The growth of Andre Roberts

Posted by Darren Urban on August 5, 2011 – 9:19 am

This time last year, then-rookie wide receiver Andre Roberts, a third-round pick, was struggling. Mightily.

The coaches preached patience. And by the latter part of the season, Roberts looked like he finally “got it.” All the feeling he would end up a bust looked, in hindsight, ridiculous, and he became a prime example of evaluating prematurely.

“I don’t know if I’m the poster child for it or anything like that, but I do feel like I came back,” Roberts said. “Now I just have to work hard to get that position (of No. 2), and I do that by working hard every day.”

Ah, the No. 2 receiver spot. It was Steve Breaston’s most of last season, but by the end of the year, the coaches were using him in Breaston’s spot, testing him out and liking what they saw. They certainly like what they are seeing thus far in Flagstaff. Roberts looks nothing like the guy who dropped too many passes 12 months ago. He not only is catching the ball, but making receptions in traffic, the kind that Larry Fitzgerald makes routine.

“It’s not all confidence, but that definitely helps,” Roberts said. “When you know what you are doing you can go full speed. I had a whole bunch of things going through my mind (last year) but I got my playbook and the light came on for me in the latter part of the year.”

Roberts even sounds more confident. A nice guy, he’s to the point where he doesn’t look like he’s all that excited to continually revisit his rookie camp troubles. He’s past it, and so too are the men coaching him.

Roberts’ emergence is the piece too often missing when anyone is discussing the Cardinals’ depth chart at the position and the chase for free agents. (New tight end Todd Heap, who will make his share of catches, seems forgotten in that mold too). Coach Ken Whisenhunt has said many times the Cards will continue to monitor who is out there when it comes to the entire free-agent market, and they aren’t going to close the door on anything. But the Cards were serious when they said Fitzgerald’s extension was now their top contractual priority. That wasn’t just because Fitz is an important deal, but also because they are comfortable with their wide receiving corps.

That’s in large part because of Roberts, who has proven to coaches he is a different player than he was as a rookie.

(P.S. For those asking, all the details for the Red-White practice can be found right here.)

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Posted in Blog | 42 Comments »

42 Responses to “The growth of Andre Roberts”

  1. By phoenixraven1 on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    big Roberts fan here!

  2. By Don't Take Losses on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    “the light came on” We’ve all been there. Now he has that behind him. Godspeed Andre, you can do great things.

  3. By raybird on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    would love to see Andre emerge as the next #2

  4. By cards>niners on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I think roberts has potential but I still feel the cardinals needed to sign another vet wide receiver to take pressure off the somewhat inexperienced kevin kolb in a completely new situation. The concept of “we’ll just have to wait and see” doesn’t sit well with the amount of money being dished to kolb. It won’t take too many bad starts until kolb gets crucified by the fans and the media and the front office/whiz become the scapegoat creating a massive ripple effect through the team and another embarrassing season. Thoughts?

  5. By Darren Urban on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Cards> —

    RE: Wait and see

    But that’s the thing — the Cards don’t think it’s wait and see. They think Roberts can do the job.

  6. By ProSportsPhoenix on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I like Roberts he is a good receiver, BUT now having a QB with a big arm and not having a receiver with the speed to stretch the defense is not using all of the tools in the box. 60M for a QB; somebody has to stretch the field or part of the ability is wasted. Just my 2 cents.

    Lets Roll

  7. By CardinalSwagger on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I hope Roberts emerges! Can’t wait til’ Saturday.

    Go Cards!

  8. By ProSportsPhoenix on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Jason La Canfora

    How far did Braylon Edwards fall? Deal with 49ers is 1yr, $1M, with no guarantees. Only reaches $3.5M max with 90 catches/Pro Bowl. Yikes

    Shows the Cards had no real interest.

  9. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I noticed Andre making a lot of catches in the practice highlight footage posted here on Like Andre said, once you know what you’re doing, you can go full speed. Best of luck on a successful 2011 Andre!

  10. By wampag on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    is it just me or did no one really mention Breaston is a chief?

  11. By Darren Urban on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Wampag —

    RE: Breaston

    I did. When he left.

  12. By Kurt on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    The Cards should be set at wideout, hopefully Kolb won’t risk Fitz’s health like Anderson did last year, If Fitz gets banged up and misses any time Stephen Williams will need to step up.

  13. By mike k on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    With Stuckey’s 2 yr $3.5 million contract, I would assume the Cards felt Braylon Edwards (1 yr, $1 million) more trouble than he was worth. I think the coaches are inclined to develop Roberts in the #2 role and let Doucet, Stuckey, Komar, Williams and Sampson battle to be the 3rd or 4th option. So, like you, I was never sold on them signing a #2WR.

  14. By Chris Freeman on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Darren –

    Speaking of WRs , if we end up not getting a Flloyd or other top name WR, why are we not going after other players like Stve Smith (Giants) a young commodity that can play the second WR position, or and older veteran that can go through the middle ( dont laugh) T.O., TJ houz, Mark Clayton ( before he got injured served well as Rams starting WR) or chris chanbers. yes 3 of 4 are 29 or older but thay all are still very formittable 2nd role players, at the least Mark clayton and Steve smith . and if not what is the teams plan to get a number 2 WR, or just go with the youth we already have

  15. By Darren Urban on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: WRs

    I felt like that was all addressed in the post above — which is one of the reasons I wrote it.

  16. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Big fan of Roberts as well. This expains why the pursuit for that 2nd receiver has stalled. Although I though Edwards would make a great addition, he does have a troubled history. I live hear in the SF Bay area so I get all the 49ers coverage. (too much if you ask me). Edwards is here and saying all the right things, but its only a matter of time before something happens. The Cards don’t need that kind of drama. As for Floyd, I still would like to see him land in AZ. He can only help. Fitz, Floyd, Duecet, Williams, Roberts and Komar. Honestly, that does not sound bad at all if I am Kevin Kolb. Roberts and Williams made strides last year and improved alot over season and add in Early, who will explode this year if he remains healthy. People forget how explosive Early Duecet was at LSU. Well I haven’t and I hope the best for all of our receivers. But if we can get Floyd, let’s get it done before he signs with someone else. The Front off will take care of Fitz and he will sign.

  17. By In fitz we trust on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Fitz #1 roberts #2 doucet an williams #3s plus our multiple te set! If the running game can improve we will have a great passing offense!

  18. By Firemagoo on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Thank god we did not get edwards. I don’t see how he doesn’t get a 4 game suspension for DUI and assault with a deadly fork and butter knife. You expect him to not get in any more trouble? Best predictor of future behavior is past performance. Head case player. I like floyd don’t overpay or give Roberts a shot.

  19. By brad oneill on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    this time last year stephen williams was lighting it up and Roberts was looking overwhelmed. Roberts mistakes in the punt return game caused a lot of indigestion amongst us fat guys. well it was probably just as much the nachos as his play but since my diet is completely in my control and his play is completely out of it i will blame him.

    I am looking forward to seeing fitzgerald dominating, doucet contributing, williams progressing, roberts excelling and Komar surprising.

    all the while I can assure you that between burping the fat guys will be cheering.

  20. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I dont mind robers, but i dont feel comfortable at the thought of him starting at no 2, just because he is catching passes at training camp doesnt show us anything. he needs more game time def, id keep faith in a vet where its needed. Is Edwards still availible? whats with all this beating around the bush, if they wanted him u think they would of singed him already? whats the holdup?

  21. By mike k on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    @ Freeman. Don’t get caught up in what ATL, NO, PHI are doing. These teams don’t get it, 13-3 or 14-2 doesn’t mean anything. The blueprint for the Cards should be the Packers. If we sign a #2WR veteran for a couple of years that holds back Roberts growth by a couple of years. If the coaches like what they see, they should develop it. There are long term benefits to that which far exceed a great regular season record but consistent disappointment in the playoffs. The Heap signing, drafting Housler, using LSH more, Ryan Williams and even Stuckey take pressure off of Roberts and allow him to develop. This team has more weapons than the playoff teams of 08 and 09. King, Heap, Williams, LSH, Housler, and Roberts. Add in Fitz and Beanie wells playing with fire, then whatever we get out of Doucet, Stuckey, Williams, Komar, and/or Sampson is just bonus.

  22. By Phoenixraven1 on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    D what’s your opinion of Demorco Sampson, I’ve heard nothing but good things so far…think he passes up Williams n Komar quickly? He was a beast in college and I was shocked when he fell to us in the 7th round!

  23. By Darren Urban on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Phoenxraven —

    RE: Sampson

    He has flashed early, but it is very early.

  24. By azcards24 on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    darren any word on the fitz extention , any knowledge of whats the stopping point length, money,or just waiting on fitz?

  25. By Darren Urban on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    azcards —

    RE: Fitz contract

    No word.

  26. By BIG RED on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Big Roberts fan, when he scored against the mighty cowgirls. Do it again this coming year.

  27. By Jerry on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I seen Roberts-Skelton in the preseason game last year and they rocked together, thats why he had a good late season when skelton finally got put in, good chemistry together

  28. By Earl BB on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I think its still healthy for Andre to have to fight for the number 2 spot, just dont crown him , because we never will see how good he is if there is no challenge, that is why we need to bring in a vet to push these young guys to the top of their potential, so a Floyd or Smith would still leave room for a challenge because the work these guys did on their previous teams will not be the same here. Phillip and Eli have just a little bit more time in than Kolb at this point so bring one of these guys in with the intent to make him earn his spot, that is if Roberts is really doing as well as everyone says.

  29. By Earl BB on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    one more thing , it could only make the team that much better and at the same time we stay compedative and we counter act the 49er and seahawks wr signings to gain an edge on the division, but if we stay with trying out young guys well we really arent putting our best foot forward to win now.

  30. By darrel on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Robets will lose chance in pre season he can’t hold that spot he’s a better slot wr but its funny how know ones is even talking about T.O. he had an injury but still put up numbers he’s not even talkin about himslef right now so I would kick the tires he always plays like he has something to prove even at 37

  31. By John the draft guy on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve said it all along, I never was for signing another WR and felt we could absorb the loss of Breaston. Roberts is one reason. (I’ll be the first to say I quickly deemed him a wasted pick on draft day and further pointed it out for most of the year, especially since Mike Williams of the Bucs went 15 picks later) But you did see the light come on in those last 4 games he played well enough to show he can step up.

    Also, As Darren pointed out, 50-70 catches could be targeted towards Heap. not to mention King, who for fantasy guys, could steal away TDs, since he blocks so well, it will be easy for him to slip into the endzone and get open on short yardage (ex. yesterday).

    Heard nothing about Stephan Williams this year. How’s he doing? Can you ask Miller about his progression, if there has been any?

    BTW Darren, I did not tell Phoenixraven to post about Sampson. I’m patiently waiting till the preseason games before I begin promoting him again.

  32. By cards62 on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Cards fans I truly hope Roberts is our next Fitz or A. Boldin and I hope the coaches are correct, but I believe in insurance and WRs seem to be fairly cheap to pick up so I wish we would find one we like and sign him. Injuries happen and nothing is real until September 11th as we found out with Stephen Williams last year.
    Steve Smith Wouldn’t he be nice as a number 2 or number 3?

    To be honest thou I would be happier if we would sign a good OT or good NT like A. Franklin. I am excited for this year but just can not get out of my mind how bad our OL was last year and how our defense could not stop the run or pressure the QB.

    Go Cards and go Roberts

  33. By Jzoully on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I like that the Cardinals are looking at Matt Roth, the fact that the defense couldn’t stop the offense once I think we need to sign someone to replace the Clark Haggans/Will Davis combo…What would you think about adding a piece

  34. By Peter in Canada on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I was never a fan of bringing in another WR. I think the ones we have are good enough and deserve the chance to prove themselves with a QB to get them the ball and anO-Line to give him the time.

    The Oline is another matter. Sendelein and Colledge are more than adequate. The rest all have questions.
    Lutui is not in shape.
    Hadnot and Bridges have mostly been reserves.
    Keith and Brown were poor last year.
    Darren, do you think the staff is prepared to enter the season with these players plus Womack? They don’t seem eager to pursue other linemen or am I missing something? Thanks

  35. By Darren Urban on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Peter —

    RE: OL

    No, you are right — I don’t think they are pursuing players.

  36. By George on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Lets not forget Doucett. He has shown the ability. His problem has been staying healthy. If he can avoid injury and stay on the field, he is another legitimate target for Kolb.

  37. By CZarr on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I for one think Roberts is capable. He was basically the WR2 at the tail end of the season last year anyway. He’s explosive, quick in and out of his breaks, and isn’t as easy to bring down in the open field as a lot of other WR2s. To top it off, his drop problem seems to have all but disappeared. If he improves as much between seasons as he did from his rookie year, he will be a pro-bowler in a few seasons.

    As a side note, don’t make Darren say something twice. He gets very passive-aggressive. =P

  38. By georgiebird on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    The Cardinals definitely need a fast, talented WR- the least of Larry’s skills is his straight ahead speed.
    If a defense is allowed to keep one extra player in the box because it doesn’t respect the Cards offensive speed then the running game will never work-added to the problem is a QB who is not that mobile.
    The other side of this WR speed problem is that the Cards do not want to score too fast. In the 70’s and the 80’s, the Cards scored as fast as any team in the NFL but this exposed our defense to more minutes on the field.
    We need a fast WR to stretch the field so our other plays will work-we don’t need a fast WR to become a quick strike team with a lousy defense

  39. By Scott H on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    George –

    I hear ya but let’s be realistic – Doucet cannot be counted on until he shows that he CAN be counted on. To put things in perspective – Doucet has played about as much during the past 3 seasons as Matt Leinart has. It is rare for players with the track record of injury that Doucet has had to just start being healthy all the time. I’d love to see him play a lot and do well. But the next time he does it will be the first time he’s done it.

  40. By Eazy E on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    The Cardinals can’t be serious with Dre at the #2 WR spot?!?!

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