HONOLULU - JANUARY 30: Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals after scoring a touchdown against the American Football Conference (AFC) during the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on January 30 2011 in Honolulu Hawaii. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
I caught up with Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald at the ESPN studios on Wednesday and, while I didn't get down and beg him to come to the Kansas City Chiefs, I did ask him a few questions about guys he knows like Todd Haley and Dwayne Bowe.
"I know his mentality, his work ethic and what he stands for," Fitzgerald said of Haley. "I really like him as a human being. I think he's going to continue to do well in Kansas City. He has some pieces with Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe and Matt Cassel. Those are three good pieces. The defense is really improved. I look for great things to continue to come out of Kansas City."
I'm glad to see the perception of the Chiefs is rising among players in the NFL. The perception of Dwayne Bowe, who lead the league in touchdowns this year, is also on the rise. Fitzgerald and Bowe worked out together this offseason and Fitzgerald says he did see the big season coming from him.
"Yeah, I mean, he's like this untapped gem," he said. "He's not even close to reaching his full potential. I pride myself on my consistency. I want to be week in and week out I want to be consistent. I'm going to have some good games but you don't want those down games.
"There are games will Dwayne will have one catch or no catches. Todd used to always talk about, 'Don't be a yo-yo.' He used to always tell us that. 'Be the same guy every day.' That way you give your teammates the confidence that your'e going to be reliable on Sundays. If they can rely on you, great things are going to come from you. Dwayne is so, so talented. It's just unbelievable."
Fitzgerald said Bowe's age and experience in the NFL is when receivers "start to blossom. He's 25 or 26 years old and, physically, he's so gifted running routes. He's improved on his ball catching. I think Matt Cassel has demanded that, too, coming from that new England system that continues to preach excellence. I think he's kind of put some of that on Dwayne."
Since the Chiefs preach excellence on and off the field, I should mention what Fitzgerald was doing in Dallas. He's partnered with Target, who has pledged to donate $500 million over the next five years to support education. This week he's going to a school where they've invested some money into revamping a library -- sort of a "Extreme Home Makeover: Library Edition".
Fitzgerald is a cool dude. He was obviously in high demand when he was hanging out with us and he took time to talk to anyone who came up to him (even though he probably has a million appearances lined up). Count me as a fan of Larry Fitzgerald.