After all, if things weren't working, change may be a good thing. And for a receiver, perhaps the most important change is the one at quarterback, where the Cardinals traded to get Carson Palmer from the Oakland Raiders.
And Fitzgerald likes what he sees in Palmer.
Fitzgerald is clearly tired of answering questions about the team's problems on offense the past three years. He's weary of making promises and expressing excitement about any changes, because he knows such comments mean nothing until the Cardinals prove their offensive problems have been addressed.
"I'm just older and have been through a lot of ups and downs over these last three years," Fitzgerald said via text. "So I'm just focusing in on what I can control and that's my attitude, preparation and commitment."
So Fitzgerald is embracing the changes, from the hiring of coach Bruce Arians, the promotion of Steve Keim to general manager and the trade that brought Palmer aboard.
He already likes Palmer's take-charge attitude that reflects veteran experience.
"It does instill confidence knowing the leader of your offense is into it and wants to see everyone play at a high level," Fitzgerald said of Palmer.
Palmer, who is equally excited to work with Fitzgerald, said the star wide receiver is "exactly what I expected."
"He's working as hard in practice as he was in games," Palmer said. "He's a perfectionist. He wants to do things right every single time. He and I will get along great because I am the same way.
"It's been a great offseason so far," he said. "Learning the new system has been fun and a nice change-up. So I'm excited and looking forward to the season."
There has been speculation that Fitzgerald might ask to be traded if the Cardinals continue to struggle. He would never admit that publicly if it were true, and the Cardinals have steadfastly said that Fitzgerald is not going anywhere.
But the star receiver's frustration is evident. And a fourth consecutive season out of the playoffs might be enough to make him push for an exit play.
That's a long way off, however. For now, Fitzgerald is saying, or texting, all the right things.
--The first mistake made regarding Cardinals rookie minicamp was the responsibility of coach Bruce Arians. He acknowledged not checking the calendar closely enough; that's why the final day of camp came on Mother's Day.
Otherwise, the three-day camp went as well as be expected, at least judging by the limited access given to media.
Reporters were allowed to attend just one of those five sessions, a dramatic departure from years past.
It wasn't that big of deal, however, because the important work at camp was being done in the classroom, not on the field. New concepts were introduced daily. There was no time for review. That will come this week when the entire team gathers for the start of organized team activities.
"They heard a whole new offense and defense this morning," coach Bruce Arians said on Friday. "I was really pleased with the execution. It looked like they were in very good condition.
"We haven't really slowed it down as coaches. We've thrown it at them just like we did with veterans at the first minicamp."
Much of the attention at camp was on defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, the team's third-round pick. It was a controversial selection by the Cardinals, who acknowledged the riskiness of selecting a player with a history of trouble, including chronic marijuana use.
Mathieu, again, asserted that he has changed and will make the Cardinals look good for the chance they took. He was made available to reporters the day before camp started and he fielded the expected questions about his past. Those questions will stop one day, he said, if he stays out of trouble.
"Just letting my actions speak for themselves," Mathieu said, "I think that solves everything. I'm looking forward to it. I definitely have a long journey in front of me, definitely going to be some challenges but I think I'm prepared for it."
The Cardinals are playing Mathieu at free safety, and the idea is to use him in a variety of spots in the secondary.
It's similar to how he was used at Louisiana State.
Coach Bruce Arians has four more coaches on his staff than his predecessor, Ken Whisenhunt, had. And Arians is putting them to work. During OTAs, he's divided his squad in two, and during team drills, they hold dual practices on adjacent fields.
"We wanted to make sure we maximized the opportunities our rookies got," Arians said after the first full-team practice of the offseason. "You can't find a diamond in the rough if you're standing on the sideline watching. You can find one if he's out there working."
Linebacker Karlos Dansby showed up on his first day of work as a Cardinal with cleats from his old team, the Dolphins.
"I got a lot of hate about these Dolphins cleats," Dansby said. "They (the Cardinals) didn't have my size in the style I needed, so I had to make do."
Arians, somewhat of a fashion plate himself, noticed Dansby's shoes.
"We talked about that," Arians said. "I told him he could have my red ones tomorrow."
Arians will call plays and he's already using the radio to send plays into his quarterbacks.
"He's got a little bit of an accent," quarterback Carson Palmer joked.
Like most play-callers, Arians often will send in extra instructions along with the play.
Said Arians: "If I want to add anything, a coaching point like 'it's time to take a shot, let's get the first down, be alert for a blitz.' It takes a long time. We'll do that every time we have a live practice."
The Cardinals are facing the first four games of the season without inside linebacker Daryl Washington, who has been suspended for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He was also arrested recently on two counts of aggravated assault in a domestic violence situation.
Karlos Dansby was signed last week, and as the team began OTAs this week, Dansby was with the first unit while Washington was with the second team.
Washington spoke to reporters this week, and said, "All I can do is come out here and work as hard as I can and let everything else play out. I don't like to bring a lot of attention to the team. I wish I could've just been more aware of a lot of situations obviously on both ends of the stick with the league and myself. All I want to do is move forward from here and just try to help my team and bring positive attention to the team."
"I'm excited. It's my first chance to work with these guys with a defender across from them. There's a ton of work that needs to be done. It's good to have this speed on the field and the size we have."—QB Carson Palmer on his receiving corps.
A closer look at the Cardinals' picks:
Round 1/7 - Jonathan Cooper, 6-2, 311, G, North Carolina
The Cardinals ranked him as the top guard in the draft. They love his athleticism, comparing him to former Steelers great Alan Faneca. Cooper is athletic enough not only to pull but also to hit someone when he does. He can change directions to block defenders. He's smart and he started 47 games in four seasons. The Cardinals haven't decided which side he will play.
Round 2/45 - Kevin Minter, ILB, 6-0, 246, Louisiana State
The Cardinals traded down from 38 to 45, picking up a fourth=-round pick from the Chargers. The Cardinals passed on Manti Te'o because they thought Minter was a better player. He is short but Minter packs a punch. He could play right away because starter Daryl Washington is suspended for the first month.
Round 3/69 - Tyrann Mathieu, FS, 5-9, 186, Louisiana State
The Cardinals gambled here. Mathieu has a history of troubles, mostly with marijuana. The Cardinals think Mathieu is sincere about changing his life, and they expect his former LSU teammate, Patrick Peterson, to be a mentor. Mathieu will start his NFL career as a free safety. He doesn't have ideal speed for cornerback, and playing safety will give him a chance to roam the field and make plays on the ball, his strength. He also will return punts, along with Peterson.
Round 4/103 - Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, 6-4, 261, Texas
Two years ago, the Cardinals took Texas outside linebacker Acho in the same spot: fourth round, 103rd overall. Acho became a starter as a rookie, so that worked out well. Okafor could fill a need. The team needs to improve its outside pass rush and its depth at defensive end. Okafor was productive in college, recording 12.5 sacks last season.
Round 4/116 - Earl Watford, G, 6-4, 300, James Madison
The Cardinals traded down six spots, receiving the Giants sixth-round pick in return. They took their second guard in the draft, a sign that they weren't pleased with their interior line play last season.
Round 5/140 - Stepfan Taylor, RB, 5-9, 214, Stanford
Taylor is Stanford's all-time leading rusher and could contribute immediately. Rashard Mendenhall is the starter and the backup, Ryan Williams, has suffered serious injuries in both of his NFL seasons.
Round 6/174 - Ryan Swope, WR, 6-0, 204, Texas A&M
He adds speed to the wide receiver group. He was timed in the 40 in 4.34 seconds at the scouting combine. But he has a history of concussions, and that caused him to fall in the draft. The Cardinals were looking to add speed to the position.
Round 6/187 - Andre Ellington, RB, 5-11, 199, Clemson
The second running back taken in three selections, Ellington joins what is now a crowded backfield situation. He could contend for time as a third-down back because he has good hands and is a decent pass protector.
Round 7/219 - D.C. Jefferson, TE, 6-6, 262, Rutgers
A high school quarterback who had a productive college career. Jefferson suffered a pectoral injury at the combine but says he has recovered and is ready to practice.
CB Michael Adams is an excellent special teams player and can fill a role in dime coverage. Adams is small but there aren't many players better in coverage on special teams.
T D'Anthony Batiste played poorly as the starter on the left side last year, losing his job midway through the year. The team has some depth so it's hard to see how he returns.
DE Nick Eason is a versatile backup who can play both end and tackle. He's a great veteran presence in the locker room and as a former Steeler, he's familiar with coach Bruce Arians. It would make sense to re-sign him.
DE Vonnie Holliday turned 37 in December so everything is year to year with him. Holliday could be done, even though he did well as a spot player the last two seasons.
LB Paris Lenon is smart and former coordinator Ray Horton loved him. But Lenon is 35. Re-signing him won't be a priority, although the team is thin at the position.
T Pat McQuistan played decently in limited opportunities last season. He can play both guard and tackle, but he won't contend for a starting job. That makes re-signing him a low priority.
S James Sanders is a smart, veteran backup and decent special teams contributor. Isn't expected to return, and was suspended April 19 for first four games of 2013 season.
(not tendered offers)
C Ryan Bartholomew (not tendered as ERFA).
RB Javarris James (not tendered as ERFA).
LB Brandon Williams (not tendered as RFA).
LB Kevin Minter (2/45): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
RB Stepfan Taylor (5/140): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
WR Ryan Swope (6/174): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
RB Andre Ellington (6/187): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
TE D.C. Jefferson (7/219): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
S Rashad Johnson: Potential UFA; $4.8M/3 yrs, $1M SB.
RB William Powell: ERFA; $480,000/1 yr.
RB Alfonso Smith: ERFA; $555,000/1 yr.
DE Ronald Talley: ERFA; $555,000/1 yr.
LB Lorenzo Alexander: UFA Redskins; $9.5M/3 yrs, $3M guaranteed.
S Jonathon Amaya: Not tendered as RFA by Dolphins; 1 yr, terms unknown.
S Yeremiah Bell: UFA Jets; $905,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
LB Jasper Brinkley: UFA Vikings; $3.5M/2 yrs, $400,000 SB.
CB Antoine Cason: UFA Chargers; $1.5M/1 yr, $600,000 SB/$1M guaranteed.
LB Karlos Dansby: FA Dolphins; terms unknown.
WR Jarett Dillard: FA; terms unknown.
T Paul Fanaika: FA; terms unknown.
CB Bryan McCann: Not tendered as RFA by Dolphins; 1 yr, terms unknown.
RB Rashard Mendenhall: UFA Steelers; $2.5M/1 yr.
QB Carson Palmer (trade Raiders).
CB Jerraud Powers: UFA Colts; $10.5M/3 yrs, $3M SB.
G Chilo Rachal: UFA Bears; 1 yr, terms unknown.
DE Frostee Rucker: FA Bengals; 1 yr, terms unknown.
DE Matt Shaughnessy: UFA Raiders; 1M/1 yr.
QB Drew Stanton: UFA Colts; $8.2M/3 yrs, $3M guaranteed.
S Curtis Taylor: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
LB Stewart Bradley (released).
WR Early Doucet (released).
CB William Gay (released).
LB Quentin Groves: UFA Browns; $2.4M/2 yrs.
QB Brian Hoyer (released; had been re-signed AS RFA).
QB Kevin Kolb (released).
G Rich Ohrnberger: UFA Chargers; 1 yr, terms unknown.
S Kerry Rhodes (released).
QB Kevin Kolb (released).
QB John Skelton (released).
G Adam Snyder (released).
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling: UFA Steelers; terms unknown.
CB Greg Toler: UFA Cardinals; $14.25M/3 yrs, $5M guaranteed.
RB Beanie Wells (released).
S Adrian Wilson (released).