Andre Roberts was taking part on air in XTRA 910’s draft coverage during the first round, a potentially awkward spot to be for the starting wide receiver when the Cardinals selected wideout Michael Floyd with their first-round pick.
“I had a feeling there was a chance we would take him so I had already thought about what I might want to say,” Roberts said Tuesday, following the first chance this offseason he and the receivers had to officially catch some passes from quarterbacks in front of coaches.
“It is what it is. We got a good player (in Floyd) and I think he will help us.”
Roberts handled himself fine on the radio, and he and Early Doucet – the two receivers who will feel the greatest impact by Floyd’s arrival – did the same again Tuesday talking about their new teammate.
The glare and hype of the draft always brings with it bright and colorful photos of the No. 1 pick on stage in New York holding up a jersey and plenty of talk about what a great fit the player will be for his new team. Certainly there was no shortage of that once the Cards took Floyd, especially after constant chatter for almost a year about the Cards getting another receiver.
Roberts and Doucet are on the flip side. Roberts was just picked in 2010 – in the third round – to become a major factor, and he did have 51 receptions for 586 yards and two touchdowns last season despite not getting a chance to have a desperately needed offseason. Doucet, a 2008 third-round pick, is coming off his best year. Finally, he avoided the injury bug and played in all 16 games, setting career highs in every category with his 54-689-5 line.
The Cardinals were still searching for more to keep the defenses away – at least more often – from Pro Bowler
“This isn’t new to me,” Doucet said. “I’ve seen it all, been through it all. Again, I think it’s a good pick for us. It gives us another big body on the outside like Fitz, and we will have more opportunities if they pay attention to those big bodies. It’s the business. I don’t have any bad blood toward the guy. I’m excited.”
Doucet has been on both sides. He recalled arriving at LSU as a freshman and having to fit into a receiving corps with Dwayne Bowe, Skylar Green and Craig Davis. He did it again when the Cards drafted him, when Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin were established and he and Steve Breaston battled in 2008 for a third spot that was eventually won by Breaston.
Then Doucet saw a possible replacement show up when Roberts was drafted a couple of years ago – and he remembered the need for receivers when he and Breaston missed the 2010 opener and Fitzgerald was still hobbled with a knee injury.
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all,” said Doucet, who briefly became a free agent this offseason before re-signing on a two-year contract. “I’m looking forward to lining up with four wides, three wides, whatever it is. Winning games is the ultimate goal.”
There is a difference between embracing Floyd, however, and feeling like their games have been disrespected – “I do think people underestimate me,” Roberts said – but that only can change by on-field production.
That’s why easily absorbing news like the Floyd pick is important as offseason work gears up.
“Every year there will be a guy drafted in your spot,” Roberts said. “It may not be the first round or second round, but there will be young guys there for your spot. You have to take it for what it is and you keep working hard.”
What Floyd will ultimately benefit from is a camaraderie among the receivers that over the years has been able to rise above any jealousy. Veterans like Fitzgerald, and Boldin before him, have done well in accepting and teaching newcomers like Breaston, Doucet and Roberts even if their arrivals meant future change.
“We’re all grown men,” Doucet said. “There are little things he’ll have to do for us in camp, like bring us candy. That comes with the territory. But I’m not going to throw (Floyd) in the cold tub or anything. Our group of guys is not like that.”
Then Doucet grinned.
“Now, the D-line with Dockett, that’s another story,” Doucet added. “He might haze him. You never know.”