Even Michael Floyd will drop a ball once in a while.
It wasn’t a surprise, not with the bumpy introduction all of the rookies had to their first NFL minicamp Friday. The Cardinals’ No. 1 draft pick wasn’t an exception as he ran routes and caught passes from fellow draft pick
Asked about the chance to see Floyd on the first practice, coach Ken Whisenhunt said “you watch all of them, and you see some good things and see some bad things.”
“It’s the first day,” Whisenhunt added. “They get a gold star if they can line up right.”
Floyd grabbed most of throws that came his way as the Cards rotated constantly the seven wide receivers in camp. He compared the playbook to the one he had at Notre Dame his first two years under former coach Charlie Weis, and believed his first practice went well.
There were no butterflies, he said, although that will likely come later when veterans take part in organized team activities and their gaze looms over every play – and every errant step. Route-running is what Floyd would like to polish first.
“I have to be crisp at everything,” Floyd said.
Digesting the entirety of the situation is the hardest part, Floyd said. That was true from the outset, when the rookies – without a team full of veterans alongside them to work – had to be given a quick primer on where to line up when the Cards conduct a pre-practice stretch.
Floyd also said he would like to drop a couple of pounds, but that probably wasn’t going to be an issue in the heat, with temperatures crawling toward 100 degrees.
“I can for sure cut weight and that’s something I can do to keep my stamina and endurance up,” Floyd said. “Being out here in the nice weather, sweating, that will do the job.”
The three days of work will have to tide the rookies over until OTAs begin May 22, although the veterans have been doing a little bit of on-field work Tuesday and Thursdays of late in which the rookies will likely be introduced to going forward.
That’s a reason Whisenhunt is only looking for incremental and basic improvement from Floyd and all his first-year players.
“You’re not going to make the team this weekend,” Whisenhunt said. “If you want to make a good impression, don’t make mistakes and do it right from a technique standpoint.”
Of course, Floyd will not only be on the team but a major factor. Floyd stayed humble talking about where he was as a player on Day One, however. He and his new teammates have a long, long way to go.
“It’s a lot faster now,” Floyd said. “You have to pick up on things quicker or you get left behind.”