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Tag:Larry Fitzgerald
Posted on: September 1, 2010 2:24 pm
 

Boldin unsurprised by Leinart situation

Posted by Will Brinson

If anyone has a good idea of what's going on in Arizona without being muffled by a "no comment" situation (a la Larry Fitzgerald), it's Anquan Boldin.

And he's not at all shocked by the news that Ken Wisenhunt and Matt Leinart might not get along so swell.

“Honestly no. That’s just because I’ve been there and witnessed the relationship between both Matt and Coach Whisenhunt. So I’m actually not surprised. I don’t really want to speak too much on that because it’s not my problem. If it doesn’t refer to anybody in black and purple, I really could care less.”

I love a good quote like that -- Boldin doesn't want to talk about the situation, but he'll let you at least know what the deal is.

And clearly, the "deal" = "they don't get along."

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Posted on: August 28, 2010 2:52 pm
 

V-Jax agent says they never demanded $50 million

Posted by Will Brinson

The biggest sticking point in the whole "where will Vincent Jackson play, if at all, this season?" situation is money. That's not surprising, because typically when NFL players aren't showing up to camp, that's why. Jackson appeared with Jason LaCanfora on an NFL Network interview last night and discussed his plans for the 2010 season, saying he would "absolutely" sit out the entire year .

The problem with Jackson's plans, in so far as everyone has understood it, is that he wants $50 million over five years and no one -- or, at least the Vikings and Seahawks, the only two teams who have supposedly inquired as to his price tag -- wants to pay it.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk did something smart Saturday morning, though: he called Neil Schwartz and asked him about the deets on Jackson's demands. Turns out there's a little more than meets the eye.

"There's no truth to the report that we asked for $50 million over five years and $30 million guaranteed," Schwartz told PFT by phone this morning. "We only talked concepts with the Seahawks, and I specifically mentioned players like [Cowboys receiver] Roy Williams, [Bills receiver] Lee Evans, [Falcons receiver] Roddy White, who we represent, [Dolphins receiver] Brandon Marshall, and [Cardinals receiver] Larry Fitzgerald. No numbers were mentioned."

Now, it's really impossible to know if Schwartz is 100 percent telling the truth; someone told the Vikings and Seahawks that Jackson wanted $10 million a year (which, yes, as we've previously established, is way too much for a guy with off-field issues and potential baggage to demand).

But, as Florio notes, it's entirely possible that it was the Chargers who told the Vikings and Seahawks that Jackson's camp was looking for such a big contract. The logic there is that a) Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune was the one reporting the number, and his sources clearly lie more closely with one side than the other, and b) Schwartz never got permission to speak with the Vikings -- for Minny to find out that Jackson was "too expensive" for them, the information would have most likely come from the Chargers.

The long and short of this is that as much as Jackson may say he's willing to be a Charger this year, there's enough tension/anger/etc between the two sides that things might be irreconcilable.

That's why we're getting numerous PR-looking statements and interviews and actions from both sides. What would be nice is to see a team -- the Rams, perhaps? -- step up, make the Chargers an offer and then hammer out some kind of deal with Jackson. Of course, the fact that whoever is looking to acquire the disgruntled wideout has to negotiate with multiple sides only makes this harder to sift through.

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Posted on: August 18, 2010 8:47 pm
 

Larry Fitzgerald makes great point about rules

Posted by Andy Benoit

Larry Fitzgerald sprained the MCL in his left knee in part because Texans safety Eugene Wilson hit him low. Fitzgerald had a really interesting comment about this on KTAR radio in Phoenix: L. Fitzgerald (US Presswire)

"I think with the rules now, with guys going high above the shoulders and the NFL is really making a big push to protect guys and so I think guys are making a conscious effort to try and stay lower. This might be a result of that."

This comment came about because Fitzgerald was asked if he thought the hit was dirty.

Fitzgerald also said that he had the best offseason of his career, dropping his weight from 222 to 213. He was also asked what he thinks of Matt Leinart:

“It’s too early. We’ve only played one game. We’re throwing it around in shorts and pads and no one is getting hit right now, but when the real bullets start to fly everybody will be able to have a better observation. I think Matt, Derek (Anderson), (John) Skelton, and Max (Hall), they’re all making progress like coach would expect for them to do. People ask me all the time. My focus is how can number 11, how can Larry Fitzgerald, be the best he can be.”

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Posted on: August 16, 2010 3:19 pm
 

Around the League: Tebow, Big Ben, Fitz & Mittens

Posted by Will Brinson

So, Tim Tebow played some football last night. I thought it was "impressive." Many of you felt differently, but that's okay.

What was impressive about his play? Well that (and what WASN'T that impressive) was the top topic in today's "Around the League" video with Lauren Shehadi.

We also talked about whether Larry Fitzgerald's knee injury should be considered serious/dangerous, when/if Mike Tomlin will get Ben Roethlisberger on the field in the 2010 preseason and whether or not David Carr (aka Mister Mittens) qualifies as a threat to Alex Smith's starting gig in San Francisco.

Pete Prisco then takes over from Falcons training camp before I confirm his suspicious that Atlanta could seriously contend this season and we close out by discussing the single biggest factor in tonight's Jets-Giants preseason matchup. (Aka REVIS.)




Posted on: August 16, 2010 9:31 am
Edited on: August 16, 2010 11:46 am
 

Hot Routes 8.16.10: Media wants Tebow's autograph

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link we should feature in the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • Unsurprisingly, the comments on my "Tebow was impressive" article were all like "WHAT GAME DID YOU WATCH?!? HE PLAYED AGAINST SECOND- AND THIRD-STRINGERS!" That's true. But you know what? Tebow is so freaking amazing that he's inspiring media members to ask him for autographs -- according to Alex Marvez on Twitter , two members of the press walked up to Tebow after the game and asked for his signature. That's a big no-no (doi), because not only do you immediately shred any sense of objectivity about the person you're covering, but it's a clear-cut case of abusing the access that press members have. Next thing you know, they'll start serving us delicious food at games too! No, but seriously, this is embarrassing; a quick Twitter-poll reveals that most people agree what they did was quite annoying, etc.
  • Of course, all the Tebow love in the world won't change the top spot on the Broncos' depth chart -- Dave Krieger of the Denver Post writes that "it's not close" when it comes to how far ahead Kyle Orton is. That's true, but as a I mentioned last night, it would be somewhat surprising if Tebow didn't hop Brady Quinn for the No. 2 spot in Denver.
  • There were three No. 1 overall quarterbacks involved in the San Francisco - Indy tilt, with David Carr, Peyton Manning and Alex Smith all getting action during the game. That may be a fact that interests only me. (And it only interests me because I have a weird obsession with Carr, aka "Mister Mittens." )
  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News has a handy "10 things to watch" list for the Jets preseason opener. You'll never believe it, but a Darrelle Revis-less defense's play is near the top. On a fairly random note, my girlfriend (who does NOT care for football) watched "Hard Knocks" and freaking loved it. Downside: she asked if it was okay to cheer for the Jets in 2010. I begrudgingly said yes.
  • Kent Somers notes that Larry Fitzgerald -- he of the recently sprained MCL -- was prepping to have his best season ever as a pro and wants people to not "write him off." Geez, Larry. That's a lot to ask. From what I hear, he's going undrafted in almost every fantasy league after this injury.
  • Chicago Breaking Sports has video of Jay Cutler stating that the Bears were just "a few blocks away from some big runs." Yeah, and I'm just "a few hundred thousand dollars away from being a millionaire." (10 to be exact.)

Posted on: August 15, 2010 5:37 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2010 8:29 pm
 

Larry Fitzgerald's MRI reveals sprained knee

Posted by Will Brinson

Larry Fitzgerald left Saturday night's preseason game against the Texans early and was seen icing his knee on the sideline after taking a shot while reeling in a 16-yard catch from Matt Leinart.

There's nothing abnormal about Fitzgerald leaving a preseason game early, but there is something disconcerting about the (arguably) best wideout in the NFL having to have an MRI for a swollen knee. Which is precisely what Fitzgerald is doing, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic on Twitter .

Somers reports that Fitzgerald underwent the MRI Sunday morning and that the Cardinals "are hoping it's only a slight sprain."

Clearly, that's an ideal scenario -- the really problematic thing is that it might something much worse than "slight." There's no team in the NFL that wouldn't be hurt by the loss of a player of Fitzgerald's caliber, but the Cardinals in particular would be devastated, with Anquan Boldin gone and Matt Leinart under center.

Don't expect to see Fitzgerald hit the field for the rest of the preseason regardless, though.

Update: (6:00): Turns out, the results of the MRI were "good" -- it's just a knee sprain and Fitzgerald says he'll be "conservative with it for a few weeks." It's pretty safe to assume that Fitzy won't be helping your preseason fantasy teams.

Update (8:29): Turns out it's actually a sprained MCL, according to the Cards' official blog .

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Posted on: July 31, 2010 12:06 am
 

Larry Fitzgerald criticizes himself

Cardinals superstar receiver Larry Fitzgerald made an interesting – and honest – comment Friday on KTAR in Phoenix with Doug and Wolf:

“I don’t think I had a particularly good offseason in minicamps. I don’t think I was as crisp as I needed to be. There’s a lot of fine-tuning I was trying to work on this summer. Coach Whisenhunt talked to me before I left and just told me how much he needed me to raise my level of play.”

Normally, this kind of talk from an athlete is as noteworthy as a Martellus Bennett fully-clothed Tweet. But Fitzgerald has a track record of vigorously correcting his weaknesses. Whether it was working on is route running early in his career or answering the coaching staff’s public demands to get faster running after the catch in 2008, Fitzgerald has always had a unique ability to turn his short-comings into strengths.

Obviously, the Cardinals are banking on Fitzgerald more than ever in 2010. Anquan Boldin is gone and Matt Leinart is no Kurt Warner.

-- Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 16, 2010 1:16 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Position rankings: wide receivers

A. Johnson makes a TD catch over Chicago's C. Tillman (Getty). Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on wide receivers.

Andy Benoit’s top five

5. Brandon Marshall, Dolphins

4. Calvin Johnson, Lions

3. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

2. Reggie Wayne, Colts

1. Andre Johnson, Texans


I wish we could do top 10 receivers – this position is flooded with talent. A lot of times, a receivers’ success depends on the system he’s in. For example, Miles Austin, with his fluidity and speed, produces like a top five receiver in Dallas’s catch-and-run offense. But could he succeed in a downfield “power-throwing” offense like Vincent Jackson does in San Diego? Probably not.

As you can see, I like receivers with freakish athleticism and size. These five guys can dominate in any system. Shuffle Fitzgerald, Wayne and Andre Johnson in any order you want – just don’t drop Wayne from the Top 3 and tell me it’s because he plays with Peyton Manning. Wayne might be themost fundamentally-sound player in the entire NFL.

Calvin Johnson hasn’t done anything yet, but that’s only because he’s stuck in Detroit. He’s at least 125 percent as gifted as anyone on this list.

I’m willing to have just about any discussion that pertains to the best receiver in the game – just as long as you don’t try to sell me Randy Moss. As a deep threat, Moss is the best ever. As an all-around receiver (route running, blocking, reading coverages, etc.), he’s average.

Josh Katzowitz’s top five

5. Calvin Johnson, Lions

4. Wes Welker, Patriots

3. Reggie Wayne, Colts

2. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

1. Andre Johnson, Texans


I agree with everything you said about Johnson. He’s the best WR out there today. He seemingly has it all. He runs great routes, he can make the tough catches in traffic, and he has great athleticism.

Fitzgerald has recorded 25 touchdown catches the past two years, more than any other receiver. Plus, his dad is a sportswriter – which bodes pretty well for my children. I like him just a little bit better than Wayne, who’s more experienced but not quite as athletic and who, like you said, has the benefit of catching balls from one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. But I agree with the top-three – which, truth be told, is hard to argue against.

I’ve got to go with Welker at No. 4. He has sneaky speed, he can read any defense, and his yards-after-contact numbers are extraordinary. Will he be the same receiver after his knee problems? Well, we won’t know that until the regular season begins, but for now, Welker is a top-five guy. I’m interested to hear your take on Welker, Andy. I dropped Johnson to No. 5, because he flubs too many catches.

I thought hard about putting San Diego’s (for now) Vincent Jackson on the list. He has a very high yards-per-catch average, and he’s a very good blocker. But with the three-game suspension and the fact he might hold out for much of the season, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I also thought about Sidney Rice, but one season doesn’t make a career. Where do you stand with those guys?

Andy’s rebuttal

I have no problem with Welker being top five. The numbers are there – 346 catches for 3,368 yards over the last three seasons – and there isn’t a little thing he doesn’t do right. Welker is the sustaining element of New England’s offense. I left him off my list because he’s essentially confined to the slot.

Jackson might be the best deep threat in the NFL right now. And while I’m on numbers, I’ll mention that 58 of Jackson’s 68 receptions last season resulted in a first down. Of everyone you mentioned, Josh, Rice is the only player I never considered. He had a great ’09 campaign, but given his (albeit short) track record, I need to see him do it at least once more.

Josh, you surprised everyone by not taking a principled stand and including a “solid, scrappy (read: white)” backup receiver like Mike Furrey or Austin Collie on your list. Since this made our lists virtually identical, how about we do the top three wide receiver duos in the NFL? But let’s put a wrinkle in it: top three duos, but no member of the duos can be on our top five list (i.e. no Moss-Welker, Wayne-Garcon or Johnson-Walter). Here’s what I have:

1. Donald DriverGreg Jennings, Packers. Perfect fits for Green Bay’s quick-slanting system.

2. Vincent Jackson – Malcolm Floyd, Chargers. Their size and speed creates nightmares for defensive coordinators and allows Antonio Gates to work against safeties and linebackers.

3. DeSean JacksonJeremy Maclin, Eagles. Jackson is fast becoming the best big-play weapon in the game. Maclin, in only his second season, could soon emerge as another version of Jackson.

Josh’s final word

Jeez, Andy, you make it sound like I put backups on my top five lists. Hey, I wasn’t the one who put Chad Greenway on my 4-3 outside linebackers list. That was you.

I’ll play your game, though.

1. Driver – Jennings, Packers. You’re absolutely right about these guys, Andy. Driver has been really good for many years, and though neither of these guys are top 10 by themselves, they help make Aaron Rodgers look really good.

2. Sidney Rice – Percy Harvin, Vikings. These guys are young – 23 and 22, respectively – and with Brett Favre throwing passes their way probably for the next … oh, say … five or 10 years (psst, he’s never going to retire), the Minnesota offense will continue to be very dangerous.

3. Jackson - Floyd, Chargers. We've talked about Jackson, but Floyd was solid last year after the Chargers waived Chris Chambers. He obviously needs to score more touchdowns - he only had one last season - but his 6-foot-5 stature will continue to grab the attention of QB Philip Rivers.

Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Punter  | Kicker | 4-3 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker  | Defensive Tackle  | Defensive End | Offensive Tackle   | Center | Offensive Guard | Tight End )

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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