2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Receivers struggle as part of Arizona offense woes

    2012-11-29 17:39

(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Larry Fitzgerald is the most formidable receiver struggling in Arizona's impotent offense, but the whole group is contending with problems often beyond its control.

Bad passes and missed blocks in the protection have thwarted big plays that seemed ripe for the taking. Sometimes when that goes right, the receiver drops the ball. It's been that kind of year in Arizona, where the Cardinals take a seven-game losing streak into Sunday's road game against the New York Jets.

Now injuries have added to the problem. Andre Roberts, the No. 2 receiver behind Fitzgerald, missed practice for a second straight day Thursday with an ankle injury, although he said he was ``very optimistic'' he would be able to play Sunday. Early Doucet, usually the No. 3 receiver, missed Sunday's home loss to St. Louis with injured ribs and has been limited in practice this week.

Asked to assess the receivers as a whole, coach Ken Whisenhunt said, ``It's hard to assess any position. We haven't had enough consistency or continuity offensively this year.''

``Our guys are trying, we've got to get better,'' he said. ``Last week we had a good half of football. If we don't turn the ball over, it could have been a very good day for us offensively. We've just got to build off of that.''

Doucet's injury opened the way for the NFL debut of undrafted rookie LaRon Byrd, who took a vicious hit against the Rams and left the game with dizziness. He said he has been cleared to play this week.

One player who has taken advantage of his opportunities is first-round draft pick Michael Floyd, who had seen his playing time grow even before Doucet was hurt.

Floyd had dropped some passes early and said he took it to heart. After eight catches in his first seven games, Floyd has 16 for 169 yards in his last four.

``I'm always my worst critic,'' he said. ``I mean, I'm yelling at me, I get down on myself more than anybody else could. But it's always motivation because I expect a lot out of myself to be productive and make plays when they come my way.''

A critical flaw for Arizona is the inability to get the ball to Fitzgerald, one of the best receivers in the game.

In the last two games he has four catches for 42 yards and had none in the second half against St. Louis, when the Rams outscored the Cardinals 17-0 en route to a 31-17 victory.

Rookie Ryan Lindley got his first NFL start on Sunday and completed 31 of 52 for 312 yards and no touchdowns with four interceptions, two of them returned for touchdowns.

On two of the interceptions - including one brought back for a TD - Fitzgerald was open for big gains but Lindley badly underthrew him. In the previous game at Atlanta, Whisenhunt benched quarterback John Skelton when he missed a wide open Fitzgerald in the end zone.

Fitzgerald has taken pains not to criticize anyone for his situation.

``You've got to maintain your professionalism,'' he said. ``It was like my son when we were home and eating dinner and I'm trying to get him to eat his vegetables and he's doing everything he can to not eat them. That's frustrating, but I know we're trying to do everything we can to make sure we have big plays. It's not a conscious effort that, `We're not going to get Fitz the ball' or `We're going to overthrow him on this one or not call his number.' We're just not executing.''

One thing for certain, Fitzgerald is sick of this losing streak.

``Seven weeks, the urgency is like if you would be drowning,'' he told reporters on Thursday. ``You ever been in the pool and you're struggling for air, how hard do you fight to get to the top? That's kind of how we all feel right now. We're struggling and fighting and doing anything we can to get to the top. If we're close enough I'll pull you down to get to the air.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Mike PounceyJul 23 12:33p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) could miss the first eight weeks of the season because of the hip surgery he had this offseason, according to a source. He [ More ]

Evan RodriguezJul 23 12:23p

Buffalo Bills FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were hospitalized because of complications from cramps and were getting hydrated, according to head coach Doug Marrone. Rodriguez [ More ]

Dustin HopkinsJul 23 12:20p

Buffalo Bills PK Dustin Hopkins will have to try to make the roster as a kickoff specialist, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Vernon DavisJul 23 12:13p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis has reported to camp Wednesday, July 23, according to an Instagram post from 49ers S C.J. Spillman.

Jason BabinJul 23 12:03p

New York Jets signed DE Jason Babin (Jaguars) to a two-year contract, with the second year being a team option. He's expected to serve as a situational pass rusher.

Reggie WayneJul 23 11:13a

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) said he has been medically cleared to practice. He's expected to be limited, though, especially in the near future.

Kraig UrbikJul 23 10:53a

Buffalo Bills OG Chris Hairston continued to receive first-team repetitions at right guard in the red zone drills Wednesday, July 23. OG Kraig Urbik struggled with first-team the previous day.

Jamaal CharlesJul 23 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles will not report to training camp Wednesday, July 23, barring a major contract breakthrough.

Vick BallardJul 23 09:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Vick Ballard (knee) reported to camp and has passed his physical.

Rob GronkowskiJul 23 08:53a

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) has been cleared for contact and will not be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

Evan RodriguezJul 23 08:43a

Buffalo Bills TE Chris Gragg (cramps), FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and CB Brandon E. Smith (leg) were out of practice Wednesday, July 23. OT Seantrel Henderson (hip) returned to action.

Rashad JenningsJul 23 08:23a

New York Giants RBs Rashad Jennings, David Wilson and Andre Williams could be used in a three-man rotation this season to keep Jennings fresh.

Caleb McSurdyJul 23 02:53a

The St. Louis Rams waived four players Tuesday, July 22, as they cut loose OL Abasi Salimu, WR Diontae Spencer, LB Caleb McSurdy, and LB Tavarius Wilson.

Carl NicksJul 23 02:43a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, G Carl Nicks and DE Da'Quan Bowers may be fighting for roster spots once training camp begins due to other competition for their [ More ]

Chris CulliverJul 23 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee) has been cleared to take part in practice when training camp opens this week. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament to [ More ]

Ben TateJul 23 01:13a

Cleveland Browns RBs Ben Tate and Terrance West will compete for the starting tailback job during training camp and the preseason, and it's a battle head coach Mike Pettine [ More ]

Joel BitonioJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OG Joel Bitonio (ankle) lined up with the first-team offense during organized team activities (OTAs), and he held the spot until he suffered a sprained ankle June [ More ]

Paul McQuistanJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OLs Garrett Gilkey, Paul McQuistan and Jason Pinkston are fighting for position in the pecking order at right guard, and one of them might even push OG [ More ]

Craig RobertsonJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns LBs Christian Kirksey and Craig Robertson will compete for an inside linebacker job during training camp, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Joe HadenJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns CBs Justin Gilbert and Buster Skrine will compete for the starting cornerback job opposite CB Joe Haden in training camp. 'We weren't going to hand Justin that [ More ]

Gary BarnidgeJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray will battle for the No. 2 tight end spot during training camp and the preseason.

Eli ManningJul 23 12:23a

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) has shown no ill effects during camp from ankle surgery that sidelined him for earlier offseason activities.

Tom CoughlinJul 22 11:53p

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was not happy that several players were forced to leave practice with dehydration issues Tuesday, July 22. 'It pisses me off,' Coughlin [ More ]

Brandon LloydJul 22 11:23p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson is the frontrunner for the No. 3 WR job, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, but he added that neither Johnson nor WR [ More ]

Darren SprolesJul 22 11:13p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles' ability to win one-on-one matchups in space is what head coach Chip Kelly plans to exploit this season. Kelly said opposing defenses played a [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 11:03p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and WR Tori Gurley had miscommunications on three occasions Tuesday, July 22, resulting in two incomplete passes and an interception. Joe Buscaglia of WGR [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:53p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and QB Jeff Tuel are in an open competition for the backup quarterback job, head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday, July 22.

Brian MoormanJul 22 10:43p

Buffalo Bills P Brian Moorman was more effective than P Jake Dombrowski on punts in terms of both average hang time and average distance Tuesday, July 22.

Titus YoungJul 22 09:53p

Updating a previous story, free-agent WR Titus Young (Lions) was charged with felony battery with serious bodily injury from an alleged July 8 incident inside a Los Angeles-area hospital. [ More ]

Ryan MathewsJul 22 09:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews' rookie contract will expire after the 2014 season, which means this could be his final year with the organization, in the opinion of [ More ]

Mario WilliamsJul 22 09:43p

Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams, DT Marcell Dareus and DT Kyle D. Williams were all rotated out of the lineup at times during team drills Tuesday, July 22. LB [ More ]

Nigel BradhamJul 22 09:23p

Buffalo Bills LB Nigel Bradham was one of eight players to record sacks during team drills Tuesday, July 22. The team's pass rush has been consistent since camp began, [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group