Larry Fitzgerald Says the Cardinals Need More Help from the Running Game on Early Downs

October 12, 2012 – 9:00 am by Brad Gagnon

Despite not getting much from the semi-important quarterback position, the Arizona Cardinals started 4-0. But offensive struggles finally sunk the Cards in an embarrassing loss to the St. Louis Rams last week. Now, though, they get to battle a Buffalo Bills team that has been dominated in back-to-back games.

Larry Fitzgerald says the Cards have to rebound with a better performance, regardless of the opponent.

Larry Fitzgerald joined Bickley and MJ on XTRA Sports 910 in Phoenix to discuss Thursday night’s debacle in St. Louis, the sudden powerhouse that is the NFC West, the Cardinals’ running game (or lack thereof) and Arizona’s next opponent, the Bills.

On if they’ve moved on from a tough loss to St. Louis last Thursday night:

“That game is behind us. It was obviously not the way we wanted to perform as a team, especially offensively, scoring three points. That’s not the way we want to go out there and play. And that’s not indicative of what we know we’re capable of as the Arizona Cardinals. Buffalo’s coming in here, they’re hungry. … They’re hard and they’re battle-tested and they’re gonna come in here and give us a good fight.”

On the NFC West becoming one of the stronger divisions in football:

“It’s a really strong division from top to bottom. You look at the record overall throughout the first five weeks this season — these teams are really good. And that’s only gonna make us better, make us stronger, that we have to play these guys six times throughout the course of the year. It’s gonna be a battle every time we step on the field with them. It’s great. I love the fact that we’re viewed around the league now as one of, if not the toughest division.”

On getting the running game going:

“There’s one thing I would say that we haven’t been doing well offensively, and that’s getting in short, manageable third downs. You look at the good teams throughout the league — the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, the Houston Texans — whenever they’re in third down, it’s third-down-and-two. So at third-down-and-two you have the ability to either run the football or throw the football. When you’re sitting third-and-eight, third-and-nine, third-and-10, your options are a little bit out the window and you know that you have to throw the football at that point. So we have to do a better job at getting manageable down-and-distance, and I think running the ball effectively is only going to be a help to that.”

On not looking past the Bills this week:

“I don’t care what your record is, what you’re playing for. Every time you step on that field you’ve got to play hard. These guys are professionals. They’re paid just like we are. They’re going to come out here and give us their best shot. They didn’t travel back to Buffalo, they stayed here in the Valley, they’re practicing here. So they’re getting acclimated to the heat. They’re doing everything to put themselves in position to come out here and be successful, and we have to go out there and play our game. … We feel as though we’re a really tough team to beat, and we have our home fans that are going to be here. That’s important to us. So we’re going to try and make the environment as tough as possible for them.”

Listen to Larry Fitzgerald on XTRA Sports 910 here

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