Larry Fitzgerald is a fan of Patriots, Belichick


Larry Fitzgerald is a fan of Patriots, Belichick

By Tom E. Curran

DALLAS - Earlier on Wednesday, I wrote about the enviable position Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is going to find himself in. Just 28 years old, headed to free agency with a no-trade, no-franchise tag clause in his contract at the end of next season. Some team is going to make Fitzgerald even richer than he already is.
Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston tracked Fitzgerald down here in Dallas and got the wideouts thoughts on New England. They were flattering.I think it all starts with the head coach Bill Belichick," Fitzgerald told Reiss. "He does a fantastic job, week in and week out, keeping his guys mentally prepared to go out there and play. Hes the only coach in history to have four seasons with 14 wins, and that alone, speaks volumes of what hes able to accomplish, especially in that AFC East division. I think youre looking at the NFLs strongest division, from top to bottom. If Buffalo played in the NFC West, theyd probably win the NFC West. Thats a strong, strong division and hes found a way to win it eight times. Its astonishing."

Fitzgerald has made mention of his desire to be on a winner. The Cardinals are not headed in that direction. Believe this, the bidding war for his services will be high stakes. It will be interesting to see if the Patriots take a seat at that table.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable


Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:


WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)


TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)