Cardinals: Game coming around for rookie WR

2012-11-16T00:00:00Z 2012-11-16T07:13:51Z Cardinals: Game coming around for rookie WRZach Buchanan The Arizona Republic Arizona Daily Star
November 16, 2012 12:00 am  • 

TEMPE - Cardinals rookie receiver Michael Floyd has lived in Larry Fitzgerald's house since training camp. He also lives in Fitzgerald's head.

Floyd and Fitzgerald have a lot in common. They're both from the Twin Cities area in Minnesota. They're both big-bodied receivers.

In his ninth season, Fitzgerald has used his size and attention to detail to become arguably the best receiver in the NFL. Floyd hopes his proximity to greatness rubs off on him.

"Whenever I get advice, he's the one that usually gives it to me," Floyd said of Fitzgerald. "He's the only one that's about my size. All I do is listen and take it out to the practice field and try to execute."

Fitzgerald added: "He wants to get better, he wants to improve. Fortunately he has some good coaches here who help a lot, but if he ever has any questions for me, I'm always going to be there for him to answer them."

There were likely plenty of questions flying Fitzgerald's way through the first half of the season.

Floyd was the second wide receiver to come off the board in the NFL draft - taken 13th overall, behind Jacksonville's Justin Blackmon at No. 5 - but started the season slowly.

He began the season fourth on the depth chart behind Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts and Early Doucet. His 18 catches are 10th among rookies, his 207 receiving yards tied for 11th, and nine rookies have more than his one touchdown - a somewhat flukey tipped ball that should have been intercepted.

Things started to turn around two weeks ago against Green Bay. Floyd was elevated to third receiver, playing about 70 percent of snaps. He finished with a career-high 80 yards in his second consecutive game with five catches.

One reception, an acrobatic 37-yard snag on fourth down, caught coach Ken Whisenhunt's attention.

"He had an opportunity for that earlier this year and didn't make that play," Whisenhunt said. "I think that he stung a little bit from the criticism from that, and that's a good thing. That's a good sign."

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