Larry Fitzgerald's quiet season debut irks his father


There have been years when Larry Fitzgerald was the near totality of the Arizona Cardinals' offense. This is unlikely to be one of them.

The Cardinals escaped with an 18-17 win over the San Diego Chargers in Monday night's opener, but Fitzgerald -- the leading receiver in franchise history -- didn't play a key role. In fact, Fitzgerald didn't receive so much as a target well into the second half.

Fitzgerald finished with one catch for 22 yards. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer targeted the future Hall of Famer four times in 37 passing attempts. Fitzgerald isn't the type to bemoan his lack of opportunities, of course. He is one of the NFL's great ambassadors, so you can safely assume the man who lived through Matthew Leinart, Max Hall and John Skelton won't gripe after one quiet game.

Fitzgerald's outspoken father is a different story, however.

OK, then. The truth of the matter is that Palmer isn't looking in Fitzgerald's direction on a play-by-play basis because he doesn't have to. Michael Floyd has emerged as a big playmaker (as evidenced by his 63-yard reception on Monday night). John Brown, who scored the go-ahead touchdown against the Chargers, has T.Y. Hilton-like ability, while running back Andre Ellington is expected to have a big role as a rusher and receiver.

Larry Fitzgerald is now a piece of the pie, not the whole thing.

UPDATE: Coach Bruce Arians addressed on Tuesday Fitzgerald's lack of targets: "I'm not interested in anybody's numbers other than the 'Ws.' Those days are long gone."

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