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Know the Foe: Titans Prepare for Double Threat of Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd

Posted Dec 13, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans know that Larry Fitzgerald has all the abilities and statistics that demand attention, but it remains to be seen how much they can or will give him Sunday.

Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd have formed a dynamic receiving tandem for the Cardinals.

Fitzgerald has been selected to seven Pro Bowls and has 831 catches for 11,187 yards and 87 career touchdowns. The 10-year pro with 10 touchdowns, 67 catches and 774 yards this season has been helped by the emergence of 2012 first-round pick Michael Floyd (56 catches for 886 yards and four TDs).

Cardinals QB Carson Palmer, a the No. 1 pick in the 2003 draft who joined Arizona this season, said playing with Fitzgerald has been great and makes his job at QB easier.

“His numbers speak for themselves and what he has done speaks for itself,” Palmer said. “There are a lot of doubling situations and a lot of games where guys are really focused on him, defenses are focused on him. You’ve always got to be ready for anything. In this league, guys are too smart, defensive coverages, there are so many, and coordinators are so crafty and always come up with something you haven’t seen or something you struggled with early on in the years. It’s not predictable enough where you could say, ‘I know this is what we’re getting,’ but you can expect Larry (Fitzgerald) to get doubled.”

Floyd’s surge, however, has made it tougher for opponents to blanket Fitzgerald.

“You got two guys that you really got to worry about,” Palmer said. “You got a lot of balls going to those two guys. When you get the run game working too, it makes it extremely difficult to handle both those guys.”

Fitzgerald is 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds, and Floyd checks in at 6-2 and 220.

“They’re trees so we’ve got to cut them down as much as we can,” safety Bernard Pollard said. “We’re facing a guy that’s been doing this for a very long time. He’s a technique guy first. He’s a guy who’s been productive in this league in Fitzgerald, and you’ve got Floyd who is an up-and-coming star, and you’ve got a quarterback that can get the ball to them, so we’ve got to be focused and have a short memory and go play ball.”

Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray has coached against Fitzgerald, most recently in 2010 when Gray was with Seattle.

“Larry is probably the most classy guy you’d ever want to play against as a wide receiver,” Gray said. “He’s not going to be talking noise and all the stuff like that. He’s going to play, and that’s the mentality you want a professional football player to have so when he beats you, he’s going to beat you nice, and when he loses, he’s going to lose nice. The big thing is you know you better be at the top of your game to get ready to play a Larry Fitzgerald.”

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