Friday, April 29, 2011
Fitzgerald's applause for Cardinals' choice
By Mike Sando
Larry Fitzgerald's thoughts on new teammate Patrick Peterson are worth our consideration (thanks to Kent Somers for pointing out Mike Silver's story).
According to the story, Fitzgerald saw Peterson, Von Miller and A.J. Green as players worthy of the fifth overall choice. Miller and Green were not available when Arizona selected Peterson, the highly rated cornerback from LSU. Fitzgerald on Peterson:
"He’s a can’t-miss player, a real difference-maker, and that’s exciting. Things have changed in this league. It’s a receiver-quarterback game now. That’s the name of the game and the wave of the future. We have to go against Sam Bradford twice a season. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning -- the teams that have those guys are the teams that’ll be in the thick of it every year. And you can’t match up with these teams if you can’t stop them outside."
Silver also quoted Fitzgerald on a touchy subject -- the team's decision to select Levi Brown over Adrian Peterson with the fifth choice in 2007. According to Silver, Fitzgerald said coach Ken Whisenhunt "learned his lesson" in that draft. Whisenhunt has defended Brown against criticism, but Adrian Peterson was obviously a more dynamic talent. Fitzgerald:
"Whiz told me he learned his lesson with Adrian Peterson. If there’s an incredible athlete there, you take him, even if you don’t have a need. You find a place for him. It’s like the Vikings with Randy Moss [in 1998]. They had two star receivers in Cris Carter and Jake Reed; they didn’t need Randy. But he was the best player on their board, and it changed their team."
Whisenhunt's relationship with Fitzgerald has always been strong. Earlier this offseason, stories suggested Whisenhunt consulted with Fitzgerald on the team's options for a veteran quarterback. Fitzgerald reportedly favored Kevin Kolb and Marc Bulger, leaving the impression that the team was running personnel decisions through one of its players. This Adrian Peterson revelation comes as no shock, but it's not the sort of thing a head coach wants publicized.