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Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Audio: Leinart defends pass to Fitzgerald

By Mike Sando

Larry Fitzgerald grew up around Cris Carter. Fitzgerald spends part of his offseasons working out with Carter in Minnesota.

When Carter suggests Matt Leinart hung out Fitzgerald with a high pass during the exhibition opener Saturday night, he's speaking as more than just an ESPN analyst or a former NFL receiver. He's speaking as someone who might know what Fitzgerald thinks after the Pro Bowl receiver suffered a sprained MCL on the 16-yard reception.

Leinart responded to the comments Carter made on ESPN's "NFL Live" during an interview Tuesday with KTAR radio in Phoenix (I'll post the Carter video if and when it becomes available on ESPN.com).

"I didn't throw high," Leinart told KTAR. "It was right there in his chest. It was just one of those plays were it was B.S. and the guy hit him down on his legs. There is nothing you can do about that."

Leinart then took aim at Carter.

"I personally do not care what Cris Carter says," Leinart told KTAR. "He's never really said anything good about me. I respect him, what he did as a football player, but I don't really care about him. Me and Fitz are cool. I hope -- I don't think Fitz is worried about that."

Leinart again blamed the tackle by Houston Texans safety Eugene Wilson.

"It's my job to protect them [receivers], but on a play like that, we have to get up and hit the other dude for doing that in preseason," Leinart said.

KTAR has the audio. The segment on Carter falls at the very end. NFL.com has video highlights from the game, including two looks at the play in question. The ball might not have been precisely on target, but neither was it an extra high ball. Wilson hit Fitzgerald low, but not on the knee.