Super Bowl week means players and coaches doing a ton of interviews. After Arizona Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill made the rounds on Thursday, head coach Bruce Arians did on Friday. He was a guest on Fox Sports Radio 910 with Mike Jurecki and Jody Oehler, and, of course, one of the questions was about Larry Fitzgerald.
Will Fitz return to the Cardinals in 2015?
"I'm hoping and praying every day it does happen," Arians said. "It's obviously up to Larry. We expressed to him personally how much we want him back and how much he means to us and to retire a Cardinal."
In another interview with Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Arians said "he would be lying" if he didn't feel nervous about the possibility of Fitz leaving. "We definitely and desperately want him to stay, and he knows that," he said. Again he reiterated, "it's really his decision."
Of course Arians wants him back. Fitz can do everything. He has become "the ultimate team player" because of his willingness to do everything in the offense.
Fitz would rather catch footballs and play outside, where he had played almost exclusively since high school through 2012. But he has learned all the receiver positions and blocks more. His numbers aren't what they once were, but were it not for a knee injury and the loss of Carson Palmer to injury, Fitz was on place for almost 80 catches and 1100 yards.
Arians lauded him for what else he does on offense .
"Larry has become one of the best blockers, like Hines Ward, in the league," he said. "He's a feared blocker at times. You really have to be a football player to have that role. But he knows how much it helps the team. He's learned to play in the slot well, he can still play outside. He can do just about everything you want in the offense."
So the feeling as to whether Fitz will stay or go has a range. Michael Bidwill made it seem it is a certainly -- no doubt at all.
Arians is "hoping and praying."
Fitz, who was interviewed by 12 News' Kim Covington, was much more diplomatic and the report said "he could envision himself playing for another team next year."
The interesting thing is the comment Arians made twice about how it is up to Larry.
After all, he is still under contract. It is up to him to decide whether he is willing to redo his deal, but it is up to the team whether to decide to keep him or not.
On the Burns and Gambo show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, John Gambadoro went off on the subject. He said it isn't on Larry at all because he is under contract.
At the same time, it appears the Cardinals have made their decision. They can't keep him with a salary cap number of $23.6 million. Since they have made that decision, I guess it falls on Larry to play ball.
Like Arians, most Cardinals fans are also hoping and praying Fitz still dons Cardinal red in 2015.
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