Cardinals' game plan didn't include Larry Fitzgerald enough

There are 24 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Feb 1, 2009, titled Cardinals' game plan didn't include Larry Fitzgerald enough. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

The play-by-play sheet says the Cardinals lost to the Steelers with 35 seconds left in the game Sunday night.

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Since: Jan 09

Walnut Creek, CA

#1 Feb 1, 2009
I am not sure about the rationale of constantly throwing to a double teamed player just because he is a great player. Having another great player in Polamalu double team Fitzgerald makes it tough for any receiver to get open. More importantly, double teaming Fitzgerald opens up opportunities for the other Cardinal receivers which should be exploited, especially when they have Boldin as the other receiver who is not that far behind Fitzgerald. Regardless of which receiver Mr. Pompei thinks Warner should have thrown to, how can you blame the Cardinals passing plan as Warner was 31 for 43 for 373 yards against the NFL's best defense AND had the lead with less than 3 minutes left. The Cardinals lost because they had a ridiculous turnover before the half that was at least a 10 point swing, had almost twice as many penalty yards, and their defense could not stop the Steelers when they absolutely had to at the end of the game when they had the lead.

To suggest the Cardinals could have won the game by throwing more to a double teamed Fitzgerald is much more unrealistic than to say the Cardinals could have won the game had their defense simply stopped the Steelers on their last drive.
waste

Chicago, IL

#2 Feb 1, 2009
Thanks Dan Pompei for failing to justify the estimated 5k the Trib spent to send you down there. It's no wonder the newspaper industry is failing.
ingmar scarlet johanson

Palos Hills, IL

#3 Feb 2, 2009
Memo to Pompei: How many times can you write the same thing in one column? Get it to Fitzgerald, we get it. You really stretched that topic.

Maybe some day he'll write a follow-up to last week's column about Warner being a Hall of Famer.

In big games HOF'ers do not choreograph game-changing passes to opponents in the red zone. They don't hand-deliver momentum to the opposition. And though his stats were superior to Roethlisberger, it does not take HOF'ers three quarters to get rolling in big games.
Pete

Grand Rapids, MI

#4 Feb 2, 2009
Right you are, Dan. Ya gotta dance with them what brought ya. The Cards out-thought themselves last night.
BearsFan2

Bradenton, FL

#5 Feb 2, 2009
Keep forcing throws into double coverage? That's an offensive game plan?

Sounds like Grossman being told "we must get the ball into Moose's hands".

Dan, that's called playing into the defense's hands.
lou

Oklahoma City, OK

#6 Feb 2, 2009
The Cardinals mistakes are what cost them the game. They moved the ball without Fitzgerald, then they would get a penalty. They had 1st and 20 three times. Warner made a bad mistake at the end of the half, but with three receviers and a running back on the field you have to be able to bring a LB down.
This article is about as good as the fullback dive!
WHO DEY WE DEY

Butler, PA

#7 Feb 2, 2009
The cards were great. What a team. Great game.
Even better outcome. Go Steelers !
floridabear

High Springs, FL

#8 Feb 2, 2009
Dan in San Fran wrote:
I am not sure about the rationale of constantly throwing to a double teamed player just because he is a great player. Having another great player in Polamalu double team Fitzgerald makes it tough for any receiver to get open. More importantly, double teaming Fitzgerald opens up opportunities for the other Cardinal receivers which should be exploited, especially when they have Boldin as the other receiver who is not that far behind Fitzgerald. Regardless of which receiver Mr. Pompei thinks Warner should have thrown to, how can you blame the Cardinals passing plan as Warner was 31 for 43 for 373 yards against the NFL's best defense AND had the lead with less than 3 minutes left. The Cardinals lost because they had a ridiculous turnover before the half that was at least a 10 point swing, had almost twice as many penalty yards, and their defense could not stop the Steelers when they absolutely had to at the end of the game when they had the lead.
To suggest the Cardinals could have won the game by throwing more to a double teamed Fitzgerald is much more unrealistic than to say the Cardinals could have won the game had their defense simply stopped the Steelers on their last drive.
I like your post. Making logical points without a lot of negativity and name-calling. Thought out. Wish there was more of that on the comments
ldc

Champaign, IL

#9 Feb 2, 2009
I completely disagree.

I think Fitzgerald was able to have a big second half because they DIDN'T throw the ball to him early, but continued to enjoy success.

They were going in for the lead -- or at least a tie -- in the second quarter for pete's sakes.

A few dumb mistakes negated, they win the game.
Hutch Liebewein

AOL

#10 Feb 2, 2009
I agree Larry Fitzgerald should have been more involved - especially on DEFENSE! At the game's end with Pittsbugh on the 6 yard line, a high pass was called for and attempted twice to Santonio Holmes. Who better to catch those than the guy sitting on the bench - Fitzgerald! With him shadowing Holmes, the game might have had quite a different ending. But that would have called for some thinking outside the box.........
Peeperguy

Naperville, IL

#11 Feb 2, 2009
Hutch, you are probably the guy who called into M & H this morning, your comments sounds as dumb while reading as it did while listening to it.

How can you put a player in on defense who hasn't ever played the position? Especially considering that the steelers could have run any number of plays including a running play. If you want to throw Fitz in on defense against a certain hail mary pass.... sure, that DOES make sense. But asking him to cover a WR with only 6 yards between the LOS and the end zone in the final minutes of a super bowl is coaching suicide and shows judgement that is grounds for firing on the spot.

As for Dan Pompei's article, I agree with other posters, you can't force-feed it to Fitz if he is consistently double covered. Breaston and Boldin both benefitted from Fitz receiving double coverage... warner threw for more than 350 yards.... blaming the passing attack is the wrong call. I think Mike Gandy and his 3 holding penalties combined with a total lack of running game should be blamed.
Bears Fan

Lake Forest, IL

#12 Feb 2, 2009
Not enough of Larry Fitzgerald, too much of the lousy refs!
The KY Arizona Cards Fan

Butler, PA

#13 Feb 2, 2009
They cheated ! WAH ! WAH ! WAH !
I'm telling my mommy... the Steelers Cheated !

lol..........
The KY Arizona Cards Fan

Louisville, KY

#14 Feb 2, 2009
The KY Arizona Cards Fan wrote:
They cheated ! WAH ! WAH ! WAH !
I'm telling my mommy... the Steelers Cheated !
lol..........
Good One
Yikes

Edwardsville, IL

#15 Feb 2, 2009
I have no idea why the Cardinals didn't go to the fade in the corner of the endzone at the end of the first half either. Even if it didn't go to Fitzgerald, which I would have done, the pass should've gone anywhere but the middle of the field.

Also, Cardinals pass defense was terrible all night long. Seemed liked the Steelers picked on the rookie Cromartie, who didn't have much help, and like Babich this year, the corners played too far off the receivers and got burned for it.
Bob

Santa Maria, CA

#16 Feb 2, 2009
Did you ever think that the NFL's Top Ranked Defense played spectacularly in containing arguably its best and most athletic receiver? Hard to believe that Steeler Coaching Alumni Whisenhunt and Grimm didn't know all of the faces of the Steeler defenses. Unless they are dumber than the average fan or sports analyst, Whisenhunt and Grimm (BTW---the same geniuses who took the very IMPROBABLE Cardinals to their only SuperBowl) realize that Dick LeBeau (arguably the best defensive coordinator ever) out "D-Fenced" them.
The KY Arizona Cards Fan

Lake Forest, IL

#17 Feb 2, 2009
The KY Arizona Cards Fan wrote:
They cheated ! WAH ! WAH ! WAH !
I'm telling my mommy... the Steelers Cheated !
****......
Nobody said the Steelers cheated. The refs were just really lousy this year.
Another Bob

Virginia Beach, VA

#18 Feb 2, 2009
Is it really that hard to believe the Steelers simply negated Fitzgerald for three quarters with effective double coverage? If you need further evidence, why were the Cardinals able to complete so many screens to the running backs? Perhaps because the extra bodies that would normally be defending such passes were busy with Fitzgerald? When the Steelers tried to nail those effective screens in the fourth quarter, Fitzgerald was able to get open a lot more. I am no sophisticated sports columnist, but this does not seem difficult to understand.
Passing Fancy

Chicago, IL

#19 Feb 2, 2009
7 catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns. How is it that he was not a big enough part of the offense? He WAS the offense.
Replay Official

Chicago, IL

#20 Feb 2, 2009
Bears Fan wrote:
Not enough of Larry Fitzgerald, too much of the lousy refs!
Upon further review, the refs were not as lousy as the replay offical who overturned an obvious TD to start the game for Pittsburgh. The replay was clear that Big Ben's knee was NOT down.

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