We all know that Arizona Cardinals star receiver Larry Fitzgerald is a great teammate, great ambassador for the game and an excellent football player. He is also very good at saying just the right things, whether it be dissuading a rumor or deflecting a tough question. He showed his stuff recently while interviewing on Fox Sports Radio with Petros and Money. The obligatory talk of the lockout came up, but the most interesting parts of the interview were when discussing quarterbacks, specifically Donovan McNabb, who has been working out with Fitz at ASU, and former Arizona Cardinal Matt Leinart,
Fitz downplayed the fact that McNabb is working out here in Arizona, almost as if to say "don't look deeper into this than it looks." McNabb "lives right up the street," according to Fitz and that the fact he is at the workouts is "not really a big deal" because he is not the only player from other teams working out with the group. The whole idea of getting players together is because, as Fitzgerald explained, "it's more about guys getting the work in and at the end of the day we're a fraternity."
While I really don't think there is anything there as to the possibility of having McNabb play for Arizona, it looks like after the report of Fitz' having supposedly named Kevin Kolb as a quarterback, he is a little more careful about his words. But make no mistake, considering their friendship, surely Donovan McNabb would get the No. 11 stamp of approval as Cardinals quarterback.
He was also asked about Matt Leinart and why he failed as a quarterback. Fitzgerald was as classy as ever.
"I wouldn't go as far as to say he failed or anything like that. We just went in a different direction. Matt's a heck of a player. I think you can all attest for that watching him grow up in the LA area, playing at SC, Heisman Trophy, National Championships, he's got all the ability that you could ever want in a quarterback. The things just didn't work out here in Arizona, but the future is still bright for him. He has time to latch onto a team and lead another organization."
I can only imagine how hard it is to have to speaking with guarded words all the time. It is impossible to know if he was disappointed with how things played out with Leinart or if he was part of the reason why he was let go. When you deal with competition, winning and relationships all at the same time, it gets messy. You don't want to hurt the teammate bond, but you also want to show accountability.
That bonding is what caused Fitzgerald to "organize" these informal workouts, although he downplays the idea that he was the organizer. Regarding the lockout and these workouts, Fitz said this:
"Some of the guys showed up to get the workout and throw the ball around. I think the thing that you really miss is being in the locker room, being around the guys, the team camaraderie, just that special bonding time that you have with your guys. I think we're able to get that right now but there is nothing like being in the locker room."
This lockout is really pointless. The owners will lose money, the players want to play and miss playing and competing and the rest of us, the fans, are relegated to small crumbs of football and connections to the fans we love.