We know that Larry Fitzgerald is going to play more than one receiver position in 2013. We know that he is getting accustomed to it. Bruce Arians has said that it is about giving him more opportunities to get catches, creating mismatches for him and other on offense.
The same thing happened in 2012 with Reggie Wayne, and it was fruitful. He dropped from 111 catches and 1355 yards in 2010 to 75 and 960 in 2011. In 2012, moving around, he was back up to what he was used to producing -- 106 catches and 1355 yards.
Fitz had a similar drop in productivity. 2011 to 2012 saw him drop from 80 to 71 receptions, but from 1411 to 798 yards.
Now, part is the change in quarterback that will be enough to improve the numbers. Wayne also had a change from Curtis Painter, et al., to Andrew Luck. Fitz goes from Kevin Kolb/John Skelton/Ryan Lindley/Brian Hoyer (all in one season) to Carson Palmer this year (ideally he is the only one).
But a big difference for Wayne was used. He lined up in the slot a lot more than in previous years. (Info from Pro Football Focus)
In 2011, Wayne ran 580 routes. Only 73 of those came from the slot -- only 12.6 percent of the time. He had 11 of his 111 receptions in the slot. In 2012, He ran 688 routes, but 421 of them from the slot -- 61.2 percent of the time. He had 48 of his 106 catches from there.
Fitz is not quite the stranger to the slot that Wayne was. In 2011, he saw 136 of his 632 pass routes (21.5 percent) and 127 of his 688 routes in 2012 (18.8 percent) from the slot.
You really can't predict how many more catches, but Wayne saw an increase of almost 50 percent of instances in the slot. His receptions increased by 41 percent. A 40 percent increase in catches for Fitz would mean 99-100 catches.
That, of course, is the idea.
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