On Monday, Arizona Cardinals longtime wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald turned 37 years old. He’s been with the Cardinals since he was 21 and is the longest tenured player in franchise history.
But, he’s not still on the team to ease his way out of the league and into the sunset. Cardinals No. 2 quarterback Brett Hundley has noticed the opposite effect.
"A couple days ago, I had a moment with Fitz," Hundley said Monday. "The dude is 37 and he's still out here looking like 25. So, to see him still having fun and still doing it, but the one thing he told me on the sidelines was he still wants it more.
"You see it in his practice. his game-play, obviously you see it the way he interacts with people. He's just a professional. And he loves the game of football and even at 37, he's an old man, but he's still balling. The things we've seen him do in practice, translate to the game for him. And he's been doing it for years, year in and year out. Larry's awesome to be around just not only for myself, but for everybody to be able to see a true professional like that play this game of football, and we respect the hell out of him."
That urge to continue to produce at an elite level is present, and that has been a benefit for the whole team during training camp.
"He's a huge example of leading by example," linebacker Chandler Jones said. "He does a great job of not telling guys what to do, but also showing guys what to do."
This is perhaps the most talented offense Fitzgerald has been a part of in his career.
Quarterback Kyler Murray is entering Year 2 under second-season head coach Kliff Kingsbury. The expectations around the team are focused on improvement, progress as Jones put it.
Fitzgerald has not made the playoffs since 2015, and the Cardinals have only made it four times since drafting him. While Arizona has made major additions this offseason, Fitzgerald's continued work and leadership could also be a major factor in how the team does this season.