At the very best, the Arizona Cardinals might compete in the NFC. Truth is, the Cardinals haven’t been a dangerous team in recent years (and yes, this counts the Kurt Warner stint). The Cards have benefited from playing in a weak division that hasn’t had much competition until the Niners dceided to wake up this year.
The Cardinals only won nine games in their 2008 and rode Fitzgerald’s historic playoff performances to the Super Bowl. That was it. They barely made the playoffs and when they did — they took full advantage of it. Even with Kurt Warner, the team had serious issues on defense but were able to outscore opponents to temporarily mask the problem.
Since Warner’s retirement, Fitzgerald has been pushing the front office to go out and get a franchise QB — and then they land Kevin Kolb from the Eagles. Whether Kolb is the real deal or not remains to be seen, but he is a clear upgrade over Max Hall and Derek Anderson. Now that the Cardinals have started 1-4, Fitzgerald thinks that the lack of depth at the WR position is a big reason why:
“Here’s the one small thing that everyone forgets about when Kurt (Warner) was here,” Fitzgerald said. “We had this other guy, what was his name? Oh, yeah. Anquan Boldin. I think he made a couple Pro Bowls or something. He was a decent player around these parts. I wasn’t here by myself. I had some talented guys around me. …
“Right now, teams are saying, ‘Fitzgerald is over here, we’re not going to let him beat us. We’re going to do whatever it takes to hold him down and not allow him to do that.’ “
Fitz is a little right but mostly wrong. Yes, Steve Breaston and Anquan Boldin made the Cards’ offense more potent. However, he finally has a QB for the future in Arizona. In the offseason, that’s all Fitzgerald was worried about — getting someone to throw him the ball. Now he’s worried that he doesn’t have enough legit WRs to help him out.
The season is still somewhat young and even though the Niners are sitting pretty at 5-1, Fitz and the Cardinals should take a deep breath and see where the season goes. Maybe the issue with Arizona might be on the defense or a lack of a solid O-line to protect Kolb. Maybe that needs fixing.
And oh yeah, one more thing. Signing a SuperMegaDeal in the offseason reduces the chance to getting playmakers around you. Just saying. Work with what you’ve got Larry!