We continue the look at the 2013 Arizona Cardinals in review by looking at an improved position, the wide receiver. Everyone got better in 2013 and that’s easy to do when you have a quarterback who can get you the ball. Of course it also helps that you run the right routes and can catch.
It all started once again with the star receiver Larry Fitzgerald. He caught 82 balls in 2013 for 954 yards, which is pretty good. There were receivers who caught more balls and had more yards but Fitz returned from a four touchdown season in 2012 to get 10 touchdowns in 2013 and he played hurt for a couple of weeks during mid-season. Fitz was not a huge target of Cards quarterback Carson Palmer early on after week one of the season, a game in which Fitz caught a couple of his touchdowns. As time went on though, the Cards made it a point to make him target number one once again.
Also improving in 2013 was second-year receiver Michael Floyd. After spending time in former head coach Ken Whisenhunt’s dog house in 2012, he returned to catch 65 passes for 1,041 yards. He had five touchdowns but they included a season-long 91-yards in Jacksonville and a huge touchdown catch on the road in Seattle in the fourth quarter in week 16. He caught pretty much everything that came his way and those he didn’t catch he still made interesting.
The third receiver, Andre Roberts, caught 43 passes for just 471 yards and two touchdowns. He was fairly inconsistent. His biggest day of the season was in week one in St. Louis. He had a big day at home against Houston in October but then really didn’t have a huge catch again until week 17 against the San Francisco 49ers when he caught a fourth quarter touchdown. It made you wonder where that was all season. Either way, he still made a contribution.
Roberts will be in a fight for a spot in 2014. I would not be surprised to see Brittan Golden make a run at the number three spot. He had just four catches but they were for 136 yards. He got injured after a huge 53 yard catch in San Francisco. LaRon Byrd might make a comeback from injury too. Don’t sleep on Teddy Williams either, who also got injured in his short stint with the Cards in 2013.