Cardinals and Seahawks don’t talk much when they meet; they let their play speak for them
TEMPE, Ariz. – CenturyLink Field is known as being one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, if not the loudest. There’s always a lot of noise circling in that stadium, but not a lot of it is coming from the football surface.
Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald isn’t a guy that talks a lot on the field, and, according to him, the Legion of Boom isn’t very chatty either.
“I don’t have much to say. I’m just trying to focus on the job,” Fitzgerald said. “Football’s hard enough, knowing what you’re doing, knowing your hots and sights, blocking the right guy, running the right routes, catching the ball, and then you start talking trash to the other guys, it’s just too much going on. Plus, it’s too loud to talk in there (CenturyLink Field) anyway. It’s so loud in there, you wouldn’t even be able to hear what he’s (Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman) saying.”
It’s surprising to hear Fitzgerald say that Sherman and his secondary mates don’t chirp on the field a lot. Sherman seems like a guy that would constantly in the ear of whoever he’s covering, just letting his confidence and braggadocio shine when the ball’s hiked.
Fitzgerald says Sherman and his guys are the absolute opposite.
“No, none of those guys talk at all. They talk amongst each other, but they don’t talk to me at least. They don’t say anything,” Fitzgerald said.
The Cardinals and Seahawks know each other like the back of their hands. After all, they’re division rivals, and they see each other twice a season. If there were two teams that know each other’s tendencies, it’s Arizona and Seattle.
“They (Seahawks) haven’t changed at all. They still do basically the same things,” Fitzgerald said. “Everybody talks about it’s a team, but it comes down to individual matchups. They believe that their guys can play better individually than the teams they play against. They’ve always believed that. You look at the success they’ve had over the last few years, (and) I don’t know why you would change it.”
Something Seattle has changed is how Sherman is being set on the field. In the past, Sherman has stayed only on one side of the field, and he’s done a great job of shutting down whatever side he’s on in games. This season, defensive coordinator Kris Richard has put a twist on how his defense flows, as he’s moved Sherman around a lot; more than Fitzgerald has ever seen him move.
“He’s never ever moved sides,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s always stayed to our right, to their left. A few times he’s moved into the slot on certain down and distances, or (other) times in the game.”
Fitzgerald says Sherman can line up wherever he wants to on the field, and he’ll be just as effective there as he’d be in another spot on the field; he’s that good.
“When you’re as talented as he (Sherman) is, you can do pretty much anything you want,” Fitzgerald said. “(The) Legion of Boom is pretty special, (a) pretty talented group. Who would he follow though? We’re all pretty much the same. I haven’t had 1,000 yards (receiving) in three years, (so) I hope he doesn’t follow me; old grizzly, washed up veteran. He could follow Mike (Floyd) or something, maybe Smoke (John Brown).”
“He’s (Sherman) as good as they come,” Fitzgerald said. “Just in terms of his skill level and ability, and you couple that with his intelligence, he’s really, really special. (He’s) got great ball skills. He’s not afraid to tackle in the run game. He’s very active in the run game. (He’ll) come up and hit anybody. You really don’t see any holes in his game. You just try not to make many mistakes around him.”
With all that being said about Sherman, and the Legion of Boom, the Cardinals wide receivers aren’t backing away from this prime time challenge. Fitzgerald says they’re relishing the opportunity to go out on Sunday Night Football and show the world they’re a group that’s to be respected.
“Oh absolutely,” Fitzgerald said. “You hear about the Legion of Boom all the time, and to be able to have the chance to play against them, with our starting quarterback (Carson Palmer) especially, it’s a lot of fun. We have a lot of confidence in our skill guys.”
The key to dealing with the league’s second-ranked defense is to be patient. Seattle’s defense has a knack of luring their opponents away from what they planned on running, and right into a trap. By the time they figure out what’s going on, Sherman and the rest of the defense are snacking on their bones, so to speak.
“You have to be patient. You can’t allow them to dictate the tempo to you. You have to dictate it to them,” Fitzgerald said. “You think back a couple years, when we were able to go up there and have success (2013), we turned the football over multiple times (four), but at the end of the game, when it was down to the gritty, we were able to run the football (43 rushes for 139 yards). We were able to do it consistently and effectively. That’s the kind of effort it’s going to take for four quarters to beat a team that’s this talented.”
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