Kingsbury: Fitzgerald a 'security blanket' for Murray

Print
  • By Jelani Scott NFL.com
More Columns >

If there's one thing we know about Larry Fitzgerald at this stage of his career, it's that he'll make a play if you throw it his way.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury hopes playing with quarterback Kyler Murray, the 2019 No. 1 overall pick, and a revamped offense will inspire the 11-time Pro Bowler to do that in a Cards uni for at least a little while longer.

"I'm hoping he enjoys the process and enjoys what the offense turns into and how we're playing and can give him a reason to stick around a few more years," Kingsbury told the media Wednesday. "He practices and he plays like he's trying to make the team and that's the biggest compliment I can give him with all the accomplishments he has and what he's done. He doesn't need it and you'd think he's starving out there so it's impressive to watch."

After registering 60 receptions for 734 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2018 and starting in all 16 regular season games -- for the 11th time in 16 seasons -- Fitzgerald has entered mandatory minicamp displaying the same toughness and passion that has made him a fixture in the NFL since being drafted third overall in 2004.

And his new coach has thoroughly appreciated his greatness.

"He's still a dynamic player, you know? Some of the best hands I've ever seen. Big, physical, tough, available, he's at every practice and doesn't miss a practice. He's waving young guys off if they try to get reps so he's going to have a big role," said Kingsbury.

Determining where the 35-year-old Fitzgerald fits into Arizona's scheme is a task Kingsbury doesn't envision will be difficult, saying that he'll "be at multiple spots at times" after having primarily played in the slot the past few seasons. But, regardless of his usage rate, Kingsbury knows Fitzgerald's reliability will be invaluable to Murray.

"He's a security blanket. There's a comfort level there; if you get it close, he's going to make a play for you," Kingsbury shared. "For a young QB, you know's he's going make plays and that goes a long way.

"He wants the ball his way so I think they'll have a good chemistry once we get this thing rolling."

Print