Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Around the NFC West: Fitzgerald parallel
By Mike Sando
The last time Larry Fitzgerald learned a new offense, in 2007, he finished the season with 100 receptions for 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The Arizona Cardinals would certainly "settle" for that kind of production in 2013 as Fitzgerald, now 29, learns the offense first-year head coach Bruce Arians has brought to the team.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic offers details on the transition from the Cardinals' ongoing organized team activities (OTAs). Among them: Fitzgerald is spending less time studying opposing defensive backs because he's preoccupied with learning the offense.
Reggie Wayne's experience under Arians in Indianapolis last season could provide a blueprint. Wayne's numbers had dipped significantly in 2011 as the Colts struggled without a viable starting quarterback. While Fitzgerald was suffering through a similar experience in 2012, Wayne was bouncing back under Arians -- and with a new quarterback -- on his way to 106 receptions for 1,355 yards.
"Both times, when you come off a year where you had quarterback flux, it is tough on a great wide receivers," Arians said earlier this offseason. "The problem with great wide receivers is you can’t hand them the ball. You gotta get it to them. The thing with Reggie, he had been on the left side for 10 years. To be able to be a flanker and put him in motion, be a slot receiver and develop his skills is something that we'll look to see if that is good for Fitz."