Cards' Fitzgerald doing the little things

October, 20, 2008
10/20/08
12:25
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald's 2-yard touchdown catch in the Cardinals' most recent game appeared quite routine. Fitzgerald ran toward the right corner of the end zone. Kurt Warner lofted the ball where only Fitzgerald could catch it.

How hard can it be throwing a 2-yard touchdown pass to a receiver with Fitzgerald's size, strength and sure hands? That depends on the route runner. Fitzgerald used his body to shield the defender from the sideline, creating a wider throwing area for his quarterback. Warner cited the play as an example of the strides Fitzgerald is making as a receiver, something we touched on last month:

"Instead of just turning and running toward the back pylon and saying, 'Well, I'm going to out-jump him and win this play,' now he's starting to understand, 'Well, I don't have to do that much work if I just run the route the right way.'

"It's plays like that that you may not notice and you may not understand watching from afar, but as a quarterback you appreciate that so much because you know if you put the ball there, there is no chance for the defender to get it. The only chance we have is to score a touchdown because he has left a lot of room. If you don't leave that room, it has to be a perfect throw and if it's not, then the defender has a chance to make that play."

The Cardinals threw seven passes for Fitzgerald during their overtime victory against Dallas in Week 6. Two of the first three fell incomplete, including one when Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins appeared to interfere with Fitzgerald. The remaining four passes intended for Fitzgerald produced the 2-yard touchdown and gains of 39, 16 and 12 yards.

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