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Rolle-ing With The Wildcat

Notebook: Fitzgerald still not happy with his recent play


 Antrel Rolle scrambles to find a receiver against the Vikings last weekend. Rolle eventually ran for a nine-yard gain.
Hate is such a strong word.

"Kurt (Warner) hates coming off the field," Antrel Rolle said about the Cardinals' quarterback, and even Warner couldn't help but say "I hate coming out."

But when Rolle, the Cardinals' free safety, is inserted in the offense as a wildcat quarterback – if it's "Pahokee" when Anquan Boldin runs it, does that make the formation the "Homestead" for Rolle? – Warner admits "I kind of like that play."

The Cardinals broke out the Rolle-in-shotgun look again against Minnesota, as they had earlier in the year against the Giants. The idea is to use Rolle's cannon arm for a pass. Against the Giants, Rolle had a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald, but Fitzgerald dropped the ball (and the Cards were flagged for holding on the play anyway).

Against the Vikings, the Cards ran a version of the play, sending Fitzgerald deep and then running Steve Breaston backside, in the hope he'd be forgotten about and Rolle could chuck an easy TD pass.

"They recognized the formation and they sent a blitz my way," Rolle said. "I was able to buy some time and I was looking for him, but it wasn't open so I had to improvise and make something out of nothing."

Rolle looked like he'd be sacked, but he used his always-entertaining moves to manage a nine-yard run.

"It's pretty obvious when he has the ball in his hands what a factor he is," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "Not just on the offensive side, but on the interceptions and even the blocked field goal earlier this year. (The wildcat) is another element people have to prepare for.

"If that is something else our opponents have to work on that can detract from figuring out how to double Larry or how to play other things against us, I think that's great."

Rolle doesn't regret becoming a defensive player, but he certainly enjoys his new offensive role, noting "The more touches for me, the better."

He also knows Warner likes it too, even if it costs the quarterback a snap or two.

"He'll give me a couple," Rolle said. "We'll work together on that."


Fitzgerald was happy the chances were taken down the field against the Vikings, but remains mad at himself he didn't convert more than one – his 34-yard touchdown catch. His assessment of his recent play was mostly negative, causing one media member to ask why.

"I'm not a very complimentary person on myself," Fitzgerald said. "The things that keep me up at night are the things I don't do. Until I have that perfect game, that's when I can pat myself on the back. I haven't even had a perfect period before in practice, so I have a ways to go."

It was pointed out that Fitzgerald was spectacular in the postseason, and asked if it possibly could have been better. Fitzgerald didn't hesitate.

"Yeah, if I had a ring," Fitzgerald said. "Not an NFC championship, but a real ring. I mean … you know what I'm saying. I don't wear (the NFC Championship ring). I want a big one."


Linebacker Bertrand Berry was the latest to succumb to illness when he was forced to skip practice Friday, a day after running back Jason Wright went through the same thing. Wright was back on a limited basis Friday.

"We have a bunch of guys fighting this sickness, but other than that, we're in pretty good shape," Whisenhunt said. "There is something going around, but we'll be alright for the game."

The rest of the injury report did not change from Thursday. Let tackle Mike Gandy (pelvis) continues to work back into practice, working fully and sharing first-team time with Jeremy Bridges. Whisenhunt said he doesn't know yet if Gandy will return to the starting lineup.

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