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Fitzgerald Stays Stoic

Notebook: Receiver keeps emotions in check; Floyd's mindset as starter


Larry Fitzgerald has stayed even-keeled despite a rough season.

With each completion in Green Bay and following each incompletion in Atlanta two weeks later, John Skelton's facial expressions remained the same.

He didn't wince when his passes flew high or grinned from ear-to-ear when Larry Fitzgerald hauled in another catch. Skelton's kept his emotions in check throughout the turbulence of the past 10 weeks.

"I think that's one of the greatest qualities of John is that he never really wavers," Fitzgerald said. "I think John does a really good job of never getting too high or never getting too low. He just kind of stays right there, even keeled."

Fitzgerald knows a thing or two about being even keeled.

The Cardinals' star has kept his composure all season, regardless of how many passes were too high, too low or too wide.

He's taken the words of receivers coach Frank Reich to heart: "A wise man avoids all extremes."

Some, then, might call Fitzgerald a genius. He knows everyone is watching and waiting for him to react. But if he stays calm, then the locker room falls in line.

His lack of emotion shouldn't be confused for indifference.

"I'm human," Fitzgerald said. "My Dad always use to tell me patience is a virtue and definitely my patience has been tested, my resolve has been tested. I'm not the only one. A lot of guys on this team are having to deal with the adversity. I'm not in it by myself."


Michael Floyd's approach to Sunday's game against the Jets changed when he learned he'd be starting in place of the injured Andre Roberts.

"It's just a different mindset knowing you're going to play," Floyd said. "You're paying more attention to detail and just making sure you stay mentally sound, making sure you don't make any mistakes. For the most part, that's what I'm doing. I feel a lot more comfortable."

It was Floyd's first NFL start and a second might be awaiting him if Roberts can't go Sunday in Seattle. But Floyd isn't concerned about starting.

"Whenever I'm called to go out, that's what I do," Floyd said. "I just got to work through it. When my time is called to make a play I'll go out and do it."


CB Greg Toler (hamstring) was added to the injury report Thursday as limited, joining fellow limited Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (calf), QB Kevin Kolb (ribs) and RB Beanie Wells (knee).

WR Andre Roberts (ankle) and DE Ronald Talley (ankle) each sat out for a second straight day. S Kerry Rhodes (quadricep) and LB Reggie Walker (knee) were each upgraded to full practice.


Now that the dust has settled on the 49ers' quarterback storm, the Cardinals remain the only team in the NFC West that doesn't have stability at their premier position.

"I'm not worried about what they're doing," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "I am disappointed that our position hasn't played better this year or more consistently. You just got to keep working with the guys. There's not much else you can do."

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has continued to start Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith, who missed time because of a head injury. Seattle's Russell Wilson has held on to the Seahawks' job since being name the starter in preseason and there's never been a question about Sam Bradford's job status in St. Louis.

"That's their situation," Fitzgerald said. "Ours is different. I just try to take care of what we can take care of here."

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