Larry Fitzgerald keeps climbing the charts

By The Sports Xchange  |  Dec. 8, 2016 at 2:12 AM
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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Larry Fitzgerald couldn't help but laugh and nod his head in agreement when it was pointed out the catch that moved him ahead of Marvin Harrison for third-place on the NFL's career receptions list was a simple, little three-yard gain.

"Yeah, they keep getting shorter and shorter," Fitzgerald said. "But hey, I am getting it thrown to me still, so that's all that I can ask for."

Fitzgerald ended up with 10 catches for 78 yards in THE Arizona Cardinals' 31-23 victory over Washington a week ago and although he's got a long way to go before he can even ever think about catching Tony Gonzales for No. 2 on the league's all-time list, Arizona's longtime face of the franchise has been counted upon more in the past few seasons than ever before.

"It's always nice to be able to climb up a little higher, but it's humbling to know that I am still 400 catches behind Jerry Rice," Fitzgerald said.

Though he's 33 and in his 13th season, Fitzgerald presently is tied for the most catches in the league this season (88) with Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown and his 880 receiving yards ranks eighth overall.

When Bruce Arians arrived as head coach in 2013, he had it in mind right away to move Fitzgerald to be an inside slot receiver, something Fitzgerald resisted at first, but since embracing the move he's been as pivotal as ever before - perhaps even more than ever.

"It's mind-boggling to me," Arians said. "I've been around some great receivers, but to see those statistics and the names he just passed is mindboggling. Hats off to a great player and an even better person."

Quarterback Carson Palmer said he's just as amazed as Arians and that's why he looks to No. 11 as often as possible on game days.

"I don't know many that are. Steve Smith is one," Palmer said when asked how many receivers are still performing as well as Fitzgerald for his age. "He's an amazing player also and one of the best to ever play the position. But other than that, there are just not that many guys that can change positions essentially, like Larry has, and be just as good at the new position at an older age as he was the old position at a younger age."

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