WR Larry Fitzgerald
How he beats you: One of the league’s elite receivers, the 6-foot-3, 218-pound Fitzgerald has size, speed, athleticism and great hands. He’s an excellent route runner with superb body control, which allows him to make some unbelievable catches. Fitzgerald’s quarterback, Kevin Kolb, will throw to him even if he’s covered. Kolb knows Fitzgerald has the ability to go up and get the ball, and if need be, wrestle it away from defensive backs.
How to stop him: Good question. As Washington cornerback Josh Wilson said, “People have been asking that the last how many years?” You can try to blanket him, but Fitzgerald has the speed to get separation, and the ability to out-jump you. So a lot of one-on-one coverage isn’t a good option. Instead, expect to see a lot of safety help on Fitzgerald. And the Redskins need to pressure Kolb so he won’t have time to find Fitzgerald or his other receivers. Said safety Oshiomogho Atogwe: “He’s a phenomenal football player. It’s a team effort. The best way to stop a great receiver and his quarterback is a great pass rush. So I’m gonna tell [Brian] Orakpo, and Barry [Cofield], to get after him! If the quarterback can’t get the ball off, [Fitzgerald] can’t make any catches. And we have to have to be on top of things with our best technique and positioning.”
The bottom line: The Redskins can throw all the double teams they have at Fitzgerald, but most likely, he’ll find a way to make a big play or two. The key for them is to keep those plays to a minimum. Strong communication in the secondary is crucial so Fitzgerald and Kolb aren’t able to take advantage of blown assignments. The last time he faced the Redskins, Fitzgerald racked up seven catches for 109 yards and a touchdown.