Because we ended up getting our conference call with Larry Fitzgerald at the same time as Pete Carroll’s press conference, I ended up being the only Seattle reporter there, which made for a nice one-on-one interview. If you wonder why this guy has played at the level he has for so long, some of his answers are good indicators of his competitive drive and professionalism.
Larry, how do you deal with the way things are going for the Cards? “Just be professional, this is our job, our livelihood. You gotta go out there and work hard every day and give it your best to try to get yourself out of it. I think you’ve have to have the mindset that you want to be a part of the solution not part of the problem. I just think that’s how I approach it and I think that a lot of guys on our team approach it the same way. For some reason we just haven’t been able to get it done these last eight weeks and it’s been extremely tough psychologically, mentally, physically … it’s just been grueling. We desperately need to get back on track. We’re playing for pride, we’re playing for our livelihood, for our jobs, so we have a lot at stake.”
What about the matchup with Seattle’s physical cornerbacks? (This was before I heard of Browner’s suspension kicking in) “I feel like I would be doing the secondary a disservice if I didn’t mention Marcus Trufant and Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. Marcus Trufant has played in the Pro Bowl, I think Richard Sherman is going to make the Pro Bowl this year, the other three guys have already made it, and they’re all second or third year guys. This is an impressive group, the best that we’ll face all season. Anytime you face against a secondary or defense in general that’s as good as them, you want to go out there and perform against the best. I’m looking forward to the matchup. Those guys are very talented, they present a lot of challenges throughout the course of the game and they’re great competition.”
Even being out of the division chase, is there still extra motivation to play a divisional rival? “Absolutely. You have a lot of pride. First of all, playing Seattle in Seattle … there’s nobody even a close second for difficult places to play in the NFL. It’s the most hostile, loud experience you’ll have in the NFL. You’re fighting against a lot of different things — not only a great defense, but the weather, the fans, the noise, you can’t hear yourself think. It’s a tremendous atmosphere to play in.”
About the Cards’ quarterback instability: “I don’t think it’s really our position to be worried so much about that, we have to do our job. My job is to be able to get open against press coverage and make my plays and do my job. Our quarterbacks have to make their throws, the offensive linemen have to make their blocks, when the running backs get the opportunity to get the ball they’ve got to make guys miss. That’s what it comes down to; the game is won by individual matchups. You look last week and you saw the game they won in Chicago, it’s because of plays by Sidney Rice and the extra effort of Golden Tate and those guys on defense causing turnovers. It’s about the individual matchups and guys stepping up and making plays in key moments. We have to match that intensity and turn it up a little bit.”