I know what some of you are thinking...
"How the heck did he get an interview with Larry Fitzgerald?"
I'm not too sure either.
I was set up with the interview through an event that the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver was doing with EAS, leader in the sports nutrition category. The interview, in its entirety, is below in the video.
I wanted to make a few points from what Fitzgerald said before you see (or after, if you prefer) the video:
1. Fitzgerald was really high on conditioning coach John Lott.
"He's like an uncle to me," Fitzgerald said. It's interesting to hear him talk about a conditioning coach that way.
He went on later to describe him in a fatherly sense, saying he was there for the Cardinals in tough times.
I've heard a lot about Lott—especially how good he is—but it's really neat to hear it from a player's perspective.
That means that the Cardinals should be in good shape this year. When you're that close to your conditioning coach, good things happen.
Oh, by the way, guess what year Lott joined the Cardinals?
I think not.
2. Fitzgerald mentioned guys stepping up...a lot.
A couple of my questions were focused on the changes in the offseason for the Cardinals. No. 11 did say those guys will be missed, but he also emphasized that others would step up in their place.
If you've read any of my previous articles, this is a point I've been trying to drive home.
As Fitzgerald put it, the guys replacing Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle, Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, etc., have been "looking for this opportunity for a long time coming."
My—and I think Larry's—message is that you can't focus on the past or "what ifs." You stick to the plan and move on.
Speaking of which...
3. Fitzgerald believes in what the Cardinals, specifically coach Ken Whisenhunt, are doing.
Fitzgerald said in the middle of the interview that Whizzy does a good job of preparing them "week in and week out." He also mentioned Whisenhunt's "blueprint."
I think blueprint is a word you cannot possibly conceive using unless it's referring to a plan that has been properly prepared.
See? Arizona does have a plan.
4. Fitzgerald is fully behind Matt Leinart.
It's refreshing to see a team's star wide receiver fully behind the team's projected starter (you taking notes, T.O.?). He said, "Matt's a good friend of mine," and that he knows that Leinart "is ready."
Nothing against Derek Anderson, but I think if the team will follow suit and get behind Leinart, it could make a world of difference.
And if anyone is going to start the trend, it's Fitzgerald.
5. Fitzgerald knows he's going to have help this year in the receiving corp.
He specifically mentioned a couple of "young guys" that are going to step up for the Cardinals this year.
One would assume he means Steve Breaston and Early Doucet. He didn't name names, though, so that makes me wonder if the Cardinals have another up-and-coming receiver or two that they will debut this year? (Like a Lance Long type.)
Thanks for reading, and watching. I want to apologize for the audio quality. I'm working to get that fixed so it will sound better in future interviews for me. Enjoy.
*Update 4/12: I fixed the audio on the video. It's not perfect obviously, but it's a little clearer.