Fitz eloquent in his thoughts on Denny Green

Posted by Darren Urban on July 25, 2016 – 9:39 am

The passing of former coach Dennis Green came as a surprise last week. It was also a little bit a surprise when Larry Fitzgerald — who had known Green much of his life — didn’t weigh in. Today, it became clear why, as Fitz was apparently working on a longer piece about his feelings for Green on The Players’ Tribune.

Green played a huge role in Fitz’s life. As Fitz notes right off the top, Green got him the only two jobs he’s had — as Vikings ballboy, and then drafting him to be a Cardinal. What struck me in the well-written article was the part where Fitz acknowledged the pressure he felt as the No. 3 overall pick, knowing the Cardinals could have instead drafted a Ben Roethlisberger or Philip Rivers.

“I also remember that after that initial wave of excitement wore off, I felt a lot of stress,” Fitzgerald wrote. “Because I knew that I wasn’t just another player that the Cardinals were taking a chance on. I knew Coach had a big hand in having the team draft me with the No. 3 pick when they could have taken guys like Ben Roethlisberger or Philip Rivers. The Cardinals already had a young Pro Bowl receiver in Anquan Boldin. Wide receiver wasn’t a need position for them. So my emotions went from joy to feeling a lot of pressure. I didn’t want to let Coach Green down. I knew I had to go out there and perform well so people would know that he had done that he did a good job evaluating me. All I wanted was to do right by him.”

I don’t think there’s any question Fitzgerald made Green look good with the pick. It didn’t hurt that the Cardinals and Green eventually signed Kurt Warner, too, so that helped the cause.

Having covered that team, there was never really any question the Cardinals and Green were going to target Fitz. Even now, Fitz jokes that he could have been the No. 1 overall pick if it hadn’t been for Josh McCown-to-Nate Poole. But that was only part of a relationship that started when Fitz was 9, and why last week’s news was such a blow to the future Hall of Famer.

Dennis Green, Larry Fitzgerald

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Posted in Blog | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Fitz eloquent in his thoughts on Denny Green”

  1. By Scott H on Jul 25, 2016 | Reply

    Well, thank you Josh McCown! Who knew where that highly un-likely win would lead??

    My sincerest condolences over the loss of Denny Green. Very sad. I always liked him, even when he was the HC for the Vikings. He was THE guy I wanted to be the HC here when they hired him. When they did, I remember thinking …yes. THIS is the move they needed to make to start turning this thing around. And even though the winning records and the playoffs didn’t come until Whiz was here, I really think the foundation was starting to go down under Green.

    It is a REAL shame he is probably more instantly known to so many people for his post-game rant after that Mon Night game against the Bears than anything else. He was so much more than that.

    Arians, Whiz, and Tobin are my favorite coaches, in that order. But Denny Green is right behind them.

  2. By Scott H on Jul 25, 2016 | Reply

    Wow, thinking back over previous coaches, I realize the remarkable similarity of the paths that McGinnis and Arians took to become Cardinals head coaches – they both interviewed with the Bears first and they both appeared VERY close to getting that job. Then, it fell through for both of them and they both landed here.

    For what it’s worth, I liked McGinnis very much, too. He was kinda the last head coach to operate under the “old” way of doing things around here. Seemed like it started to turn around under Green. The wins weren’t there yet, but you could FEEL the culture start to change.

    And the new stadium sure didn’t hurt.

    Darren, can you clarify some history for me here? Didn’t McGinnis basically have the Bears job but then the Bears made an announcement before truly finalizing everything with him? And didn’t that upset McGinnis to the point where he pulled out and said no thanks? I am remembering something along those lines…..

  3. By Darren Urban on Jul 25, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: McGinnis/Bears

    That is correct.

  4. By Eric Toomer on Jul 29, 2016 | Reply

    I wrote a long post about denny on my facebook account, but I became very sad when I heard he had passed from a heart attack. What a Man and a Coach! God Bless Him and His Family R.I.P.

  5. By Eric Toomer on Jul 29, 2016 | Reply

    Fitz is just The Man! Beautiful Piece!!

  6. By B South on Jul 31, 2016 | Reply

    Coach Green was the biggest reason I became a Cardinal fan. HE built the the foundation of a winning team, starting with Larry. Whiz didn’t know how to drive the car but Coach Arians is taking us to the top of the mountain! Thank you Coach Green for getting the car started. Rest easy my man.

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