Larry Fitzgerald Speaks on Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and Cardinals Offense

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) and quarterback Kyler Murray (1) wear a

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Veteran wide receiver and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald is looking forward to seeing what the Arizona Cardinals‘ passing offense can do in 2020.

In an interview with Kyle Odegard of the team’s official website, Fitzgerald noted that while the receivers have been unable to get together with quarterback Kyler Murray this offseason because of the coronavirus, Murray is committed to building upon the foundation he helped lay last season: 

“Talking to him, he loves being around us. He wants to take this to the next level and build on what he was able to accomplish last year, NFL Rookie of the Year. He’s got a lot of guys who want to play well for him, and he wants to do the same for us. Hopefully we will be able to do it here pretty soon.”

Fitzgerald said he is “working on” getting some of his teammates to Minneapolis so they can partake in one or two training sessions before training camp officially begins.

Murray entered the league last season with huge expectations hovering over him after he won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma and then went No. 1 overall in the draft. His 5-10-1 rookie record was modest, but he finished with 3,722 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, plus 544 yards and four touchdowns on the ground en route to being named Offensive Rookie of the Year.

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Now, Murray is perhaps in line to have an even better season in 2020 thanks to his natural progression, a greater comfort level with the offense under head coach Kliff Kingsbury and the addition of a big-time weapon.

The Cards shocked the football world when they acquired thee-time First Team All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans this offseason for running back David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round pick.

Fitzgerald heaped praise on Hopkins and believes he will be a great addition:

“I’ve known DeAndre since he was in college. We’ve had a great relationship for the last eight, nine years. Somebody that I highly respect and admire the way he goes about his business. I couldn’t be more happy to have him on the team. He’s a wonderful person for Christian [Kirk], Trent [Sherfield], Hakeem [Butler], Andy [Isabella], Kee [Johnson] and the other young guys to be able to learn from.”

Fitzgerald has lost some of the speed and athleticism he had earlier in his career now that he is 36 years old, but he is as experienced and savvy as they come.

With Hopkins’ arrival and the continued development of Kirk on the other side, Fitzgerald can primarily focus on working out of the slot in 2020, which is best suited to his skill set and should make the Arizona offense even more well-rounded.

Even without Hopkins in the fold and with a rookie quarterback under center, the Cardinals ranked a respectable 16th in scoring last season. With the talent Arizona has on the offensive side, breaking into the top 10 is a realistic goal.

The Cards will have their work cut out for them when it comes to reaching the playoffs out of a division that includes the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams, but they are a trendy pick to take a big leap in 2020, and the potential of their passing offense is a big reason for that.

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