The trick to growing Floyd

Posted by Darren Urban on January 2, 2013 – 11:34 am

*** We take a break from our regularly scheduled coach-search programming for something else Cardinal-related. ***

Once upon a time, the Cardinals had a talented, tall wide receiver who was a first-round pick. This receiver didn’t have the greatest speed, but he was good at getting down the field, going up for a jump ball and pulling it down in traffic. He did that a lot. Then an assistant coach, Todd Haley, got in Larry Fitzgerald’s face and famously called him a “one-trick pony” and challenged Fitzgerald to expand his game and start getting yards after the catch.

I thought of that story, and of Fitz’s early days, while watching Michael Floyd down the stretch.

Two points to make here: I’m not saying Floyd will eventually turn into Fitzgerald. We’ll see what Floyd’s ceiling will end up being. And I’m not saying Floyd can’t get yards after the catch — he showed he’d break a tackle in San Francisco, for instance (although that tackle effort was pretty weak by the Niners.) But there have been many plays on throws down the field this season where you notice Floyd turning his body all the way around to face the line of scrimmage before he goes up for the ball. He might be more comfortable doing it that way, but it tends to take away any chance of the play going for extra yards after the catch as opposed to him trying to catch it with his body still aimed to the goal line.

Floyd’s numbers weren’t eye-popping this season — 45 receptions, 562 yards, two TDs — but he did finish with the eight catches for 166 yards and a touchdown in the finale. He has the talent to impact the game.

The Cardinals don’t have a head coach, offensive coordinator or receivers coach right now, so it’s impossible to know how they will view Floyd and where he is in his development. But there are parts of his game that are still growing. Maybe, he can grow in the same direction Fitz did.

*** OK, we now resume all things coach-search. ***


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30 Responses to “The trick to growing Floyd”

  1. By BFrye on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Darren – regarding coaching search (for some reason having trouble posting within other topics so posting here). Do you feel that promoting Horton to head coach could have a negative impact on our defense?

  2. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    BFrye —

    RE: Horton

    Right now, I think that Horton is going to be a head coach somewhere. So regardless, he won’t be defensive coordinator in that situation.

  3. By kauaicardsfan on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Hau’oli Makahiki Hou Darren!

    Will you be doing regular weekly pod casts during the off season?

    BTW who are these so called “sources” reporting getting the fan base all excited for nothing? They shouldn’t put things like that out there unless its a done deal, just saying…


  4. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Kauai —

    RE: Podcasts

    No, they won’t be weekly. We will try to have more than last year, however.

  5. By LadyBird04 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks for the “break” – Has it only been two days? It seems like a lifetime since Mr. Bidwill made his announcement. In my opinion (and I know what that is worth – less than 2 cents) we need a head coach, and strong a strong OC and DC. During the last 10 years or so, we’ve not had all three at the same time and the results have shown it. When we had a good OC (Haley) our offense was so much better; and when we had a good DC our defense was one of the best in the league. Why not have a good OC and DC at the same time? Sounds simple, ha, ha.

  6. By Dynosoar on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    “When a job qoes wrong, Vincini always said go back to the beginning.” Inigo Montoya.

    Wow, we have lost a head coach and if I understand correctly, the entire (or all but one) Offensive coaching staff. If we lose Horton to another team, talk about going back to the beginning.

    I have been a fan of Ray Horton since Darren’s articles regarding him after he was first hired. I like his philosophy of letting the next DC run the Defense if he becomes Head Coach. Who’s out there for him to get to fill his shoes?

    Darren, does the team go after potntial coaches or do they only interview coaches who contact them?

  7. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Teams/coaches

    The team contacts a coach. A coach might reach out the let a team know he is interested, but in the end, the team has to want the guy.

  8. By Dynosoar on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    I see many posts saying Andy Reid could bring out the best in Kevin Kolb because he know him. Although I look at the fact that Reid benched Kevin in favor of Vick and then traded him to us.

    If we’re using this “prior connection” standard, then how about applying it to hiring Brian Kelly as our next Head Coach since he coached Michael Floyd at Notre Dame? I like Kelly. I watched him take the Bearcats of Cincinnati to a top BCS Bowl game and he’s doing the same thing in Notre Dame. He’s doing what Urban Meyer and Chip Kelly have done.

    He’s doing in Notre Dame what Ray Horton has done with our defense. If Horton can do for the entire team what he’s done for the defense, I say he should be our next coach.

  9. By Jordan on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Yeah I did notice that he constantly did 180’s to catch deep balls. Also noticed that he has crazy potential. He just needs to keep working on the details. If he can adopt Larry’s work effort, there’s no telling how good he could be.

  10. By Dynosoar on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    My list, no order of preference so it’s alphabetical.

    Brian Kelly
    Chip Kelly
    Dynosoar (why armchair QB when I can armchair Head Coach)
    Kurt Warner
    Ray Horton
    Urban Meyer

    For those who don’t know if I’d make a good Head Coach for our team, here’s my 10 point philosophy…

    1. Throw the ball to Fitzgerald on the first play for a first down attempt every game, until the opponent allows another receiver to be uncovered.
    2. Sack the opposing quarterback within the first five plays of their oppening drive, with at least five sacks per game.
    3. On third down, throw for first downs or touchdowns (or run for the same).
    4. 4th and short, play the odds and if past our 40, go for it. (let the offense know we trust them to convert and the defense know we have confidence in their ability to stop the score is we don’t.)
    5. Convert so our punter is bored in games.
    6. Defense is expected to take one fumble recovery or interception into the endzone for six points at least once per game.
    7. Challenge our quarterback to follow Kurt Warner’s lead and have more touchdowns than incompletions.
    8. If in the red zone, touchdown.
    9. Attempt a running or passing play that has the single goal of a touchdown every six plays.
    10. At halftime, Start – Stop – Continue.

    Discuss with the players what needs to start happening to win if behind or if we’re ahead, what we’ll start doing if they change their game plan. Stop doing anything that’s not putting up points or is allowing the other team to score. Continue doing what’s working. Always end with what’s working so we go back on the field on a possitive note, but always after facing the facts of start and stop.

    Expect this of the team, no benchings if they miss, just re-enforce the expectations. Give them the challenge to show the world what their made of. Kurt Warner asked Larry if he wanted to have great statistics or be the best wide receiver ever. (At least according to “A Football Life.”) Look what Larry’s done with that one simple challenge.

    Any of the above named coaches can do for our team what Kurt did for Larry.

  11. By john the draft guy on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply


    I’ll be honest. I don’t know much about McCoy. I find it funny that an OC who calls a play, then Peyton changes it at the line, has got so much buzz. After all, isn’t Peyton the OC in Denver (half way joking).

    Do you know what has caused the buzz about him all of a sudden?

  12. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    john the draft guy —

    RE: McCoy

    I think the ability to take Tebow and get that offense to playoffs, then completely restructure for Peyton with massive success, holds a lot of weight.

  13. By Dynosoar on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, I just read your other article titled “Ray Horton Confident After Interview” and given what Ray said and the answers he presented, I’m as good with him as anyone and I do believe in the Scout Law, the second point is loyal. I like thie idea of being loyal to Ray Horton. He’s been loyal to us and if he has his sights set on someone for DC, then I trust his judgement.

    For the first time since our first San Francisico loss this year, I feel happy contented about my teams furture. Well, lunch is over, see ya’ll tonight or tomorrow.

    Happy New Year my friends!

    Cardinals in New York next February. Yeah, they say New York can be hell, it should be frozen over in February and I just saw a Geiko commercial with a pig flying, so let’s go from 5-11 to Super Bowl Champions.

    I’m calm as a summers morning right now regarding our team. Darren, thanks for the “Confident” article; it’s nice to feel peace.

  14. By Dynosoar on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Wow? Did I really just submit four posts? Oh, now it’s five.

    Looking forward to y’alls commentary when I get home tonight.

  15. By john the draft guy on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    As for Floyd, he can be as good as he wants to be. He has size and great hands, not to mention, a pretty good guy on the other side of the field getting a little attention.

    Now, if we just had a QB to get the ball to him. We saw what he did when we gave him at least a marginal backup QB against SF.

    It will be interesting if Reid comes here and puts in the west coast offense and how that effects these wrs.

    The positives on Reid;
    He is a proven winner. He has the respect of other coaches and is able to put together a great staff.
    He has done it as a head coach in this league.
    Although he has a QB, he drafts another to be ready. You have seen this all through his tenure. Kolb with McNabb, Foles with Vick. ect.

    The negatives;
    According to Vick and McCoy, the players did not put up a strong effort the past 2 years. Why??
    Was a majority of his success due to DC Jim Johnson;
    From 2000-07, Johnson’s units rank tied for first in the NFL with 342 sacks, second in the league in 3rd down efficiency (34.3%) and red zone touchdown percentage (43.0%), and fourth in fewest points allowed (17.6 per game).
    Finally, Red is not as slimming as Black, his usual color on sidelines.

    I really don’t know who to hire. Reid makes sense. Hiring Horton makes sense. We will have to see.

  16. By Jahstone on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Good article Darren…you always have to be patient with rookie WR.

    That said…here is my hopes based on today…

    HC – Ray Horton
    OC – Norv Turner
    DC – Lovie Smith

    It might be a reach, but I would love to see it happen.

  17. By D on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Not sure why Horton thinks he will be a HC this offseason just because he interviews well. There are plenty of HC candidates who have had more success at the HC level than Mr. Horton who are on the street.
    I doubt if he could get a big name OC to be on his staff.
    Reid could be burnt out, his teams got thier butt’s whipped by AZ the last few years, not sure how he can sell that to Michael.

    If you going to start over and don’t believe you can keep Horton as the DC, then go outside the box by giving Chip Kelly 4-5 yrs to see if his Offense can work in the NFL. Would bring excitement and new blood in terms as talent.
    Hiring Reid would bring the most talented experience staff and name recognition but it would also be seen as justifying keeping Kolb as the starter.

    Tough decisions to make by ownership

  18. By dstock21CardinalsWINRLOSE on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    @ Jahstone
    That would be AWESOME if it were to happen!

  19. By john the draft guy on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply


    Lovie has always run a Tampa 2 defense which is a 4-3 with a MLB who can get down the middle in coverage.

    Horton runs a 3-4 defense.

    not sure how that works. The head coach, who got his job because of defense, changes his philosophy to run a Tampa two or we hire a DC who has never run a 3-4.

  20. By john the draft guy on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply


    well that makes sense about McCoy. I see he joined the broncos in 2009. must have been brought in by Josh McDaniels.
    He did a great job with Tebow.

    I would prefer to go with our young coach than someone elses.

  21. By erik on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    CHip Kelly! That would be entertaining!

  22. By Terry E on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t have anything against Floyd but I thought and think Rilely Reiff was our pick.

  23. By Terry E on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Darren how much input into draft picks did Whiz have and did Graves have final say?

  24. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Terry E —

    RE: draft

    Technically Graves had final say but they had so many meetings and graded all those guys together there wasn’t any issue with who was being taken, especially with the first pick.

  25. By Cardinals2005 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Floyd has crazy potential! 6’3 220lbs and runs a 4.47! He needs to put more time with Fitz to see what is needed to be a star. Honestly, our WR crew is a pretty good one in my opinion. You have Fitz, Floyd, Roberts and Byrd. ( I don’t think that Doucett is going to be brought back)

    My goals in the offseason is to try to get sign Alex Smith & Reggie Bush. Get Andy Reid S the HC so he can run true west coast offense.

  26. By Chuck 1 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Bruce Arians, Mike Holgren or Lovie Smith for HC.

  27. By blaxabbath on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply


    Agree on Floyd’s potential (though only watched him for a season) as a WR. I think we’ve seen the benefits Roberts has experienced from being second to Fitz and, as Roberts becomes more reliable (and garners more serious coverage), then Floyd’s opportunities will come. I’ll be the first to admit that I had low expectations for Roberts and he has, thus far, generally proven me wrong. I hope Floyd finds similiar growth.

    Speaking of WRs, with one year remaining, what are the expectations for Doucet? Obviously the staff changes will dictate the final decision, but has there been any talk of resigning/dealing him? What is generally the scenario with a 3rd round no.4 WR coming to the end of his rookie contract? I don’t bother much with the stats on AZ WRs (due to the QB issues), so does Early pass your eye test as 2013 Cards WR?

  28. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Blax —

    RE: Doucet

    First of all, Doucet is working on his second contract. Re-signed last offseason for two years. I think Doucet is here, unless someone better comes up. Since there are so many other places the Cards need to fill, I’d think Doucet would be around another year. But it all depends on the GM and coach.

  29. By Terry E on Jan 3, 2013 | Reply

    Steve Breaston may be available, I thought he was more dependable and productive than Doucet. Remember Doucet’s performance was what gave us the false security to trade Boldin? What a blunder.Doucet hasn’t played up to that standard. He is up and down like a yo-yo, makes a great play and then drops a critical pass.

  30. By nich4azcardinals on Jan 4, 2013 | Reply

    Floyd is a good player.

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