Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was a guest on Wednesday on NFL Network's Total Access and he discussed a number of topics, most of which centered on quarterbacks. While nothing he said was groundbreaking, it did reveal a few things.
After calling last season "the most frustrating" of his career, he has enthusiasm for 2013, saying that the frustration from 2012 "has fueled this offseason and in preparing myself for a big year." He knows that the NFC West will be a challenging division, but he is excited about the changes, saying that "everyone is geared up for training camp next Thursday.
He was asked about how he grew from having Kurt Warner as his quarterback. He spoke very fondly of Warner. This is what he answered in its entirety.
"I was fortunate to have Kurt for so many years. He taught me so much, not only as a football player, but as a man. I truly value the relationship he has allowed me to have with him. I miss him dearly, but he's got his nice cushy chair there in the NFL studios now and he's having a good time, but I learned a lot. I've taken all the lessons I've learned with him throughout the years and tried to implement them in my game to this day."
The topic of all the other quarterbacks that have thrown him the ball since then was completely ignored and Carson Palmer was the next question.
Fitz said that he was most impressed at how quickly Palmer learns things. "You only have to tell him something one time," he explained. "He picks it up real quick. He's demanding. He holds everybody accountable. He's got great leadership ability. He's got an even keeled disposition, but he really cares. He's passionate about it. He wants to be good and that attitude is infectious amongst our group. It's great to have that leader in the huddle and all the guys are chomping at the bit to catch some passes from him this season."
He even went as far to say that Palmer can take the team to the Super Bowl.
"He's got all the ability in the world," he said. "He can make every throw. He can make the downfield throw, he can make the over the middle throw, he can make the throw under duress. He's good at reading the defenses and I'm really happy that he's with our team. We're fortunate to have his services and the sky's the limit with him. When you have a guy that talented surrounded by a group of guys that want to get better and are willing to do whatever it takes to dig themselves out of the cellar of our division that we were in last year, we're ready and chomping at the bit for it."
In other things, he commented that he thinks that cornerback Patrick Peterson probably has the second best hands on the team (behind Fitz, of course). He also talked about how the coaching staff had a checklist of things they wanted him to do in the offseason to get better. He specifically mentioned playing multiple positions. I wonder what those other things were.
it is interesting how even to this day Fitz gets asked questions about Kurt Warner. In this instance I am sure it had something to do with the fact that Warner is part of the NFL Network team, but you can tell just how much on an effect he had on Fitz.
At the same time, he always speaks very highly of every quarterback, but this time it is the first guy with an established track record of being a solid player at the position.
What is perhaps the most impressive part of what Fitz said about Palmer is the mental side. We know he can make the throws. What will serve him best in the Arians offense is that he learns things quickly and only has to be told once. There is no more issue with Kevin Kolb and having a hard time learning the new offense because he had been in another, or John Skelton, who simply was not one to pick up the playbook quickly. There will be no limitations because of the knowledge of the playbook or protections.
Does Fitz think that Palmer can lead them to the Super Bowl? Yes, of course he does. But he also recognizes that it also takes the players around him to be willing to do what winners do -- and that is sacrifice self for the team, which is not easy.
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- Arizona Cardinals training camp 2013: Previewing the linebackers
- Arizona Cardinals preseason preview: Defensive depth - how much is too much?
- Arizona Cardinals 2013 training camp: Previewing the cornerbacks
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