Thank You, Larry FitzgeraldNovember 13th, 2012
New Bucs cornerback LeQuan Lewis, a hero Sunday with a late interception of Philip Rivers, couldn’t wait to leave the Bucs locker room following the game and text one of the guy’s he credits for getting him to the NFL. That would be Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
Last year, thanks to the asinine lockout, was a horrible time to be an undrafted free agent, as Lewis was out of Arizona State.
“Larry Fitzgerald was one of the biggest impacts for me that offseason, and I keep in touch with him. I can’t wait to tell him I got one [interception] today,” Lewis said after the game.
Fitzgerald hosted workouts at Arizona State during the lockout for Cardinals teammates and various NFL buddies and invited Lewis to join. “To see how it is to be an NFL pro was incredibly valuable, to learn from him and experience it hands-on,” Lewis said. “It made a huge difference for me. I really thank him for all he did for me.”
Lewis also is darn serious about his custom-made, rubber wristbands engraved with motivational messages. When Joe went to chat with Lewis in the happy postgame locker room Sunday, Lewis advised Joe to wait because he needed time to carefully put on those wristbands first.
This was no joke. Those eight bands are years old and could break if Lewis isn’t careful. They’re also well-traveled.
Now with his fifth team in 16 months, Lewis is grateful for what he calls a true team family in Tampa. Of all those teams, Lewis said, the Bucs are the only one he had no connection to before signing a contract yet it’s been the most welcoming team. He played for the Cowboys against the Bucs earlier this season before Dallas cut him. Then the Bucs signed him, cut him, and signed him to the practice squad before he was promoted before Sunday’s game.
Speaking on the Buccaneers Radio Network last night, Greg Schiano said the Bucs were “immediately” wowed by what Lewis put on film against the Bucs in Dallas.
“What an explosive player he was,” Schiano said. ”He’s a talented guy. We just need to keep moving him forward in his football, you know, learning more and more. The way he works I’m sure he will.”