Friday, March 28, 2014
Surprise, surprise: Fitz doesn't drop balls
By Josh Weinfuss
Larry Fitzgerald may be 30 years old, but that doesn't mean he's not as sure-handed as ever.
Pro Football Focus computed the drop rates for wide receivers, tight ends and running backs this week and it should be no surprise who had the lowest rate for all receivers.
Larry Fitzgerald dropped just one of 83 catchable balls, according to PFF, giving him a drop rate of 1.2. For comparison, the next closest is Houston's DeAndre Hopkins, whose drop rate was 1.89. But the difference was that Fitzgerald caught 30 more passes than Hopkins.
Overall, Fitzgerald's 2013 was an improvement over 2012 even though he failed to hit 1,000 yards for the second straight year -- although his 10 touchdowns were his first double-digit haul since 2009.
But one area Fitzgerald has remained consistent in is his efficiency. He has 19 drops in the past five seasons, according to PFF.
Also in the top 15 last season was former Cardinals' receiver Andre Roberts, who had a drop rate of 4.4, letting two of 45 catchable passes hit the ground.
When it came to tight ends, Rob Housler's struggles last season dropped him to the bottom 15 of drop rates. He tied for 31st out of 36 tight ends, dropping five of 44 catchable passes for a rate of 11.36. One of the Cardinals' free-agent additions, tight end John Carlson, had the fourth lowest drop rate among his position. He let one of 33 catchable passes hit the ground for a rate of 3.03.
If the Cardinals want Andre Ellington to take on a larger receiving role, they might want him to learn a thing or two from Fitzgerald. He had the fourth-highest drop rate among running backs, letting six of 45 catchable passes (13.33) hit the ground.
The good thing for Housler and Ellington is they have a pretty good teammate to learn from.