HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT (on WR-Larry Fitzgerald) * *
"Great player, a guy that obviously has grown leaps and bounds as a receiver, but also as a leader. And that's something that you really like to see with your team, because of the way he works in practice, the way he is around the guys. When you have a player that plays at a level that high, it does great things for your team, but then he's such a good teammate."
HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT (on Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin being a good tandem)
"Yes, they have been. They've been a good tandem for a long time. They're both outstanding football players."
HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT (on Fitzgerald and Boldin being different types of players)
"Both have been very successful. They have a little bit different skill sets, but they're both equally adept at what they do."
HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT (on Arizona's win at Jacksonville and if they have things going, or if that is how the league is, one week you're up, one week you're down)
"I hope not (that one week you're up, one week you're down). That's the goal, we're trying to be a lot like Indianapolis, and that's being a lot more consistent. Hopefully we can build off that. You never know how the first week is going to go, and we obviously didn't play very well in the first game. I think that we happened to correct some of those things in practice. We had a good week of practice before the Jacksonville game, and I think what helped us is making some plays early in that game, and it gave us some confidence and we just built off of that."
HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT (on thinking you would win holding a team to less than 15 minutes time of possession if you're Miami)
"I'd have to say you're exactly right on that, as far as holding a team to 15 minutes of possession time. You would think that you would win the game."
HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT (on Arizona's run defense being good so far)
"Once again, it's just two games in. I was very pleased the first week with what we did against the 49ers and, of course, Frank Gore. I also think Jacksonville is a pretty good team running the ball, so I was pleased to see that we were able to at least contain them a little bit. So I'm pleased with that, but it doesn't make me feel any better that we're playing a team like Indy this week."
HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT (on if there is a rule as to when the roof is open and closed)
"Yes, we do, it's in the media guide. I couldn't tell you the exact specifics of our rule. I know it has something to do with the temperature. When it's above a certain temperature, they will close it. But I don't know the exact guidelines of it. It's really more about fan comfort."
HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT (on how much last year and coming 35 seconds to winning the Super Bowl motivates the team, or do you not think about it much)
"Well, it's hard not to think about last year because everybody, especially when you've never been to a Super Bowl like this organization had never been, they still wanted to talk about it because people were excited about it. I think the feeling that we had when we walked off the field after coming so close and losing did motivate our guys. And hopefully that's something that we can use during the course of the season, especially when you're playing an opponent like Indianapolis which has won a Super Bowl, which has played consistently very well over the years. So we've used it, we've tried to use it as a way of motivating our team because once again, it's so hard to get there, and when do you and you come that close, it's very tough. I think our guys want to get back and play well and have opportunities to win the division and get to the playoffs again. And that's something that certainly helps drive them."
HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT (on how long have they operated out of a 3-4 defense or if they were back-and-forth until recently)
"We've been elements of both. We've had both the 4-3 and the 3-4, but we've been a little bit more geared that way this year, towards the 3-4. But we have had elements of both. It's been more about personnel, really, than anything."
HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT (on the 3-4 being their base)
"This is actually our third season going in, and we changed defensive coordinators. So once again, our defense has changed a little bit since we changed coordinators. But when we first got in here, when I first came in two-and-a-half years ago, this is the third season, we installed a hybrid kind of 3-4/4-3 team. In some looks it was a 3-4 and in other looks depending on the offense's set, it was more of a 4-3 type. We still have elements of the 4-3, we still use those, incorporate it into part of our defense. But because our athletes have changed a little bit over the last two years, we've gone a little bit more with just a normal 4-3 as well."
HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT (on the Colts' game at Miami Monday night)
"I did watch the game Monday night. I was very impressed with how the Colts handled that situation, especially in a hostile environment. Being able to move the ball down the field and score to win is always very impressive, but that seems to be something that Indianapolis does quite frequently. It's a little bit difficult to prepare for when you're playing a team that can operate like that. So we certainly respect the way the Colts play and know we have a huge job in front of us."
WR-LARRY FITZGERALD (on his performance in the postseason last year) Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"You know, as players you kind of let the last game, the last practice, the last season, you have to let it go. You try not to reflect on the past. I think when you look in the rear-view mirror, you can't really see what is going on in front of you. That's where my focus is. I'm trying to get better and improve upon the things I need to improve on and the coaches think I need to improve on. As a team, I was happy where we finished. Obviously, we didn't get the ultimate goal done, but that's why we're out here working, and that's why we're going to be playing on Sunday."
WR-LARRY FITZGERALD (on motivation after being so close to winning the Super Bowl) Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"We've been so bad around here for so many years. I've finished 4-12 and 5-11. I've lost nine straight games in a season before. You have no idea what it's like going to work and being in a slump like that as a team. I never want to have to deal with anything like that (again). I think the guys around here, not only myself, are all trying to make a conscious effort to make sure we're dotting our i's and crossing our t's, and never go back to what we were again. And just trying to be a consistent organization and a team like the Indianapolis Colts. To win 11, 12 games, year-in and year-out, you don't understand how much dedication that takes. People know you are coming to town, they're giving you their best shot every week, and you're able to weather the storm. That's what we want to do, and that's the team that we're patterning ourselves after."
WR-LARRY FITZGERALD (on if the mindset has changed in Arizona) Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"I think the more we win, we'll be able to change the culture. I think we saw it years back in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when they were kind of the armpit of the NFL. Tony Dungy went down there and changed that organization around. Now you look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and you look at them as a good football team. You don't look at them like they used to be perceived. That's what we want to be ourselves. We want to change the culture around here, and the only way we can do that is by continuing to win."
WR-LARRY FITZGERALD (on his excitement of WR-Anquan Boldin re-signing with the team) Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"Anytime you can keep him on the field with you, he makes us such a more dangerous team. What he is able to do with the ball in his hands and his leadership ability and the way he plays everyday is really infectious and guys feed off of it. We look around the league, and we look at some of the great duos, you look at St. Louis a couple of years back when they had Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. Those guys had a championship ring. Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison, when they were together, they had a championship ring. When you think of the great tandems, those are the guys you wanted to be mentioned in because they are winners. Numbers are great, Pro Bowls are fantastic, but we play to win championships, and that is what it is all about it."
WR-LARRY FITZGERALD (on if he studies other great wide receivers) Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"Definitely, I have my own computer set up at the house. The exact same thing we have at work, I have at home. So, everyday, let's say Reggie (Wayne) played a game. I have all his tapes and all his routes from Sunday. Andre Johnson and Terrell Owens and Randy Moss, I have all those guys, and I watch them and see what they're able to do and how they are able to beat guys. We played Jacksonville last week, obviously Indianapolis played Jacksonville the week before, so I did a lot of film study on Reggie. I always try to learn as much as possible from them."
WR-LARRY FITZGERALD (on what he thinks when people say he's the best) Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"I think I have a ways to go. I watch myself on tape sometimes, and I cringe on my routes and when I get out of my breaks. When you're doing something, you never really look at yourself like that. I look at myself as a work-in-progress. I just turned 26 years old. I haven't even reached my prime yet, I don't feel. I have a ways to go to keep just climbing that ladder. I'm fortunate to have a great quarterback and some wonderful teammates around me to continue to push me."
WR-LARRY FITZGERALD (on if he watched the Colts game on Monday night and what he thought about it) Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"I mean, if you didn't watch the game and you just looked at the stat sheets after the game, and you saw 45 minutes possession, Peyton Manning on the sidelines for that amount of time, Miami rushing for 200-and-whatever yards; you look at that game on paper, and you say there is no way they were able to win this football game. That is what being a championship football team is about, finding ways to win football games. Most teams in the NFL would have found a way to lose that game, but Peyton Manning and (Robert) Mathis and Dwight Freeney, those guys found a way to win that football game. That's what great teams do. So, watching that game, I was able to not only watch what they were doing scheme-wise, but also just watching the tenacity, and what it takes to go out and win football games on the road, like they were able to do on Monday. I was very impressed with that."
WR-LARRY FITZGERALD (on the differences between former head coach Dennis Green and current head coach Ken Whisenhunt) Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"Both Coach Whisenhunt and Coach Green are really good men. I've been fortunate enough to have two great head coaches. With the players, I think Coach Whisenhunt has a more open-door policy. He kind of has a more open relationship with the players. Coach Green wasn't as open and talkative with the players. I think Coach Whisenhunt is a lot more lively, in terms of joking it up, hamming it up with guys. He has good, personal relationships with a lot of the players. I think that's the biggest difference."
WR-LARRY FITZGERALD (on his family's influence on his life and career) Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"Both my parents did a good job raising my brother and me. They made a lot of sacrifices to make our lives easier. I think that's a great quality in parents. A lot of people wouldn't be able to do the things they're doing if it wasn't for their parents sacrificing and laying the foundation for them. My parents were no different. I had a unique opportunity as a child to have a father that was a sportswriter, radio personality, television guy, so I was around some of the greatest athletes to play. I was around Kirby Puckett, taking batting practice with him, joking around with him, throwing balls at the park before games. I was at shoot-arounds with Kevin Garnett when I was a child. I practiced with Cris Carter. These are Hall-of-Fame players, and I was able to be around them, and I saw their work ethic and how much it meant to them. So, at a young age I really saw what I wanted to do, and what it was going to take for me to get there. Not only do you have to have great ability and work ethic, but you have to have a burning desire to be the best at your craft. That's something I learned from those guys growing up, only because my father was in a position for me to see that. It was great to have a father in that field."
WR-LARRY FITZGERALD (on growing up in professional locker rooms) Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"It was wonderful, because everybody in the world only gets to see on Sundays what these guys go out and do. But I was able to see their hard work and their preparation, the things that they did from Monday to Saturday. That's really what makes great players great. You hear about the Indianapolis Colts offense, and we were watching it on Monday. They look great on Sunday, but I can guarantee you when Peyton has a two-minute drill on Thursdays with the guys, it's at that same tempo. He's going through the motions and he's doing everything that he's doing on Sundays and getting his guys prepared, so it looks as easy as it looks on television. I know that hard work and that preparation, you have to put it in on the practice field."
WR-LARRY FITZGERALD (on playing in primetime) Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"When you're playing in front of the world, playing in front of your peers, playing in front of your family, everybody is able to watch you go out and perform. I think it's definitely an added incentive for you to go out there and play well, to go out there and win as a team. People take notice of your performance, of your team's performance. Big time players make big plays in big games. I think that's the perfect example of why Dwight (Freeney) feels the way he feels. Whenever I see the guy on television, he is always around the quarterback. I just hope one game he can take a day off. Hopefully, it is this Sunday."