Arizona Cardinals' Rookie Michael Floyd Contributes Without Making Catches

Shaun Church@@NFLChurchContributor IAugust 16, 2012

May 11, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd during rookie mini camp at the Cardinals practice facility.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

There is no doubt the Arizona Cardinals drafted wide receiver Michael Floyd as high as they did—No. 13 overall—to help them in the passing game.

No one will dispute that.

He has already made an acrobatic catch or two during OTAs and at training camp that leads coaches and fans to believe he was the right pick for them.

Floyd told Darren Urban of the Cardinals official website that’s why he’s here:

I just want to get on the field and be productive, Floyd said. I want to help the team any way I can. When the ball comes to me, it’s my time to make a play. They expect me to make a play and be successful and that’s what I’m going to do.

He’s right; that’s what they expect.

But they are getting more than just a pass-catcher in the former star Notre Dame wideout.

He was touted as one of the best—if not the best—blocking wide receivers from the most recent NFL draft, and he has already proven that to be true.

We’re going to go over in depth one play that should make every Cardinals fan a believer in everything the rookie receiver is and will soon be.

It’s a play I mentioned in a recent article from the Kansas City Chiefs game on August 10, but the brevity of its appearance did not serve it justice—mainly because no one has talked about it since and because I did not provide a proper visual.


The Block


The offense lines up with Floyd spread out far to the right side, as you can see here. This is a standard I-formation. With tight end Steve Skelton lined up next to right tackle D’Anthony Batiste, it’s what is known as a “strong right” formation.


We roll forward to show that running back William Powell has taken the handoff on a draw play, and after noticing the lack of a hole up the middle, where the play was designed to go, he is bouncing the play outside to the far left sideline. Floyd is no longer involved in the play.


Now 40 yards downfield, Floyd shows up on film ready to help Powell gain extra yards—something not many current NFL receivers would even dream of doing. He really has no business being on the complete opposite side of the field, nearly 50 yards from where he originally stood.


Floyd makes his trip down the field worth it, as he flings cornerback Jacques Reeves into the air and backward.


His contribution is not complete, however, as he must now get out of Powell’s way just a fraction of a second after leveling poor Reeves, who Floyd is larger than by three inches and 32 pounds.


This type of play should be expected from Floyd on a weekly basis throughout his career. It’s one of the reasons he jumped off the film to scouts within the Arizona Cardinals organization.

It is that kind of effort that will help Arizona turn the corner offensively and is a main reason I believe Floyd should be on the field just as often as All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald, even as a rookie.

Fitz on Floyd, from Urban’s column mentioned above:

Michael has a unique opportunity, Fitzgerald said. He’s not going to be asked to carry the full load. He’ll have a nice complementary role until he gets comfortable in there and he can get featured more and more. He’s confident in his ability, that’s what I really like about him.

That opportunity will expand the more often Floyd is seen on film making plays without the ball, such as this one.



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