When Larry Fitzgerald first moved inside as a receiver, he was asked to block a lot more, and he didn't particularly like it that much. But he quickly got pretty good at it.
“God yeah. Larry has become one of the best blockers, like Hines Ward, in the league,” Bruce Arians once said. “You really have to be a football player to have that role. But he knows how much it helps the team. He’s learned to play in the slot well, he can still play outside. He can do pretty much everything in the offense.”
Fitz is a big man, and he learned how to use that size.
“It wasn’t something that was really high on my priority list when I was younger,” Fitzgerald said in 2015. “Here, for us to have team success, it requires receivers to do some blocking. For us to have the team success, it might ask guys to do things they weren’t good at before.”
Back in 2013, there was the memorable hit on then-Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. That too ended, for lack of a better term, nicely.
"I tried not to hit him too hard,” Fitzgerald said back then. “They fine you on those crackbacks and penalize you too. I didn’t want to put my team in a position to lose 15 yards in the red zone like that. I just tried to make a smart play.”
(The funny part is that Fitz's block is essentially illegal now, because it is on the blindside.)
Flash forward to last Sunday, when the Cardinals played the 49ers and Fitz was caught on camera driving an unaware Nick Bosa to the ground. Of course, Fitz never offends anyone, even if he lights them up. He kills them with verbal kindness (which Sherman once said himself).
"He’s always saying something," Bosa told Nick Wagoner. "It’s not like mean or vicious in any way. It’s kind of friendly but it’s to get in your head. After that (block), he ran up to me and said ‘Sorry, man, I’ve got to slow you down somehow.’ I was like ‘Well, s**t, you did.’"