This is the first time

 in Larry Fitzgerald’s fabled career
that he has not caught a TD pass in 6 games. After the Cardinals’ 27-17 loss in
Minnesota Black
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, Fitz’s father tweeted his frustration with
offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.It is mystifying that in three trips to the red
zone, the Cardinals looked disorganized and squeamishly tentative and not once
in those three occasions did the Cardinals take a shot into the end zone for
Larry Fitzgerald (that is when he was on the field). No chances for Fitz, in
Minnesota of all places—-and with Fitz’s “Make a Wish” pal Tennyson in the
crowd.Upon Fitz’s and the team’s return to Arizona, Fitz’s father, Larry Sr.,
had deleted his tweet. And while meeting with the press, Fitz displayed
extraordinary empathy for Mike McCoy. Fitz said, “It’s a team game. Everybody’s
got to be held accountable. None of us has done a good enough job to this point
to be successful. To try to blame one person is not fair or right. Unfortunately
in this profession, there always needs to be a finger pointed at somebody.
Somebody has to be blamed. It’s always been that way, and it’s
unfortunate.”Wait, there’s more.Fitz went on to laud Mike McCoy’s work ethic and
dedication—-“I know people outside the building don’t understand what it’s like
to see guys working so hard. Mike McCoy is in this building every day at 4:30
(a.m.) and leaving here at 10:30 (p.m.). I don’t even know if he sees his wife
and kids. He’s a tireless worker. These guys put in a lot of time and effort to
give us the recipes to go out there and have success. So when blame is placed on
guys like that, it’s tough on all of us. The relationships we have, it’s not
just football. It’s personal. You want to do well for everybody.”Notice that
Fitz said—-”It’s personal.” So there sat Fitz in front of the media and defended
the one offensive coordinator in his tenure in Arizona who hasn’t made it a
point or even a priority to throw to him in the end zone and called the
criticism of McCoy or anyone who has something to do with the Cardinals
struggling offense “personal.”Clearly, Fitz has been hearing all of the noise
and sharp criticism that McCoy has been receiving by members of the local and
national media. Yet, yesterday during Mike McCoy’s press conference, McCoy
appeared to be unfazed and unaware of the criticism.“No offense, but I don’t
watch a lot of TV Youth
David Johnson Jersey
,” McCoy said. “I don’t read papers. I don’t
get on the internet. I’m too busy doing other things, putting plans together.
And when my family is in town, I spend every minute I can with them, or talking
to them at night when they’re in San Diego, things like that. I’ve been in this
long enough (to not get wrapped up in the fervor).”This is sad.if what Fitz said
is true, Mike McCoy, whose family still lives in San Diego where he was once the
head coach, is putting in 15 hour days at the Cardinals’ facility and when he
goes back to his hotel or apartment, he calls his wife and kids to say goodnight
and then turns out the light and tries to get a good whopping five hours of
sleep so that he can be in the shower by 4 AM to go do it all over again.But
even Mike McCoy knows how all of this works.This is a results oriented business
which requires salesmanship. If people aren’t buying what you are selling, the
company has to hire someone else who can. It’s a numbers game—-if the numbers
are good, you stay. if not——you’re gone.In the first half of Mike McCoy’s first
game as the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator, he and his 3-and-out offense were
getting resoundingly booed. It took all of one half! That much, McCoy cannot
tune out. McCoy’s answer to establishing the Cardinals’ running game is to be #1
in the NFL at running up the middle. As a result, potential superstar RB David
Johnson is averaging 3.2 yards per carry and he is taking a beating doing it.
His backup, rookie Chase Edmonds is averaging 2.9 yards per carry.Every week
we’ve been hearing from Steve Wilks that the plan is to move David Johnson
around and get him more involved in the passing game where they can get him out
in space—-yet each week goes by and Johnson has not been moved around much and
he gets thrown to 2 or 3 times on flare passes or screens. The one time they ran
a corner pass to him, he scored a TD. Take that one throw away and Johnson has
16 catches in 6 games for a mere 112 yards. David Johnson is capable of gaining
112 yards receiving a game—-let alone in 6 games.But each week it seems Mike
McCoy still hasn’t gotten the message.To McCoy’s credit—-he and OL coach Ray
Brown have been diligently piecing together pass protection packages—-versus the
49ers, they used 7 blockers to ensure that Josh Rosen would have time to throw
downfield on the first play deep post TD to Christan Kirk. Last week versus the
Vikings Larry
Fitzgerald Jersey
, they had their hands full with Mike Zimmer’s
elaborate blitz schemes and for the most part the protection was well
designed—-good enough for Rosen to complete 67% of his passes (21/31 for 240
yards, 1 int.).McCoy and the offense will have to have very good pass protection
plans versus Von Miller and the Broncos’ pass rush on Thursday Night Football.
That—-and a more creative play calling approach particularly for David
Johnson—-or the boobirds will make it impossible for McCoy to turn off the
noise.Curious too that while McCoy seems unaware of “the noise,” Steve Wilks,
his head coach, is so aware of the noise that he has put his own job on the line
this week. From one extreme to the other—-isn’t it?Von Miller has promised the
Broncos are going to “kick the Cardinals’ asses.”One would think that Mike McCoy
would have added incentive in this game, seeing as the Broncos fired him as
their OC in mid-season last year. Sadly, if McCoy doesn’t start throwing to Fitz
in the red zone instead of calling a chicken sheet hitch pass screen to Fitz on
3rd and 22 with the game still on the line, no matter how much empathy Fitz has
for his OC, history is likely to repeat itself for McCoy—-because the Cardinals’
offense can’t fly—-if it can’t spread its wings.Arizona Cardinals lose A.Q
Shipley for the year The reality of football is that injuries happen all the
time.It is a violent sport, a violent game that leads to a number of different
injuries that happen at any time and anywhere on the field.That has plagued the
Arizona Cardinals the last two seasons, especially along the offensive line.The
one constant the last two seasons has been center A.Q. Shipley, who was the only
player to start all 32 games during that time frame.Now, the bad luck of
injuries has caught up to the starting center, as Arizona Cardinals Head Coach
Steve Wilks announced that the starting center will be out of the season:The 32
year old Shipley has battled for the opportunity to start in the NFL, after
being drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft, Shipley would not find
an NFL home until 2012 with the Indianapolis Colts and offensive coordinator
Bruce Arians.He started five games at center in 2012 for Arians and the Colts,
before moving to Baltimore in 2013 Authentic
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, where he started nine games at left
guard.In 2014, Shipley would head back to Indy, starting five games for the
Colts.In 2015, the Cardinals signed Shipley to a two-year deal worth just over
$1.5 million with performance and incentives, but he would only start three
games as the team decided to bring veteran Lyle Sendlein back.No, it wouldn’t be
until age 30, that Shipley would get the chance to be the man for a team at the
center position.In 2016 and 2017, Shipley would be the only constant, working
above and beyond his measured ability and winning over teammates and coaches
alike with his approach, demeanor and understanding of the game.He came into the
season, knowing the Cardinals had drafted his successor in Mason Cole, but also
realizing that he would not relinquish the job.Now, with the injury, it will be
Mason Cole’s time.Here is to a quick recovery for Shipley and continued success
moving forward.
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