It can be argued that Larry Fitzgerald is the best receiver in all of football, but coming off the surprise story that was the Detroit Lions last season, I’m guessing most football fans would give the nod to Calvin Johnson. While “Megatron” can purely snap any pass out of thin air or run for the deep ball, Fitz makes his living between the hash-marks. The Arizona Cardinals finished at a disappointing 8-8 last season falling far short of expectations particularly due to a lack of stability at the quarterback position. You never heard No.11 complain about a quarterbacking issue as he just went out and compiled 80 receptions for 1,411 yards and 8 touchdowns. This offseason Fitz is staying quiet in regards to who he thinks will win the quarterback competition between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton and focusing his attention on mentoring rookie wide out Michael Floyd. Larry Fitzgerald joined KTAR in Arizona with Doug and Wolfto discuss the progress of his offseason, who will win the Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback competition between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, his impressions of rookie Michael Floyd and mentoring Michael Floyd throughout OTAs.
How has the offseason gone for you personally?
“I really liked it. The offseason last year was much better. I liked that offseason. I liked it the best out of all of them in my 8-9 years. It was good that I am back with the guys and working with Coach [John] Lott. [Strength and Conditioning Coach] Just being able to build some of the team camaraderie that you need to build to be a successful unit. 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 OTAs and mini camps under their belt. I think that’s helped their progress when we open up training camp in late July.”
How close do you expect that quarterback competition to be between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton?
“That’s really a question that Coach [Ken] Whisenhunt can probably answer. John McNulty [Quarterbacks Coach] 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.”
What are your impressions of Michael Floyd?
“Well Mike has really made some plays throughout the camp. He really looked good in our Saturday practice out at the stadium making a couple of plays. He consistently catches the ball. He’s strong and physical at the ling of scrimmage. He’s an intelligent young man. He’s really picking up and grasping things. Coach [Mike] Miller [Cardinals Offensive Coordinator] will tell him one thing one time in a meeting and the next day you see him apply on the field. It’s really nice to see a young guy take coaching in the classroom and apply immediately on the football field. I have seen him do that a couple of times. We got some big guys. Some talented guys. Andre Roberts has been looking really good. Early Doucet has been looking strong. DeMarco Sampson too. I’m really excited about our receiving core and I think we are going to be a forced to be reckoned with when we open up.”
Do you seek out Michael Floyd and try to mentor him at all? Do you want him to come and approach you?
“I think it is a little bit of both. I don’t ever want to come off like ‘Hey I am here and you got listen to what I am saying.’ 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 7,8,9 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.