Found December 28, 2012 on
Fox Sports Arizona:
TEMPE, Ariz. Larry Fitzgerald was in a jovial mood this week. On Wednesday, he gave erstwhile practice squad receiver Kerry Taylor a good ribbing for the extra cash he was due to collect for his promotion to the 53-man roster. On Thursday, he chided a male reporter with an ample midriff, asking, Whens the baby due?
Maybe it was the holiday season that had him feeling so good. Maybe it was the sight of his most recent paycheck. Maybe it was his offseason travel itinerary. Or maybe it was just the simple pleasure of coming to work.
For many reasons, it does not suck to play in the NFL, Fitzgerald said with a wide grin. I keep everything in perspective. At the end of the day, Im living my dream.
Its been a trying season for the Cardinals. Once 4-0, the team has lost 10 of its last 11 games. There have been war-like numbers of casualties. There have been public expressions of displeasure with the coaching staff from Darnell Dockett and Beanie Wells. There have been four quarterbacks behind center, and there wont be any playoff games for a third straight season.
There has been speculation about the futures of Dockett, Wells, Adrian Wilson and Kevin Kolb, and there has been speculation about the future of coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves.
With all that negativity surrounding the club -- and fan and media criticism only fueling the fire -- you would think the Cardinals couldnt wait to finish the season this Sunday in San Francisco.
You might want a fresh start so you have a chance at making the playoffs, but nobody wants to stop playing, linebacker Paris Lenon said. This is what you wanted to do your whole life.
Its easy to forget that for 61 players and a coaching staff, the definition of work is playing and coaching a game they have loved since childhood. Every day. Together.
The best time of the day is when youre out here with the guys, Whisenhunt said. All the other stuff, thats part of this league; thats part of football, and I understand.
Were frustrated that we havent won more games, but Im proud of the way our guys have continued to play hard.
Even Lenon, a veteran player with a well-traveled past and a deeper perspective on life than most, admitted there were times this season when the weekly losing got to him.
Its almost human nature to get discouraged and go in a funk, he said. But I think, just being a professional athlete, you have to be almost machine-like in the way you approach things and look at things.
Regardless of the circumstance, you have to approach each situation and each opportunity one way, and thats to make the most of it -- to play as hard as you can and not let reality or your record or whats going on or what people might say about you affect what you do.
Thats imperative, Fitzgerald said, because he has been given a rare opportunity.
Im one of 1,500 men around the world that can actually say that they are playing in this league. Thats an exclusive group, he said. Its everybodys dream and goal at the beginning of the year to hoist that Lombardi Trophy its all-consuming but it still doesnt take away from all the work that weve put in the last six or seven months out here. And it doesnt take away the relationships you have. These are lifelong bonds you build here.
Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
According to Don Banks of SI.com, it looks like Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Wisenhunt will be fired after six seasons in the desert. General manager Rod Graves may also get fired or given a demotion instead. The Cardinals’ collapse after a 4-0 start this season is expected to lead to head coach Ken Whisenhunt and the team parting ways after six seasons, and general manager...
Don Banks of SI.com reported that Cardinals head coach Ken Wisenhunt is likely gone in Arizona, while Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that he’s expected to be back for next season. All we can do now is wait things out and see what does or does not happen to Wisenhunt. I continue to believe it would be unfair to fire Wisenhunt who’s had a horrible offensive line and quarterback...
Arizona's Patrick Peterson is headed to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his two seasons in the NFL.
This one, he said, means more because he has been chosen as a cornerback. Last year, as a rookie, he made the Pro Bowl as a punt returner.
Patrick, as confident as they come in pro football, says he expected the selection and considers it a reward for the hard work he has...
Brian Hoyer is expected to get his first NFL start this week after being claimed a few weeks ago by the Cardinals. We had said on the site that this move would be coming, because Hoyer is a gamer and they will want to see what he can do for them before the end of the season.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Wednesday the former Michigan State quarterback and New England backup will start...
In a miserable season for his Arizona Cardinals, defensive coordinator Ray Horton is nonetheless a rising star in NFL coaching circles.
Expect Horton to be interviewed for some head coaching positions this offseason. Perhaps even in Arizona, should the Bidwill family decide to fire coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Horton was saying all the right things Friday after the team's final practice...
Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports reports that “word around the league” is that Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt is safe from receiving the pink slip this offseason.
Cole adds that Chicago’s Lovie Smith and Detroit’s Jim Schwartz are also likely to be retained for another season.
Previous reports mentioned that the Cardinals had at one point thought about replacing Whisenhunt...
The Arizona Cardinals will give Brian Hoyer his first NFL start less than three weeks after the team claimed him off waivers from Pittsburgh.
It is only the matter of a few more days before the expected firing of head coach Andy Reid from the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid is currently the longest tenured head coach in the NFL, a streak which will end in about 72 hours or so. Reid will land a job with any team he wants after his release. He’s a good coach but a change is needed in Philadelphia where the organization needs...
Last week: 27 (+0)
Net points per drive: -0.34 (25th)
DVOA: -16.5% (26th)
Weighted DVOA: -23.8% (28th)
RE Calais Campbell: 1 sack and 3 quarterback hurries on 27 pass rush snaps, 1 batted pass, 6 solo tackles, 1 assist, 6 stops
QB Ryan Lindley: 17 of 30 for 141 yards and 1 interception, 2 batted pass, 2 drops, 69.7 adjusted QB rating, pressured on 8 of 32...
NinersDigest’s Craig Massei and AZRedReport’s Brad Wilbricht go Behind Enemy Lines to take an inside look at 49ers/Cardinals. How did Arizona’s season disintegrate after a 4-0 start? Will any of the Cards’ four starting QBs this year be back in 2013? Why hasn’t the NFL’s 12th-ranked defense made the Cards a better team? Is Ken Whisenhunt on his way out as Arizona coach...
The Arizona Cardinals will visit the San Francisco 49ers in Week 17. FOX will carry this game which has a 4:25 pm EST kickoff.
San Francisco will look to win their second consecutive NFC West title against a team which has never found the right quarterback.
What is the point spread in the 49ers and Cardinals game? The 49ers are 16.5 point favorites against the Cardinals. The over...
Arizona Cardinals (5-10) at San Francisco 49ers (10-4-1)
It’s usually a smart thing to take well coached teams off a loss. They’re generally extra focused in a bounce back game the following week. Bill Belichick is 35-20 ATS off a loss since 2000. Mike McCarthy is 22-13 ATS in that spot since 2006. Mike Tomlin is 17-13 ATS in that spot since 2007. Sean Payton is 20-12 ATS in...
The Arizona Cardinals have placed tight end Rob Housler on injured reserve and promoted wide receiver Kerry Taylor to the active roster.
Housler is the team's third-leading receiver with 45 catches for 417 yards and a touchdown. He injured his shoulder in Sunday's 28-13 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Taylor, who grew up in nearby Chandler, Ariz., and played for Arizona State...