end result — the winning part of the equation. He doesn’t tap dance around that at all.
“The hourglass has turned over on me,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m going into my ninth season now. I’m not getting any younger and the window of opportunity is closing. As an athlete, you have a shelf life. Simple as that.”
Tags: Larry Fitzgerald, Peyton Manning
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