Cards to be on receiving end of TD's with class

azdad1978

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Cards to be on receiving end of TDs with class
Republic columnist
May. 3, 2004 12:00 AM


The end zone is a destination, not a stage.

For all their flaws, the Cardinals understand this better than most. They are one team that needn't worry about new rules penalizing excessive celebrations.

"We're a team that likes to score, flip the ball to the ref and get on with the next series," quarterback Josh McCown said. "Hopefully, there's more of that. And hopefully, we'll get to see all the other guys and what they do when they score."

Of course, complimenting the Cardinals on their end zone restraint comes with a large caveat. In 2003, they scored only 25 touchdowns. Kansas City's Priest Holmes scored 27 all by himself. Who knows how this franchise would react to prosperity?

But with the addition of Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals have assured themselves of something very comforting. If not destined to feature the top receiving tandem in the league, they will certainly be the best mannered.

"When I first started playing, my coaches always told me to act like I've been there before," receiver said Anquan Boldin said. "I think it's amusing what some guys do when they score. I like to see T.O. (Terrell Owens) score because I know he's going to come up with something new every time. I don't have a problem with that. I just don't do it. It's just not me."

Fitzgerald, meanwhile, concluded his first minicamp with rave reviews. His hands are like leather magnets. His vision is remarkable, carefully trained by an optometrist grandfather who once had young Larry tracking pennies to strengthen his eyes.

Then there's the maturation that coincided with the death of his mother in 2003. At the time, he was in the midst of a minor riff with his mother. He never got to say he was sorry.

"He was crushed," said his father, Larry Sr. "He kind of remembered that I had been urging him to take care of some things with his mom. They had their little differences, but I had to remind him that he loved his mother and his mother loved him and not to carry any of that with him."

In the end, Fitzgerald's razor sharp sense of purpose is most evident in his lack of end zone celebrations, even though he scored touchdowns in 18 consecutive Division I games.

Often, Fitzgerald would toss the ball while the official still had his arms in the air. Sometimes, the official would have no time to react, and one even complained that these well-meaning tosses kept hitting him in a very sensitive area.

"I'm not really sure why other people (have to celebrate), but I just don't like to," Fitzgerald said. "I'm too tired when I get to the end zone."

In a me-me era when NFL receivers are often glory-seeking prima donnas, the Cardinals have a chance to be something special. They can be great and humble at the same time. They can score a victory for end zone etiquette. That is, as long as they score more in 2004.

After all, the Cardinals have found the end zone to be more than a destination in recent years. It's been a gated community, with access so restricted that the starting tailback in 2003, Marcel Shipp, scored zero touchdowns.

"I like to hand the ball to my offensive linemen and let them spike it," he pledged.

We'll have to take his word on that one.
 

JeffGollin

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Which Reminds Me...

I have this fantasy where Darnell Dockett picks up the ball carrier, puts him under one arm, carries him across the goal line (for a safety) and then underhands him (ball and all) to the referee.

"Act like you been there before."
 

vikesfan

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Every time another story comes up on Fitz it's like so good. He has excellent vision cause his optometrist grandfather trained him by tracking pennie it wasn't enough that he had Carter and Moss training him. Amazing stuff.

Cards are adding guys with heart. The phonies will go by the wayside sooner or later and the goal setters and goal getters will remain.
 

CaptTurbo

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vikesfan said:
Every time another story comes up on Fitz it's like so good. He has excellent vision cause his optometrist grandfather trained him by tracking pennie it wasn't enough that he had Carter and Moss training him. Amazing stuff.

Cards are adding guys with heart. The phonies will go by the wayside sooner or later and the goal setters and goal getters will remain.


PLAYOFFS BABY!!!!!
 

vikesfan

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swd1974 said:
PLAYOFFS BABY!!!!!
Hey you have to set your goals high if you want to reach them be it this year or next year.
 

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