Statistics don’t always tell the entire story, but they do a pretty good job of providing everything you need to know about how 2012 went for Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
His 71 catches were his least for a season since 2006 and he never had a lower average than the 11.2 yards per catch he picked up last year. The Cardinals finished 5-11 after winning their first four games and Fitzgerald is quite sure that he doesn’t want to go through another year like that in 2013.
“It was the most frustrating season, time, I’ve ever had professionally or even amateur. I’ve never had a year like that,” Fitzgerald said, via Bruce Cooper of the Arizona Republic. “It was tough mentally. Physically, it was tough. It builds resolve. I know I never want to go through a season like that personally or as a team and I’m going to do everything in my power not to ever repeat that. It left a real bad taste in my mouth.”
There’s reason to believe Fitzgerald will be able to avoid a similar taste this year. Whatever Carson Palmer’s flaws are as a quarterback, he’s well ahead of John Skelton and Ryan Lindley and the same is likely true of backup Drew Stanton should Palmer go down with an injury. The addition of Jonathan Cooper should bolster a leaky offensive line and Bruce Arians showed last season with Reggie Wayne that he knows how to find new ways to maximize the production of veteran receivers.
There still may be frustration ahead in what looks like a very tough NFC West, but Fitzgerald should find 2013 a little more to his liking all the same.