Doing homework and hoping for the right decisions

Posted by Darren Urban on June 4, 2012 – 2:40 pm

When the Cardinals selected Michael Floyd with their first-round pick, one of the most impressive things about the rookie wide receiver was his willingness to address his past, which included a DUI arrest in college. The team vetted the young man thoroughly, and his work habits have been nothing but sterling since he arrived.

“He’s worked hard,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said the other day, noting that Floyd didn’t even want to sit out last week when a quad issue led the team to tell him to take it easy. “That’s one of the things we liked about him.”

But — and I haven’t talked to anyone in the organization about this — there had to be a little feeling about “there-but-by-the-grace-of-God-go-I” vibe when it came out that the first receiver taken in the draft, Jacksonville’s Justin Blackmon, was arrested for a DUI. Blackmon, who also had a DUI in college, faces a possible suspension and at the very least, has a cloud over his head already.

That’s the thing about the draft, or about any of the players that end up on a roster. They aren’t robots. They are people who can be immature, or do dumb things, or just not work out as expected. The Cards work hard to chase players with the right character, but you also have to make sure you collect talent. It’s not always easy to mesh such things. There are no real parallels between Blackmon and Floyd, other than they play the same position. But obviously, the Cards are counting on their guy to work out well and make all the right choices.

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28 Responses to “Doing homework and hoping for the right decisions”

  1. By SteveG on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    As a recovering alcoholic of 22 yrs this Sept, I can say with utter certainty that no one ever knows what the heck may happen next with addiction. (I use the criteria that if a behavior affects work, family or self more than once you have a problem).

    The only thing that seems to be an indicator is honesty, with others and more importantly with themselves…I suspect that Mr. Floyd has accepted this truth and I also suspect the Mr. Blackmon has not as yet (tho this would be a darn good time to start).

    Best of luck to both of them as consequences (when you have been given so much opportunity for both good and ill) tend to be commensurate in size and scope.

  2. By Sundevil1982 on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    He got popped for a DUI, I doubt he’s a raging alcoholic. Could’ve happened to anyone, especially in this state.

  3. By Scott H on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply


    Good for you, man. Keep living your life right one day at a time.

  4. By Sirlonius on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    I’m no NFL scout but every pic and highlight I see of Floyld has him catching the ball mostly with his body…Use your hands!!!!

  5. By cardsalltheway on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    You must have missed the most recent video posted, I saw one that he reached for and caught. You might have a point though?

  6. By chris on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    Give me a break, did you just give this young stud a lesson in how to catch a football? Um, keep your eyes on the ball when it is coming to you. That is about the same level of advise.

  7. By smack28 on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    First, watch videos of him on youtube. He is a great hand catcher. In fact, that was never the issue with him. The problem is his lack of a burst and quick twitch speed. He will catch away from his body, and he is a jump ball receiver. I doubt he catches many passes for long yards, and his YAC will be average. There is no burner on this team right now, so let’s hope he keeps his mind right and makes plays when called upon. One thing I will say is he is pretty impressive on Twitter. He Tweets every morning before OTAs and seems very positive about where he is at in his life right now.

  8. By Ed-MichCardsFan on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    Even the Cardinals had Blackmon rated slightly ahead of Floyd on their board regarding the top WRs in this year’s draft. How slight? Confident in Floyd to significantly bolster the WR position, the Cardinals did not feel it necessary to trade-up for Blackmon.
    No doubt Blackmon is talented. Yet, the one play that sticks out for me is last season @TX A&M, Blackmon caught a simple out pass and could’ve walked into the end zone from the Aggies 5-yard line. Instead, he carelessly kneed the ball out of his arm at the 2 and lost it out of the side of the end zone for a touchback. Not really okay…but, accidents happen. I just didn’t like his attitude / response afterwards: he clapped his hands and ran over to the bench in a “we’ll get it back” kind of demeanor. And, there’s certainly room for not feeling all “doom and gloom”–sure. However, there was more than just HIM involved. Couldn’t he had just hung his head for a second or 2, acknowledging that he messed-up and let the team down with his carelessness??! I’m likely being overly critical, but the talent difference we’re talking here is slight, and that single play outcome would be enough for me to go ahead and take Floyd.
    The Cardinals brass put in boatloads of time and effort in draft evaluation. Although the current scenario could be just “dumb-luck stuff”, I’ll still commend Mr. Graves & staff for being thorough in their evaluations and patient in the process, and taking Michael Floyd.

  9. By azdesertrat1953 on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    SteveG I totally agree!
    [But I think a DUI ; (Driving Under The Influence), is not strictly for alcohol, that would a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), at least in AZ. DUI is substance abuse also, in AZ.]

    I also have seen Floyd go after the ball with his hands, and there are pics of him reaching out almost fully extended getting the ball, during Rookies workout I think, and videos, lots of videos.

    None of us know what he and the QB have been told to work on, what route it is or what type of play. Could be a quick up and out for two or more yards to make a 1st down into heavy traffic after the catch. Of course that’s why it’s called OTA’s.

    Myself, I want to see what Mr. Ray Horton has done with the Cards ‘D-Fence’.
    Make’m All ‘Bad the Bone’ Mr. Horton!

  10. By Lizardking79 on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah, i think Floyd will work out… he will be great keep doing a great job!

  11. By infitzwetrust on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    Darren do you think its a lock to say Floyd will start at #2 wideout?? I know whiz n his rookie policy but we have had a lot of rookie talent past two seasons especially with first rounders…. And off topic, but do u play fantasy football? Would be cool to have a league on this site…

  12. By Darren Urban on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    Infitz –

    RE: Floyd as no. 2

    I don’t think it’s a lock, no. If Roberts or Doucet outplays him, what’s to gain by playing him anyway?

  13. By alexmannsportskings on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    2 things
    Sirlonuis: If he can catch the ball and hold onto it that way I’m fine with it

    Darren: Speaking of doing homework and hoping for the best… Are the Cardinals by any means interested in Brian Banks? I know he has tryouts with the Seahawks this weekend, would the Cardinals be interested to bring him in?

  14. By Darren Urban on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    Alexmann –

    RE: Banks

    Not that I have heard.

  15. By SteveG on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply


    This is Mr. Blackmon’s second DUI in the last few years. Yeah, he is a “raging”.

  16. By Brian on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply

    Floyd benefitted greatly from Coach Kelly’s decision to suspend him indefinitely after his DUI. It showed him that in an instant, a bad decision could potentially derail his dreams. He grew up a lot from that moment and it’s showed. Now he has a consumate professional in Larry Fitzgerald to continue to grow and mature under. If he stays true to his attitude and continues to work hard then we will have a dynamic 1,2 WR combo for years to come.

  17. By AB on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply


    Is there a way you can let Adrian Wilson know that his online store,, isn’t working? It just shows a blank white page, and I’ve been trying for about a week or two.

    Thank you for reading and responding. Have a great day!

  18. By vegas4u2012. on Jun 5, 2012 | Reply

    @ steve g. You have a great point.After living here in las vegas since 1988,i know the dark side of addictions,that people that are just periodic visitors here just do not see.Floyd has the best mentor in the nfl. to support him in fitz.Blackmon is i in a very unstable position w/ the jags.SEE U ALL IN FLAGSTAFF MY FREINDS!

  19. By Chris on Jun 5, 2012 | Reply

    Darren —

    Flip side of this, RE: Blackmon, do you know if the NFL provides assistance or counseling to someone in this situation? Sounds like Blackmon could use it. His BAC of nearly 3x the legal limit meant that he had to of consumed at minimum 17+ beers (BAC Calculator for his roster height/weight). Sounds like he has a problem with knowing his limits and responsibility to secure a safe ride home.

    Suspensions and fines may send the message but I think he needs to talk to someone about it all.

  20. By Darren Urban on Jun 5, 2012 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: NFL support

    Yes, I believe those things are there if a player wants to take advantage. But he’d have to want to take advantage.

  21. By Mike in Mesa on Jun 5, 2012 | Reply


    I watched a 10 minute video on you tube of Michael Floyds highlights. I disagree with your assessment of his speed. I don’t think he had the best qb in college throwing to him. Most of his catches are of him coming back to the ball because its underthrown. At least 2 passes that the qb threw him in stride he burned the cbs. What were his times in the combine anyway? If you watch the Season in Focus special you’ll notice one of the videos Whiz points out is Floyd making a move in otas, getting separation and then burning his man. I still contend that if Skelton is our qb you will see more plays like that. Imagine a guy who can take the ball away from defenders like Fitz and with faster speed. Darren correct me if I’m wrong but what is Floyds time in the 40 compared to Fitz’s? And do you think I’m wrong on Floyd being a deep threat?

  22. By Darren Urban on Jun 5, 2012 | Reply

    Mike in Mesa —

    RE: 40 times

    At the combine, Floyd ran a 4.47. Fitz ran a 4.63 at the combine.

  23. By Brian on Jun 5, 2012 | Reply

    Mike, i totally agree with you about Floyd. He’s not Randy Moss but he has great speed for a kid his size. Needs to polish his route running but he will learn from the best in the business. Loved the pick from the get go. With him and Fitz on the outside and Roberts, Doucet and our TEs working the middle, our passing game could be lethal(contingent upon QB play of course). There are a lot of ‘ifs’ but if they pan out, the West will be ours again!

  24. By Mike in Mesa on Jun 5, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks Darren. Not only that but Floyd is a monster at shielding the ball from the defender on the sidelines and catching the ball falling out of bounds. If our qbs can get the timing right on this play its going to be hard for the other teams to defend it. Of course if our offensive line can’t buy time for our qbs to let plays develop this will all be mute points.

  25. By duecer54 on Jun 5, 2012 | Reply

    All this positive talk about receivers is all great, but the o-line is the key to our success! No upright qb, no completions. No running game, no passing game! Quarterback sacks don’t add up to completions, either. The o-line plays well,
    we win the division.

  26. By Eazy E on Jun 10, 2012 | Reply

    Floyd and Blackmon both will be cold most likely. The DUI against Blackmon surely isn’t good, but I don’t think anybody should think about a suspension. Floyd I think had 3 in college, but he really improved so far, so don’t judge.

  27. By William Barry on Jul 8, 2012 | Reply

    I think we will see Floyd grow under Fitz’s tutelage….I think we certainly made the right decision to draft floyd over Blackmon..GO CARDS TO THE Division Title!!!!!!

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