Larry Fitzgerald made media rounds on behalf of EAS Sports Nutrition on Wednesday, and one of his stops was a chat with me. I asked him about the coaching change and why he thinks that the team can turn things around quickly. I asked him about his offseason regiment, the young receivers in camp and his passing camp in Minnesota.
You can use the player above to listen or the embedded streaming player below, or click here to down load it directly.
Since we have heard him talk a lot about the actual coaching change and Carson Palmer, I went a different direction. I asked him how different it was for him to go through the coaching change than it was in 2007, when Denny Green was fired and Ken Whisenhunt hired.
Fitz said that it was hard personally, but it was different.
"it seems like it was different," he explained. "I was with Coach Green. I know Coach Green. He was like an uncle to me. When he lost his job, I took it hard, and I took it hard with Coach Whisenhunt as well because we had a great relationship. We had some wonderful years in there in Arizona. Anytime you go through a coaching change, it's difficult because of the bonds and relationships you have built with these people. But it's a part of our business, one that you never get used to and one you never want to see, but it is what it is."
As for the relationship with Bruce Arians and his staff, Larry said that the "bond has already been solidified," saying that he really likes the new coaching staff, saying that "it's easy to like them" because "they're all about football."
I was curious about the differences and similarities between Arians and Whisenhunt, not in coaching style, but how they interact with the players. Fitz said that the two of them are very alike and he dispels some of the notion that Whiz could have been better with the players.
"They're both really good with the players, really good player coaches, very intelligent, both of them, offensively," he said. "They have a good pulse and feel for the locker room. They are both tremendous men, human beings. You love playing for them, so there are a lot of similarities."
One thing that was discussed in another interview, with Ian Rapoport, that he believes that the Cards can turn around their fortunes "very quickly."
I asked him why.
"We have so many new components," he explained. "Seattle has the same staff, St. Louis has the same staff, San Francisco has the same staff. We have a brand new general manager, a brand new head coach, a new offensive coordinator, a brand new quarterback -- so many personnel changes that teams won't be prepared us and we'll be able to prepare for them. There's just so many differences. So I think there will be adjustments they will have to make in terms of our personnel packages, and the things that we do different."
This is interesting. One thing that people frequently tout is how continuity is very good for a team. In a division where all the other three teams have had stability, Arizona is cooking up something new. It will be a while before there is solid tape on everything they will do.
So is he more excited this season than others?
That is not the case. His excitement level "is the same every year." He says that he's "like a kid in the candy store" every year.
At the end of mini-camp he said that the coaching staff had a checklist for him to do in the offseason -- one being learning multiple positions. I asked him what the other things were and he said they were "just technique things" the coaches though he needed to get better at. He said he has worked hard to do that.
As he has gotten older, I thought that he would have changed some of his offseason training. He hasn't. He has had the same trainer since he was 16. One thing he does do is watch his diet. He eats a lot of fish and he got Michael Floyd to eat it too, really for the first time.
The team has very little experience at receiver after the main trio of Fitz, Floyd and Roberts. I wanted to get his perspective at who we ought to keep an eye on in the preseason. He named a few.
He mentioned by name Jaron Brown (talented player from Clemson), Kerry Taylor (has a chance to be an explosive player), LaRon Byrd (he has proven it already), Charles Hawkins (does really well getting in and out of his cuts) and Robert Gill. he said it will be "a heated competition" for the final roster spots and that all have been working really hard.
Gill, of treadmill fame, has not yet been razzed by his teammates because they haven't been in the locker room together since then, but Fitz did say he already knew, like the rest of his teammates, that he is "lightning fast."
Regarding his camp in Minnesota, said that what they accomplish is continue to push their bodies and get themselves in top physical condition, but what is most important to him is that he gets to compete. "I love being able to have Andre (Roberts) and Michael (Floyd) to the left and to the right of me and race with them every single day," he said. he truly believes that the constant pushing one another carries over to the regular season.
More from Revenge of the Birds:
- Arizona Cardinals reportedly close to signing tackle Eric Winston, have made offer to John Abraham
- Arizona Cardinals waive OLB, add another to PUP
- A statistical look at Bruce Arians-led offenses
- Arizona Cardinals training camp preview podcast
- Tyrann Mathieu called one of the top rookies in 2013 to watch
Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.