It seems counter-intuitive, honestly. You want your highest-paid wide receiver to at least have a chance to receive when you are throwing a pass right? But profootballfocus.com (and more specifically, PFF writer Sam Monson) tweeted that it was Larry Fitzgerald who led all NFL wide receivers in snaps in pass protection last season, with seven. In other words, seven times last season when the Cardinals dropped back to pass, Fitz was used to block and not go out for a pass. (For comparison’s sake, Monson notes that Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was used in pass pro only 13 times, while new Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham, playing for the Saints, was used in pass pro 27 times.)
This all folds into the story of Fitz’s evolving role since Bruce Arians arrived. He plays the slot a lot more often. He’s asked to block more than he ever has (and he’s become a pretty good blocker too, especially in the run game.) It’s not Fitz’s first choice, which I’m sure isn’t a surprise to anyone. But he’s clearly come to terms with where he is in his career and with this team, because otherwise, he wouldn’t have made sure he returned.
Tags: Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham, Larry Fitzgerald
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