A few minutes with … Kerry Rhodes

Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes spent a few minutes during a visit Friday to the NFL Network to chat about the team’s quarterback situation, the one thing Larry Fitzgerald can’t do and, of course, Lady Gaga. Here we go:

Are the Cardinals a quarterback away from being title contenders?
KR:Yeah, I think we are. The trickle-down effect from not having that guy at quarterback who can sometimes bail you out of losses, it’s tough. The good quarterbacks in this league, if you’re not playing your best, sometimes will win a game for you. There are a couple of games last year that if we had that guy, we would have won those games. We could have been 9-7 instead of 5-11. Just having that guy who can manufacture a win in some games, it’s beneficial. That’s why they get paid the most in this league.

Arizona Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes during a portrait session at the NFL Network Studio on May 13, 2011 in Culver City, Ca. (Gary A. Vasquez/NFL)

Who would you like for that quarterback to be?
KR: Oh, man. There are a few good candidates out there. The obvious ones that everyone talks about are Kevin Kolb, Marc Bulger, and I’ve heard Matt Hasselbeck, too. There are guys who are out there who are available and could be very beneficial.

Well, there is Brett Favre. He could come out of retirement …
KR: LOL! If he’s healthy, he’ll give us a chance to win! So, Brett, if you read this and you’re healthy, you’ve done it a couple of times before, why not one more?

You’ve played six NFL seasons. Give me some perspective on who is the best receiver in the NFL right now?
KR: I have to go with my teammate, Larry Fitzgerald. Some people think I’m saying that because he’s my teammate, but he’s one of the hardest-working guys I’ve ever seen. We spent some time training in Minnesota last offseason, and to see what he does to get better, he has to be the best.

Is there anything Fitzgerald can’t do?
KR: He can’t beat me at basketball. I know that’s one thing he can’t do. I know that much!

The Cardinals are one of the teams who have held group workouts during the lockout. How beneficial are these workouts at this time of year?
KR: They can be beneficial, especially for a team like us who has a new defensive coordinator. Defensively, there’s a learning curve for us, just learning the terminology and what we want to accomplish. That’s where the disadvantage would come in during a lockout. But in terms of conditioning and lifting weights, if you can’t do that on your own, you’re in trouble anyways. You’re a professional, you have to get that done yourself.

Is that the difference between players who are great and those who aren’t?
KR: I would want to say that, but truth be told, some guys are just freaks of nature. Some guys don’t have to work as much as I might or other guys might. You can’t just look at it one way and think that’s the way it is. Some guys can get away with it and still be great. Some guys say it’s one way, but that’s not the case.

Let’s take a sharp left turn. You were in Lady Gaga’s video for “Paparazzi.” Really, what is she like?
KR: The Lady Gaga of back then, she wasn’t that far gone yet. She was still a human being, she was still among us! But now, she’s a little monster, she says. She does her face a certain way. It’s pretty startling. But she’s a great girl. She’s cool from what I remember.

You’ve also been on Martha Stewart’s show. So, between Martha and Lady Gaga, who would you rather enjoy dinner with?
KR: Both, in their own way. Martha, she went to jail, she can talk about that, about blinds, about some good recipes to cook up for your girl later. From an interest standpoint, it would be her. Plus, she’s pretty flirty, and she can keep you entertained. Gaga, of course, would be interesting. You never know what you would get with her. I don’t think you could go wrong.

On a serious note, your hometown of Bessemer, Ala., was impacted by the tornadoes that swept through the South. Tell me how you’re getting involved.
KR: My aunt actually lost her house while she was in it. She hid in the bathtub and then opened the door, and the whole house was gone. Through the Kerry Rhodes Foundation, we’re doing a weekend in June to raise money for the tornado-relief efforts in Alabama. There are a lot of celebs and athletes on board, including Channing Tatum, the music group Alabama and Chad Ochocinco, plus Martin Lawrence will do a little stand-up. You’ll be able to find out more later on KerryRhodes.com.

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