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Even With Milestones, Larry Fitzgerald Not Interested In Second Place

Notes: DC Holcomb ready to call plays; Golden doesn't practice

WR Larry Fitzgerald in the preseason against the Chargers.
WR Larry Fitzgerald in the preseason against the Chargers.

Evidently, Ricky Bobby said it best: If you ain't first, you're last.

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is on the precipice of two major milestones this season. If he catches 92 passes and accumulates 390 yards, the future Hall of Famer will move to second all-time in both categories, passing Tony Gonzalez and Terrell Owens, respectively.

But in the vein of the fictional race car driver played by Will Ferrell, a runner-up spot – no matter the magnitude -- doesn't move the needle for Fitzgerald.

"I don't know anybody that plays for No. 2," Fitzgerald said. "That doesn't even register to me. I never play for second."

Jerry Rice is the all-time leader in both categories, and Fitzgerald, 35, would need 316 catches and 7,351 yards to surpass his career totals.

"That's not going to happen," Fitzgerald said, "but the mentality of being happy finishing second, I can't ever allow that to happen."

Fitzgerald has exceeded 100 catches and 1,000 yards receiving each of the past three seasons, which is why he seems like a good bet to move up the historical ladder by the end of 2018.

Fitzgerald, though, would be happy to see his individual numbers drop if it means more production elsewhere.

"I'm hoping we're able to spread it out and more guys will be able to contribute, like we were able to do in '15," Fitzgerald said. "I had a good year, but Mike (Floyd) had a good season, Smoke (Brown) was really dominant. You look at Chris Johnson's year, David Johnson. The more guys you have that teams have to be able to account for, the more opportunities and more explosive your offense can be, because you have to prepare for so much more."


Even though coach Steve Wilks has a defensive background, he has ceded play-calling duties to first-year defensive coordinator Al Holcomb, who was the linebackers coach with the Panthers last season.

Holcomb said he called every play in the preseason and is excited to put his stamp on the defense when the regular season begins on Sunday against Washington.

"Obviously Coach has a defensive background, and he may suggest something, 'Hey what about something like this?'" Holcomb said. "But up to this point, I've called every single defensive (play) this preseason, and will moving forward."

Cornerback Patrick Peterson said everything has gone smoothly thus far.

"He's done a fabulous job of getting guys in position, and we were just lining up and playing," Peterson said. "Now we have an opportunity to game plan and really explore offenses' weaknesses. I believe Al is doing a great job of putting players in position to be successful."


Defensive end Markus Golden (knee) missed practice for the second straight day. He seems doubtful for the opener because Wilks said on Wednesday that it would be "tough for him to be ready" without participating in Thursday's practice. Golden is recovering from a torn ACL suffered last October.

There was no change in status with the other Cardinals on the injury report, as tight end Jermaine Gresham (Achilles), running back T.J. Logan (ankle), defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (foot), defensive tackle Corey Peters (knee) and defensive tackle Olsen Pierre (toe) remained limited. Holcomb was encouraged by the progress of Peters, Nkemdiche and Pierre, who are the top three defensive tackles on the depth chart.

For the Redskins, wide receiver Maurice Harris (concussion) did not practice. Tackle Trent Williams (knee) was downgraded to limited.

Images of past matchups between the Cardinals and Sunday's opponent, Washington