Super Bowl sore subject for Fitzgerald


POSTED: Friday, February 06, 2009

Not everybody was excited to talk about last Sunday's Super Bowl.

“;Aw, man, it's like opening up an old wound,”; Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “;I just want to heal now.”;

Nobody improved his status as much this season as the 25-year-old Fitzgerald, who put himself in the discussion for best receiver in football.

In four playoff games, the three-time Pro Bowler had 30 receptions for 546 yards and seven touchdowns.

That's more yards and touchdowns than Chad Johnson, Chris Chambers and Roy Williams had the entire season.

But Fitzgerald might be willing to trade most of those numbers—except his two fourth-quarter touchdowns against the Steelers—for a tackle on Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison during his 100-yard interception return for a score just before halftime.

“;That's a strong guy,”; Fitzgerald said. “;When I grabbed him it was like trying to pull a bull down.”;

Fitzgerald and teammate Anquan Boldin, both starters on Sunday, are regarded as the league's top pass-catching combo.

But unlike Fitzgerald's eye-popping season, Boldin had his share of tough times.

It started after a contract dispute in the offseason left Boldin wanting out of Arizona. Then in late September, Boldin suffered a wicked facial injury after a hit from the New York Jets' Eric Smith.

Quarterback Kurt Warner was so freaked out by the play that he contemplated retiring after the season, but Boldin returned to the field a month later and went on to total 89 passes for more than 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns.

“;That just showed the kind of guy Kurt is,”; Boldin said. “;It means a lot to know that somebody cares about you not only as a football player, but outside of football.”;

Boldin still has two years remaining on his contract. Even with the Cardinals' stunning Super Bowl run, his future in Arizona is still a mystery.

“;The only thing I can say is it'll be an interesting offseason,”; Boldin said.

As for Warner, the 37-year-old potential Hall of Famer doesn't have a contract for next season and didn't commit to playing another year. Unlike the younger Fitzgerald, who still had a bitter taste in his mouth from the Super Bowl, Warner seemed more at ease with the disappointment of Sunday's loss.

“;The perspective I have nowadays is I was so fortunate to be a part of such a great game,”; he said. “;Two minutes away from being world champs and the actual world champs did what they needed to do and won the game.”;


Gonzalez's recruitment

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez has made it clear he wants to spend the final years of his career playing for a contender.

Whether it's in Kansas City remains to be seen, but it didn't stop Baltimore Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs from recruiting the 10-time Pro Bowler.

“;Baltimore!”; Suggs shouted as Gonzalez was taping an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols. “;Ravens!”;


Disappointed Trojan

Three days after winning the Super Bowl, safety Troy Polamalu of the Steelers had a reason for dismay Wednesday.

“;Of course I'm disappointed,”; said the former USC great. “;I was hoping he'd join our great tradition of Polynesian players.”;

Polamalu was referring to the decision by Punahou's Manti Te'o to sign with Notre Dame instead of USC, which was widely considered the front-runner for the nation's top linebacker prospect.

He wished Te'o success, except when the Irish play the Trojans.

“;I hope he can start a tradition there,”; Polamalu said.