Larry Fitzgerald is coming off yet another dynamic season as the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver totaled 1,411 yards and eight touchdowns with 80 receptions. The Cardinals were not very good but they expect to take a serious step forward this season at quarterback.
The club is staging a competition between Kevin Kolb, the big acquisition a year ago, and John Skelton. How does Fitzgerald see it breaking down? Wisely, it sounds like he’s trying to stay out of those decisions, at least publicly.
“Just being able to build some of the team camaraderie that you need to build to be a successful unit,” Fitzgerald said during a visit on KTAR in Phoenix, according to sportsradiointerviews.com. “I know Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, the quarterbacks, wanted to get some continuity. This is their first offseason or John’s second and Kevin’s first real offseason to be able to work and I know those guys really wanted to get out there and get a couple of OTA’s and minicamps under their belt. I think that’s helped their progress when we open up training camp in late July.”
How the competition will break down? Fitzgerald passes that hot potato to coach Ken Whisenhunt.
“That’s really a question that Coach Whisenhunt can probably answer. (Quarterbacks coach) John McNulty can answer better. I really just try to stay out of it as much as I possibly can. Just try to make my plays and do what I am coached to do and be responsible for that. The cream rises to the top. I know by Week 1 when we go out there we’ll have our guy. We’ll be supportive of that person.”
Fitzgerald is doing his best to help bring along Michael Floyd, the first-round draft pick from Notre Dame.
“I don’t ever want to come off like ‘Hey I am here and you got listen to what I am saying,’” Fitzgerald said. “I rather have him see me continue to work on my craft, watch what I am doing, how I am in the classroom. Those type of things. Those kind of things rub off on guys and if he ever had any questions he knows he can always ask me at the house or on the phone for whatever he wants to ask me. I am always willing to help him because I know I would have been a much better player if I had a seven-, eight- , nine-year veteran that would have been able to teach me about coverages and routes and things like that.
“It’s one thing for me to coach it, but it’s different from seeing it from here and being able to relay it to you in real time. I think I can definitely be a big advantage to him and he utilizes me. He asks me questions. He asks coaches questions. He’s eager. He wants to learn. He wants to improve on that willingness that he has right now and it’s going to pay dividends for him throughout his career.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune